Category Archives: 16.Regularities and Stylistic Difference of the Way of Tea-Rong-tsang Tsai

Regularities and Stylistic Difference of the Way of Tea-Rong-tsang Tsai

Regularities and Stylistic Difference of the Way of Tea-Rong-tsang Tsai

论茶道的规则性与风格差异 Regularities and Stylistic Difference of the Way of Tea

蔡荣章-Rong-tsang Tsai

(2000,05 《茶艺》月刊社论The Editorial of “Tea Culture Monthly”)

Everything has its variable and invariable components – the invariable elements are predominantly a matter of principle, while the variable elements are often changes required out of objective conditions and stylistic requirements.  True, there are ‘schools’ of thoughts that swear by the non-written approach, for fear that their ideas be confined to existing opinions and pinned down to prevailing rules.  And yet, without the benefits of words, it would be impossible to communicate the ideas that have been discovered but not documented. The best way, therefore, is to record it without being restricted by the records; and to understand the principles without being chained to the rules.

Regularities imply rules and uniformity. In tea making and quality assessment, there are certain rules. For example, it requires good withering 1 and fermentation 2 for the making of premium tea; and yet, how to handle withering and fermentation, and under what circumstances one should proceed with fixation 3 are among issues that could not simply be compiled into a checklist. Rules are essential as a guide, but uniformity may not be practical.

The same goes with tea brewing, for both its functional and aesthetic pursuit.  Functionally, brewing the best infusion requires rules pertaining to the materials the tea ware is made of, condition of the water, water temperature, quantity and brewing time. The reality is, the condition with each brewing is different, making it impossible to spell out the uniform standards.  Aesthetically, the experience of brewing and drinking helps evoke the state of mind one aspires to –rules are not unusual in the process, as we experience what is beautiful, ugly, sad or joyous. And yet, the ways in which this is presented, and obtained, see no boundaries.

以下为文內之编码Coding in the text:

萎凋1 withering 1

发酵2 fermentation 2

杀青3 fixation 3

 Introduction:The aesthetics, character and the state of mind created are not to be undermined in the understanding and enjoyment of tea; and yet, they are the hardest to express.  Writings on the thoughts pertaining to tea, regardless of languages used, remain scarce.   We have attempted to express them in Chinese, with accompanying English translation(Translator:Katherine Yip.2010.01), to elaborate our thoughts as they are. What we want is to share the knowledge of tea alongside tea drinking.  This is, in our opinion, an important contemporary task in promoting the tea culture (Coding in the text is for cross-referencing of the academic terms of tea).