Tag Archives: tea gurus

Brewing technique is far from being skin-deep-Rong-tsang Tsai

学会削皮才能吃到肉Brewing technique is far from being skin-deep

蔡荣章Rong-tsang Tsai

 2001.06《茶艺》月刊社论The Editorial of “Tea Culture Monthly”

Tea gurus learn to brew tea in much the same way as musicians play piano or painters paint – they learn to master the very medium by which the Way of Tea, Music or Paintings is to be expressed. There is no way to get to the heart of these artistic pursuits if the people involved fail to acquire the basics. Furthermore, the artistic frame of mind is attached to the end results of the very act of tea brewing, piano playing or picture painting. A crude work of art will only create an artistic frame of mind that is equally unrefined.

 The Tea Brewers Assessment Examination 1, initiated in Taiwan, has since covered both sides of the Straits. For three decades as of May 2005, the examination has seen 345 tea brewers awarded with the qualification. Over time, these tea brewers, who began with the simple aim of being certified as a professional, have forged ahead to explore the vast world of tea culture. As seen in the recent monthly gatherings, they chant tea poems, study flower arrangement for tea presentation setting 2, delve into the aesthetics of tea advocated by Lu Yu, try and trace the origin of ‘Zen in Tea, Tea in Zen’3…. These are certainly not in the syllabus of the Tea Brewers Assessment Examination; neither are these follow-up tasks required. Such initiatives can only come from the tea brewers themselves – with the ability to brew a good pot, they have cultivated a habit of brewing and enjoying tea, and participating in activities related to the tea culture. This has further developed into a special feeling they have towards the beverage, which propels them to pursue tea on different fronts and at different levels; in most cases, they are rewarded with enlightened ideas. Without such innate bonding between the person and tea, any research assignment on tea culture given by the instructors at school will be mundane as in mere categorization of information; or detached as there is a lack of heartfelt enthusiasm.

Some people have criticized that the Tea Brewers Assessment Examination goes round and around at the level of tea brewing technique, which they describe as superficial. What they have failed to realize is that if one can’t play the piano (or for that matter, any kind of musical instrument) well, what is there to shape the musical frame of mind? If one can’t even paint well and master their lines and colours, what is there to express the artistic frame of mind? Some have gone to the extent of saying ‘the only thing matter is in the thinking and frame of mind when it comes to the Way of Tea’; or, ‘there is nothing else but that which showcase the charisma of a musician and a painter’. If this is the case, it is nothing short of crude and ludicrous.

To us, brewing a good pot4 is a physical training for tea gurus, not unlike the daily running athletes have to go through. Should this be considered skin-deep, my advice is, go get an orange – no one can get to the juicy pulp before peeling the skin!

 

以下为文內之编码Coding in the text:

1.Tea Brewers Assessment Examination泡茶师检定考试

2.flower arrangement for tea presentation setting茶席的插花

3.‘Zen in Tea, Tea in Zen’「茶禅一味」

4.brewing a good pot泡好茶

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).

  (1056)

茶自由行-许玉莲

茶自由行

许玉莲

20081102刊于马来西亚《光明日报》吃东西周刊茶潮

我哥在布里斯本黄金海岸开了家小餐馆,吃香喝辣之余,倒没有忘记为客人奉上一壶热茶。一度他让我给他寄茶自家喝,后来因故停止,不知何时再要重拾旧欢?

由于职业病之故,我抵达小餐馆第一时间即为它验明真身。茶壶摆放在厨房入口处右侧,类似肉骨茶档那种胖乎乎扁身白瓷壶,白瓷杯。茶叶在收银台右侧木架………突然,他们买我怕,语气极之抱歉解释:没有什么好茶………。我非常奇怪几时开始我变得这么坏,总给人家觉得我在欺负他没有什么好茶的恶印象。

木架上陈列了三,四罐茶叶吧,普通铁皮罐,打开来嗅闻,一个福建乌龙茶,一个台湾乌龙茶,第三个是老好茉莉花茶,清香扑鼻,品质最佳,马上老实不客气冲将起来,抱着那壶茶不愿放手。

逛了一圈,发觉小餐馆附近聚集蔬果店,猪肉店,杂货店等,俨然一片巴刹风景,瓷壶呀茶叶呀就从杂货店购入。杂货店属港式士多铺那个味道,然而是台湾人在经营。各种各样盒装茶,数来有数十款,大多中文包装,像一些铁观音,水仙,茉莉花茶都曾经是我在马来西亚某些新村杂货店见过的,但也有素未昧面经济包装的冻顶茶,高山茶,更有香港生产的三合一奶茶袋泡。买得不亦乐乎,至今未尝。

有天走进超级市场,走呀走,没有预料排山倒海的红茶盒装袋泡茶就在前面,吓了一跳,因为真的多。它的多,是与我在其他城市如里斯本,阿姆斯特丹等所见到的相对少。向来所得资讯澳人不善不喜喝茶,怎么会在一间平民百姓的普通超市铺满货?许我的资讯站太久没有更新收听器?

在欧洲几个城市所接触到的袋泡茶无非是英国几个大名牌,偶然遇见一个半个法国或德国品牌很给面子了,但在黄金海岸,它除了拥有上述所说的,再加上许许多多来自锡兰,印度,或本土澳洲品牌,在在显示一股买气超强的景象,推翻我原以为澳洲茶叶消费一片颓靡的印象。

吾茶万岁,无论当我吹着或马六甲海峡或太平洋的海风时,都拥有无限机会能挑选一款自己喜欢喝的茶,地域的隔离完全没有造成困难。茶叶在产地,包装,种类及口味上,可以有最原创最正统的,亦有crossover跨界越文化如英国人到印度生产印度人制作的红茶,销到澳洲去用澳洲人的理念,创造一个拥有英国人文气息的品牌红茶,最后卖给一个马来西亚人,马来西亚人再把茶带去中国请人喝。

 

  (1208)

初學者買什麼壺?-蔡荣章

初學者買什麼壺?

蔡荣章

2001.10《茶艺》月刊社论

對」好」與「壞」的態度是應該不同的,我們要追求「好」,但不排斥「壞」。「好茶」是我們「製茶」、「買茶」、「飲茶」所追求的,但對「不好的茶」,我們要接納,而且就其本質欣賞它。對器物亦復如此,「好壺」是我們所追求的,但遇到「不好的壺」,我們一樣可以使用,它的缺點我們會盡量克服。然而並沒有這樣的道理:我們是初學者,先買普通的茶喝即可、我們是初學者,先買普通的壺使用即可。

經常聽到這樣一句話:只是初學而已,不必買太好的琴。因此就先買一架普及型的鋼琴來用。但是彈不到一年,當聽到別人更好的聲音就開始後悔了,尤其在擔心聽慣了粗糙且不精準的聲音會影響自己音感後,更是非馬上換琴不可。同樣現象也經常發生在攝影圈上,開始時總捨不得買太好的照相機,但用不到幾次,當自己懂得鏡頭解析度好壞的影響後,一定不肯再用差的那台了。即使不甚了解相機好壞的道理,僅是拍不出理想質感的作品,就足以破壞攝影的興趣。所以我們主張一開始就買一台好的鋼琴或相機,免得先壞後好造成更多的浪費。

還遇到有位客人嫌某家的茶具費,他說:買你們一組茶具的錢可以到外面買五十把壺回家擺。這話代表一些人不正確的觀念,不是壺多就表示你是愛茶人,一間好的茶席也不是要擺很多茶具在架上的。甚至有人這樣說:好壺那麼貴,打破了心疼,所以我就把好壺供起來,買一把打破了也不心疼的使用。但要知道,天天與美的事物在一起,自己會變得更美的,相反的,時時與醜陋的事物為伍,也會變得醜陋,尤其時時手中把玩,還將泡出的茶湯喝進肚子的茶壺,影響更大。一個愛畫的人,如果沒有足夠的錢,他寧可買門票看畫展,也不會去買畫得不好的畫。

我們以前曾談過不要只喝「好茶」,要就茶的「現況」來欣賞它,況且「好」是無止境的。這與現在所說的「求好」不相衝突,當我們看到一把不被你喜歡的壺,還是要以它的出身背景及價格來對待、來接納它。

 

  (1038)

How much is Tea Culture worth-Rong-tsang Tsai

茶的文化性值多少钱 How much is Tea Culture worth

蔡荣章-Rong-tsang Tsai

(2002.04茶艺》月刊社论Published in “Tea Art”monthly magazine)

Unlike paintings and music, tea is where its cultural value rests. With paintings and music, the cultural value lies not in the materials, but in the final products. To put it simply, while the worth of tea incorporates its cultural value; paint brushes, colours, and musical instruments and the like, don’t. This concept is what we will be exploring in this chapter.

In the foreword of the Souvenir Programme of the Inaugural Conference on the Study of Tea and the 25th Tea Brewing Masters Certificate Presentation Ceremony, President of the Ten Ren and Tianfu Tea Group, Mr Lee Rie-ho brought up the idea of a 20% value  –  that for tea, the cultural elements account for some 20% of the price of the merchandize. The significance of this is not so much the percentage but rather directing our attention to this issue using a concrete number.

Among the many agricultural products, tea is high on its cultural and artistic content. Its flavor4, aroma2, taste3, appearance1 and appeal is refined5, rich and diversified6 while the brewing (in the wider definition of the term) and enjoyment of tea easily gives rise to a second, and a third layer of sensory, aesthetic and creative stimulation. With the former, it is the tea itself, including the tea trees, soil, climate and production method; whereas in the latter, it is the brewing technique, the environment, the experience of drinking and the interaction.

Some people think that in the case of the ‘latter’, those are added values derived from the merchandize; and hence, should not be taken into consideration when it comes to pricing.  However, we must be mindful that what brings about these benefits is generations of tea gurus7 praising tea itself as superior to man’s work on it. Paintings, for instance, are more of man’s creativity rather than the brushes, the colours and the equipment – in this case, man’s input is thousands of times more in terms of value. What’s more, man’s tribute paid to tea has ‘continuously enriched’ and ‘successfully popularized’ the flavor, aroma, taste, appearance and appeal, which incorporate such elements as the tea trees, soil, climate and production methods. For the two benefits of ‘continuous enrichment’ and ‘successful popularization’ alone, ‘Tea’, or ‘its Masters’, will have to pay the price – as 20%, or even 30%, of the cost.

The above derivative costs have to be borne by the producers and consumers, and be reflected in the prices, the same way as the cost of planting, fertilizing and employment of good tea makers are paid for. The fact is. the tea market can hardly be supported by the compliment of tea gurus/consumers alone.

以下为文內之编码Coding in the text:

1 appearance1

2 aroma2

3 taste3

风味4 flavor4

细致5 refined5

丰富与多样化6 rich and diversified6

茶人7 tea gurus7

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 thoughts pertaining to tea, regardless of the 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 with fellow tea drinkers something more than just the drinking of it. This is, in our opinion, an important contemporary task in promoting the tea culture (Coding in the text is for cross-referencing of academic tea terms). (1003)

茶道术语3篇-The academic terms of the Way of Tea 蔡荣章-Rong-tsang Tsai

茶道术语-The academic terms of the Way of Tea

蔡荣章-Rong-tsang Tsai编著Editor

说明:将茶道专用术语整理、翻译及审定,是当前在学校或国际间推动茶文化工作时很重要的茶学材料。我们只是逐步完成初学茶道者所应用的部分,尚需继续完备。本茶道术语翻译及审定工作始于2010.01月,一直持续进行中。英文翻译:Katherine Yip

第1篇(20110412)

1. 茶人

Tea Gurus

2. 茶师

Tea Masters

3. 茶文化工作者

Facilitators of Tea Culture

4. 茶文化护主

Patrons of Tea Culture

5. 茶艺师

Tea Art Masters

6. 泡茶师

Tea Brewing Masters

7. 制茶师

Master Tea Maker

8. 评茶师

Tea Appraisers

9. 茶商

Tea Merchants

10. 茶农

Tea Farmers

11. 茶友

Tea Drinkers

12. 茶者 、好茶之人

Tea Aficionados

13. 品茗家

Tea Connoisseurs

14. 茶专家

Tea Experts

15. 爱茶人

Tea Lovers

16. 大茶人

Great Tea Guru

17. 茶道师

Master of the Way of Tea

18. 茶道大师

Great Master of the Way of Tea

19. 喝茶

Tea Drinking

20. 赏茶

Tea Appreciation

21. 评茶

Tea Appraisal

22. 品茶

Tea Savouring

第2篇(2011.05月-07月)

23. 泡好茶

brew a good pot

24. 茶汤

tea infusion、tea liquor

25. 茶道之美、茶道之境

the beauty and realm of the Way of Tea

26. 纯品茗的抽象之美

Pure Abstract Aestheticism in Tea Drinking

27. 纯茶道

the‘Pure’Way of Tea

28. 空寂之美

beauty in emptiness and solitude

29. 甘

mellow sweetness

30. 草庵茶席

‘thatched-hut tea ceremony setting’

31. 茶禅一味

‘oneness of Zen and Tea’

32. 精俭

conviction and simplicity, modesty and self-restraint

33. 空寂

emptiness and solitude

34. 清和

purity and harmony

35. 泡茶师箴言

Tea Brewing Masters’ Motto

36. 泡好茶是茶人体能之训练,茶道追求之途径,茶境感悟之本体。

Brewing a good pot is the physical training of a Tea Brewing Master, the pursuit of the Way of Tea, and the essence to experiencing the World of Tea.

37. 茶道

the Way of Tea

38. 道是方法.道是路.道是境界.道是目的.道是新生命的起点

The word‘Way’may refer to a method, a path, a state of being, a goal, and the starting point of a new life

3篇(2011.07-12月)

39. 泡茶

tea brewing

40. 茶会

tea gatherings

41. 流派

schools

42. 公告事项」

notification

43. 七大精神

seven principles

44. 无尊卑之分

an absence of hierarchy

45. 无报偿之心

no action of reciprocity is expected

46. 无好恶之心

setting aside personal preferences

47. 求精进之心

it is about getting better each time

48.「泡好茶」

brewing a good pot

48. 遵守公共约定

everything goes as agreed

49. 培养默契,体现群体律动之美

appreciating mutual-understanding and the beauty of collective rhythm

50. 茶具观摩与联谊

Tea ware appreciation and Socialization

51. 无流派与地域之分

there is no restriction as to the school or regional practice in brewing

52. 盖碗

lidded cups

53. 叶形茶

tea leaves

54. 粉末茶

powdered tea

55. 茶席

Tea Presentation Setting

56. 插花

flower arrangement

57. 焚香

burning of incense

58. 挂画

hanging scrolls

59. 点茶

tea brewing

60. 四艺

four arts of living

61.「把茶泡好」

Brewing a good pot

62.泡茶者

Tea Brewers

(1311)

The Tea Brewing Master’s Motto- Rong-tsang Tsai

泡茶师箴言-The Tea Brewing Master’s Motto

蔡荣章-Rong-tsang Tsai

(2001.12《茶艺》月刊社论Published in “Tea Art”monthly magazine)

In the tea fraternity, we have an Assessment Examination for Tea Brewing Masters . This tests one’s theoretical knowledge and brewing technique. Successful candidates will be awarded the Certificate of a Tea Brewing Master.  The process is not unlike that of Fine Arts students graduated from higher education institutions, in that a fine art certificate does not necessarily translate into a future career as a painter. However, training in the basics and perseverance in subsequent, long-term practice are equally important to aspired tea gurus1 and renowned painters. Training and creativity matter the same in every way.

Mr Chen Wenqing, the newly-appointed President of the Tea Brewing Masters Association (back in 2002), came up with the idea of an ornamental flag for tea brewers. According to him, imprinted on this flag would be advice and practice to be observed by a tea brewing master2.  Mr Chen then approached me to pen those words, and hence, the birth of the Tea Brewing Masters’ Motto3.

Technique and knowledge is the mainstay of a tea brewing Master’s test, and the mission is to obtain the Certificate. Brewing a good pot remains the basic requirement. The nature of this test puts equal emphasis on both fundamental training and tea education.  However, critics have it that the term ‘tea brewing master’ refers predominantly to the technique of tea brewing, which does not cover the broad spectrum of a Tea Master’s specialty.  As such, the term should be revised to ‘Tea Art master’4 or ‘Master of the Way of Tea’5. Personally, I hope these critics could ponder upon the fundamental value of tea brewing – how could we even talk about The Art or the Way of Tea when we couldn’t even brew a good pot6? This is not unlike learners of music – how can they express the beauty of art by way of sound when they couldn’t even play a piece of music without mistake?

Brewing on a regular basis is a prerequisite in terms of training.  Just like an athlete who undergoes physical training day after day, it doesn’t matter whether he/she is into track or field events.  It is almost impossible for a person to bring out the best in sports when he/she starts puffing and panting after running a few laps around the track or doing a few routines in the field.  By the same token, how would one be able to bring out the essence in the Way of Tea7 without even the basic skill in brewing a decent pot of tea?

From the basic training in brewing one gets to understand the world and the aesthetics embraced by the Way of Tea. This includes external manifestation such as action and movement, as well the environment; and the intrinsic, such as the emotional state and the tea infusion It would be impossible to imagine or even transcend the intangible elements without brewing as the means, or the bridge.  Think of a person with the look and attire of an artist, but not the artistic skill because of a lack in practice. Could he be considered an artist?

Let us take this a step further. To bring out the realm and beauty of the Way of Tea, we will need the orchestration of various elements, such as the act of brewing, the environment, the tea infusion8, the experience of participants, and the extent to which they enjoy this. Like the tune for music, and art pieces for fine arts, we will need a means to communicate the intangible across – otherwise, it will only exist in our own consciousness.

In view of all the above, I have come up with the Tea Brewing Master’s Motto, as follows:

Brewing a good pot is the physical training of a Tea Brewing Master, the pursuit of the Way of Tea, and the essence to experiencing the World of Tea.9

—–

以下为文 內之编码 Coding in the tex :

1 Tea Guru1

泡茶师Tea brewing master2

泡茶师箴言3 Tea Brewing Masters’ Motto3

茶艺师Tea Art master4

茶道师5  Master of the Way of Tea5

泡好茶6 brew a good pot6

茶道 the Way of Tea7

茶汤 tea infusion8

泡好茶是茶人体能之训练,茶道追求之途径,茶境感悟之本体9

Brewing a good pot is the physical training of a Tea Brewing Master, the pursuit of theWay of Tea, and the essence to experiencing the World of Tea9

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) (1195)