The Way of Tea

IMG_3914The tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, is an ever-green of the Camellia family native to the south of China. The tradition of tea drinking began in the time of Shen Nong. Initially, tea was deemed to be a medicinal herb. During the western Han Dynasty, tea became a drink in its own right.

By the time the Tang scholar and traveller Lu Yu wrote the “Way of Tea” in the 8th century, tea was being widely transported and drunk around the country. Both the nobility and the common people held certain ceremonies surrounding the drinking of tea. These were called 茶道,or the Way of Tea.

The traditions surrounding tea have evolved through the past 4000 years. Today, tea is classified into six main categories. The essence of Chinese tea culture is 品茶, or savouring appearance, fragrance, aroma and taste of tea. Join me this winter solstice, at the Graham Hunter Gallery on Baker Street, 21st of December, and let’s taste some tea.

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