From the Well of the Dragon 龍井

13 12 2010

When I am in town, I brew cha at least once every day at the office. Our most usual morning cha is Longjing, Dragonwell, from the gardens of Tea Master Jason C.S. Chen, owner of C.C. Fine Tea. Authentic and traditional Longjing comes from Zhejiang province, China. There is well there with the very finest spring water and the well is said to be inhabited by a dragon.

C.C. Fine Tea’s Longjing is made up completely of buds and has 45,000 buds per pound. Picked early in the Spring, this cha brews to a lovely pale green color with a lingering sweetness on the palate.

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Tea is the Dao

29 09 2010

Photo from A Tea Lover's Travel Diary by Jason C.S. Chen

“The Philosophy of Tea is not mere aestheticism in the ordinary acceptance of the term, for it expresses conjointly with ethics and religion our whole point of view about man and nature. It is hygiene, for it enforces cleanliness; it is economics, for it shows comfort in simplicity rather than in the complex and costly; it is moral geometry, inasmuch as it defines our sense of proportion to the universe. It represents the true spirit of Eastern democracy by making all its votaries aristocrats in taste.”

The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura





How Premium Tea is Made

5 09 2010

Jason C.S. Chen at the birthplace of Tie Kuan Yin Oolong

Coming soon to a bookstore near you, or a webstore near everyone: A Tea Lover’s Travel Diary by Tea Master Jason C.S. Chen (English by yours truly). This is a magnificent book that offers a never-before-seen behind the scenes look at the making of two world-famous teas. These being Phoenix Single-Tree Oolong and Tie Kuan Yin Oolong. Tea Master Chen’s travel diary is a photographic essay on the two teas.

The book will be available on or before November 1, 2010 at all major online bookstores and in selected brick and mortar joints. Starbuck’s D. Major Cohen wrote the foreword, and World-renown tea enthusiast, expert, and author, James Norwood Pratt wrote the introduction.

October 2nd and 3rd, the three above-mentioned gentlemen, and yours truly will be signing the book at the Northwest Tea Festival in Seattle, at Seattle Center. A swell time will be had by all.

From the book:

Tea Brothers one old, one young

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/A-Tea-Lovers-Travel-Diary/Jason-C-S-Chen/e/9780982654002/?itm=1&USRI=a+tea+lovers+travel+diary

At Barnes & Noble

http://www.amazon.com/Tea-Lovers-Travel-Diary-Single-Tree/dp/0982654006/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283664841&sr=1-1

At Amazon.com

http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9780982654002?id=4836651546926

At Books-a-Million

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/A-Tea-Lovers-Travel-Diary-Jason-C-S-Chen/9780982654002-item.html?ref=Search+Books%3a+%27a+tea+lovers+travel+diary%27

At Chapters/Indigo/Coles





In Praise of Autumn

4 07 2009

Autumn and Winter are my two favorite seasons. Spring is third and there is no fourth. I ran across this quote from one of my literary heroes, Lin Yutang, and had to share it.

Lin Yutang “I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its leaves are a little yellow, its tone mellower, its colours richer, and it is tinged a little with sorrow and a premonition of death. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor of the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and is content. From a knowledge of those limitations and its richness of experience emerges a symphony of colours, richer than all, its green speaking of life and strength, its orange speaking of golden content and its purple of resignation and death.”

from My Country, My People by Lin Yutang





The New Year and the Way

1 01 2009

The Blofeld Yijing says about this Western New Year for yours truly: “The Superior Man busies himself setting things in order.” This will be followed by: “The Superior Man, seeing what is good, imitates it; seeing what is bad, he corrects it.” 

 Winter, to me, always hearkens a return. My Le Guin translation of the Tao Te Ching reads:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Returning to the Root

Be completely empty.

Be perfectly serene.

The ten thousand things arise together;

in their arising is their return.

Now they flower,

and flowering

sink homeward,

returning to the root.

 

The return to the root

is peace.

Peace: to accept what must be,

to know what endures.

In that knowledge is wisdom.

Without it, ruin, disorder.

 

To know what endures

is to be openhearted,

magnanimous,

regal,

blessed,

following the Tao,

the way that endures forever.

The body comes to its ending,

But there is nothing to fear.

© 1997 Ursula K. Le Guin