Three days ago a Chinese youth Tea Art competition kicked off in HangZhou, capital of Zhejiang Province and Tea centre. During this contest 19 pupils showed their knowledge of tea and skills of tea art. To view more photographs click on this link Youth tea art contest kicks off in Hangzhou- Chinadaily.com.cn.
The habit of drinking tea in China started during Zhou dynasty (1066-256 BC). The skill of making and serving tea was regarded as important as early as the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). Zhu Xi, a South Song dynasty philosopher, started the practice of drinking tea in a certain ritual and his tea ceremony was handed down and further highlighted by such scholars such as the 8th Century scholar, Lu Yu (Tang dynasty) and Huang Ru Ze (Song dynasty).
Today, the tea ceremony is being revived by overseas Chinese and it is a popular cultural activity. Lu Yu wrote a book named Cha Jing in which the origin, the production, the utensils, the making and the drinking of tea were discussed. He also popularised the art of tea drinking as he travelled widely and associated with all kinds of people ranging from scholars to businessmen. (source:chinatravel.com)
Tea is enjoyed by any age and as mentioned before in my other tea related posts, there is much, much more than just putting a kettle on for a pot of ordinary tea. Real tea embodies flavour and fragrance, the preparation of soaking the exact amount of time followed by pouring tea where its centres on that perfect moment. With more than 2,000 years of history an abundant choice of tea leaves, the story continues and luckily many tea moments to linger on.
For those who are interested in Tea Art Daniel Lui has written an insightful “Gong Fu Cha – The Complete Guide to Making Chinese Tea”, you can download his guide as pdf file. He manages and owns The Chinese Tea shop and blogs with an online forum, I encourage you to read his Tea reviews.