Beijing, China
The Tea Ceremony


THREE SIPS
One for Happiness
One for Love
One for Longevity

Boil the water. Wash the leaves. Wash the cup. Steep the tea. Sip the tea.

The tea ceremony varies considerably among tea drinking cultures. Each has its own charm and elegance. The ceremonies are interesting to watch, but in the end, it is all about "the taste." Having been a tea drinker for most of his life, all be it "iced" tea, B was not expecting to experience much of an improvement in taste. After all, once you've had tea over ice, everything else is - well, hot.

Well, the taste was close to the best that B had ever had.

The tea tray or stand is made of bamboo. The bamboo strips that comprise the top are spaced to allow water to drain into the black catch basin insert. The rinsing and washing with hot water of the pot, cups and the tea is part of the tea ritual.

Above, from left to right: Arlys, Gretchen, B, L, Barbara, and Nancy
Below Mr. Lee, our driver and our Beijing guide, Miranda.

After a rickshaw tour of "hutongs" near the Forbidden City, we arrived at the six hectare home of Prince Guum (c.1850 - Ching Dynasty). Hutongs are an ancient city alley or lane. In the palace gardens is this tea house. The ceremony was quite informative and most enjoyable. And, I am sipping Jasmine tea (hot, not iced) that was purchased there as I write this.

This photos were taken with an Olympus APS camera on 400 speed film.



Beijing, China

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