Saturday, February 7, 2009

Step3: Turning yourself over to the Tea

The first cup moistens my lips and throat.
The second cup breaks my loneliness.
The third cup searches my barren entrail but to find therein some thousand volumes of odd ideographs.
The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration - all the wrongs of life pass out through my pores.
At the fifth cup I am purified.
The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals.
The seventh cup - ah, but I could take no more!
I only feel the breath of the cool wind that raises in my sleeves.
Where is Elysium? Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.
~Lu Tung, "Tea-Drinking"

As i take my first sips of tea this morning while watching the sun rise, i wonder about many things. While many of these have to do with school and other such things, I also wonder about how all these different kinds of teas can come from one plant.

The Camellia Sinensis is the plant responsible for every version of tea that we now drink. Well, there are the tisanes, the non-tea teas. Tisanes are Herbal teas and teas such as Rooibos. But every other tea, White to Black, are made from one, singular plant. Isn't that amazing? That the possibilities for one plant can be so numerous. It's quite a thing to think about.

When you also take into account that the different teas have such a range of taste and flavor. Their shapes and sizes are consistent, yet different and original. The Camellia Sinensis is grown in a wide variety of places, and each place produces teas that are the same but have their own unique qualities.

The bushes are grown in different shapes and areas, in different types of soils and by different plants as well. But also the way that us human's process the tea leaves adds a whole other element to the tea leaves and tea that is drunk around the world by billions of people everyday.

It brings to mind an idea that is used in Taoism (i believe, it's been awhile since i took my eastern religions class). Heaven, Earth, Human. While they attribute this saying to reincarnation and karma, i believe that it works well for tea too. The heaven element is the rain and sun that helps the plant to grow. If there is a drought then the tea too will be affected. The earth element is the earth in which the plant is grown. It lends it's nutrients and provides a place for the tea to live and perhaps thrive. The Human element is the processing of the tea, the refining of the raw material. All of these things work together to create a Superior Beverage of Choice.

A lot to think about when you sit down to enjoy a nice brew.

While i don't think that i'll be wafting away to
Elysium anytime soon, i do think that i shall have another cup of tea before turning again to my studies.

1 comment:

  1. A 7am Saturday posting? Woah, I figured when I saw the sunrise it was because you had been up all night :D

    Yay for early mornings. My favorite coffee shop for paper writing closed, otherwise I'd have been there when they opened.


Let me know what you're drinking and thinking!