Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Difference between having a cup of tea, drinking tea and tasting tea? / 飲茶、喝茶和品茶之不同

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When you enter into the fragrant world of tea, you will often hear terms like “to have a cup of tea, to drink tea and to taste tea”. You probably wonder hat the differences are.

當你進入芬香甘醇的茶世界中,一定會常常聽到飲茶、喝茶和品茶等名詞,是否你曾好奇究竟它們有何差別?

Having a cup of tea includes tea drinking and tea tasting. There is a difference between tea drinking and tea tasting.

飲茶包含了喝茶和品茶,飲茶有喝茶和品茶之分。

The purpose of drinking tea is to relieve thirst, to satisfy a person's physiological needs, and to supplement water for the human body. Especially after strenuous exercise, there’s a quick outflow of physical strength. You will gulp and swallow until you quench your thirst. There’s not much requirement as to the tea quality, the tea set disposition, the tea choice, as well as the environment, as long as general sanitation standards are met.

喝茶的目的在於解渴,為了滿足人的生理需要,補充人體水份不足。尤其是在劇烈運動、體力流失之後,大口大口的急飲快咽,直到解渴為止。對於茶葉質量、茶具配置、茶水選擇,以及周遭環境並無太多要求,只要能達到飲茶衛生標準就可以了。

The purpose of tea tasting is not for relieving thirst, but focusing more on the spiritual aspect. Tea tasting is regarded as a kind of artistic appreciation and life enjoyment. For tea tasting, the emphasis is on “tasting”, which involves careful experiencing, and gradual savoring. Tea must be of high quality, and the tea set must be fine and exquisite. Water must be superior spring water, and tea-making surroundings must be elegant and tranquil. The tea master often invites 2-3 friends, sit around the table, and drink tea in a carefree way. Through observing the tea leaves, appreciating tea color, smelling tea fragrance, and savoring tea flavor, you will obtain aesthetic enjoyment, and achieve spiritual sublimation. Its main purpose lies in the state of mind and not quantity; drink or stop at will. “Relieving thirst” seems insignificant in tea tasting.

品茶的目的卻不是為了解渴,重在精神,將飲茶看作是一種藝術的欣賞,生活的享受。品茶要在「品」字上下功夫,仔細體會,徐徐品味。茶葉要優質,茶具要精致,茶水要美泉,泡茶時要講究周圍環境的典雅寧靜。往往邀兩三知己,圍桌而坐,以悠閒自在的心情來飲茶。通過茶顏、觀色、聞香、嘗味,從中獲得美感舒暢,達到精神昇華。其主要目的在於意境,不在喝茶之多少,隨意適口而停止,「解渴」在品茶中已顯得無足輕重了。

There’s vitality of Mother Nature within tea. Its cultural connotation unified literature, music, and art, and has become a link to Chinese culture. The "Second sage of tea" Lu Tong once made the “seven bowls of tea” poem, which vividly describes the advantages of tea tasting in an ideal situation. The poem is very thought-provoking, and has become an immortal masterpiece.

茶蘊含著大自然的生命力﹐它的文化內涵更結合了文學、音樂、藝術等,成了中華文化之一環。茶之"亞聖"盧仝曾作七碗茶詩,將品茶的好處與境界寫的生動別緻、耐人尋味,堪稱不朽的傳世之作。

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