I am intrigued with the idea of 'slow tea’. It is inspired by the way traditional connoisseurs in China viewed tea and tea drinking. Tea has been part of Chinese culture since before the birth of Christ. What interests me particularly are the aspects of tea-drinking in China that relate to relaxation and Nature.
The Chinese believe that we are all part of a vast moving landscape in which Nature and our own human nature are identical. What we do affects the world around us. What we eat and drink from that world affects us. We are what we eat and drink. Therefore our approach to how we eat and drink is of great importance for our own wellbeing.
From the earliest days, tea-drinking in Eastern cultures has been associated with people in contemplation, practicing meditation. Tea was grown around the monasteries in the high mountains and was served as an elixir to help maintain the ideal state of mind – a sense of awareness and alertness combined with a feeling of deep and peaceful harmony.
Over time, tea-drinking became more and more ritualised, culminating in the famous tea ceremony. At their best, modern-day versions of the ceremony can still play a key role in bringing the individual a sense of harmony and inner calm.
Let me take you on a virtual visit to an early tea house and garden so you can hopefully begin to see why slow is beautiful.