Monday, March 16, 2009

A Proper Tea Cup

I remember holding a white tea cup and seeing the dried dark reddish tea stain at the bottom of it. It was syrupy and sweet floral, sticky to the touch with some crumbled tea leaves sprinkled around. I still can remember the smell of the tea room, strong truffle's sweetness with tobacco and leather, it was wonderful and comforting. I was around 6, and the small white tea cup didn't seem so tiny at that time. It cupped nicely from my chin to my nose, creating a little safe mask.

Small tea cup distinguishes what level of tea you are drinking, it is not for quenching the thirst, but for feeding the senses. Most Western world would consider them as little toys or for decoration purposes only, and prefer a large cuppa. Through the eyes of a seasoned Chinese tea drinker, it might be the only vessel to have direct contact from the tea leave to the body.

The more I experience the shapes and materials of the tea cup, the more variables there are to the equation for a perfect cuppa.... or perhaps there is no perfect cup, or perfect tea? As long as there are good companies to share the journey, what nutty gritty do we need to concern, and fight over about.


Lainie Petersen said...

Well-said. Sometimes I want a whole lot of tea in a big mug. Sometimes I want my tea in a glass. Other times I want my tea in a tiny little cup. The funny thing is that I will crave the same tea, but in different drinking vessels depending on my mood.

I guess this is what it is to be a tea-drinker.

Trent said...

Great post, the intro almost reminds me of Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

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