If you have not stopped by the mandarins tea, read this post and followed the link, please do so now. The link is to a not so obscure newspaper, The New York Times; the story, of course is about tea.
The story is about a very interesting man, his life, and tea. Later in life he moved to America and taught the Japanese tea ceremony. Through this article I was introduced to the Urasenke tea ceremony tradition, and found out about their schools in the US. I like the way the article portrayed the man, and the tradition. It had me thinking about tea all afternoon.
After dinner yesterday, my wife asked me to make her some tea. I usually don't drink tea after dinner, because I am sensitive to caffeine. I hadn't had gongfu cha, or tea brewed with a gaiwan in about three days, as I had been sick and busy. I had things to do last night, and was thinking about work the next day. After the water had been heated and the tea things set right, I took a deep breath and noticed such a change in my mind and body. As I opened the bag of tea, I felt peaceful. Manipulating the gaiwan, I was content and my muscles relaxed. Just a few minutes preparing tea, and the whole mood and rhythm of the rest of my evening changed. Especially approaching the tea table without a desire for tea myself, I remembered why I like tea to drink tea.
I have not been making tea with Chinese/Japanese tea sets for my whole life, I am not a master of tea. I like the flavor of tea, and often take some in an insulated cup with me to work. I can understand why people think Chinese/Japanese tea preparation is a bother, but last night I remembered why I like it. As Mr. Yamada is quoted at the end of the NYT article 'As for those who think they are too busy to make time for tea, “You discover that you are not as busy as you think you are.”'