A to Tea
Tea, second only to water, is the oldest and the most consumed beverage in the world. It was first cultivated and brewed in China and most Chinese call it Cha. A handful of dialects from south eastern China pronounce it as Tey which is the origin of the English word Tea. A derivative of Tey is also used by most countries in Europe. Countries that traded with China by land in olden days use the derivative of the word Cha. These include India, Russia, Turkish, Persian, Arabian and most Middle-East countries.
Tea carries different nuance to different people. For some tea is an art; others tea is for health. Yet for many, tea is a way of life, a means for social gathering and meeting. Since time immemorial tea is used by the Chinese in many ceremonies as a mark of respect and sincerity to the elders, and as an acceptance to the family and community. Chinese tea ceremony is a ritual event in a bigger ceremony, it is not a casual act. Most Chinese tea ceremonies mentioned today is in fact a tea presentation or tea skill demonstration. Some are in reality a tea gathering or tea party. The phrase Chinese tea ceremony is adopted and used freely simply because it sells!
Beginners often ask how many grams of tea leaves to how many litres of water? or what water temperature to brew a good cup of tea? and how many minutes to steep the tea leaves? These methods miss the subtle point and the finesse of tea art. It resembles a scientific experiment where every thing is weighed and measured. Take a deep breath and imagine! .... can you actually enjoy drinking fine tea in the environment of a science lab or having tea like taking a medical prescription? I certainly will not enjoy tea that way and I doubt you will!
To truly enjoy tea you need to make it an art and master the skill and not engage it like a rigid scientific experiment. What you need is "GongFu" -- The endurance and the practice required in perfecting an art and skill is called Gong. The discipline and the determination required to master the art and skill is called Fu. GongFu is what all Chinese masters, be it martial art, chirography or tea master try so hard to instill and yet it can't be taught! However before we can talk about perfecting an art the basic fundamentals have to be mastered. So we will show you here the basics of tea from A to T and hence A2Tea.com. From T onwards you are on your own in perfecting your art and your GoungFu in tea!
For us tea is an avocation, a subject of interest and study. We are a great fan of tea. We simply love tea, enjoy and treasure every moment of savouring it. We have been drinking tea since childhood and got into fine tea seriously for almost a decade now. However if we double that amount of time and experience we have with tea we will still be just scratching the surface of the subject – tea.
Tea has a history and culture of over 4700 years; there are close to a thousand recorded tea varieties just in China. It's easy for anyone to claim to be a tea master but to really become one is quite a tall order indeed. Certainly we ourselves are far off from there yet. So within the constraint of space and time we aim only at sharing our experiences as we journey through our adventure in tea. We wish to share our adventure with anyone who find this subject interesting and hope you enjoy the journey with us.