Friday, January 21, 2011

Tea Ceremony Class Presentation


At the tea ceremony presentation sponsored by Fang Gourmet Tea, Mr. Thomas Li and Ms. Angel Yu demonstrated tea brewing with a gaiwan.

There are three parts to the gaiwan: the lid, the cup, and the plate holding it. The lid on the top signifies heaven; the plate on the bottom signifies earth and the cup in between signifies humanity. This set of tea ware represents a small world, a small universe.  It also contains the theory of the ancient Chinese philosophers on the universe that “the heaven covers it, the earth upholds it, and the human is nourished by it”.

People started to use gaiwan in the Southern and Northern Dynasties but it did not become prevalent until emperors Kang Xi and Yong Zheng in the Qing dynasty.Due to the practical and elegant characteristics of the gaiwan, the movement of the tea master when brewing the tea appears composed and serene.

The porcelain gaiwan was chosen in the presentation because the attributes of porcelain can fully express the inherent characteristics of tea without any alteration.  It enables us to communicate directly with tea and for the tea to express itself.  It also reveals the tea master’s skillful artistic technique of tea brewing.

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