In my first week I ended up at the Confucius tea house. I had just visited the Confucius temple in the centre of Beijing with a couple of friends from the course and it was a great place to relax after walking around all day.
We had a great choice of different teas. Though the best part was the tea ceremony. I wasn’t expecting anything and suddenly we were tipping cups, washing tea pots, covering things and paying attention to which finger was positioned where.
Firstly it’s always better when someone else makes a cup of tea for you. A tea ceremony is a really nice journey of water and relaxation. Your hosted and then a gentle process develops . You poor away the first of the boiled water: you cover the tea pot with it. You do one brew and discard the water and then add more hot water. Heat a another pot, wash the cups.
The soothing process of warm water and tea begins to wrap around you. Soon you can smell the aromas of the released tea in the water and a very civilised and pleasant wait for a cup of this rich and delicate gift is shortly rewarded by a dose in the tiny cup in front of you. A few mouthfuls and the you have drunk your cup. Then you are refilled until you want to change teas or you want to have a rest from tea. A rest from tea. That is a very pleasant afternoon when all you desire is a rest from tea.
Later on towards the end of my trip I was running around frantically, packing, organising and I had to go to a supermarket to get stuff. At the entrance were some little open front shops in front of the cash tills inside the supermarket. I was so tired I decided to take a seat at the tea shop.
I had totally forgotten to shop around for tea during the weeks gone past and I thought I would see what this shop had, even though it was a lowly supermarket one.
The clinking of tiny tea glasses brought me right back to the first week and I decided to take a break here. With my back to the busy supermarket tills a 21st century tea ceremony developed. A simpler version of what I had experienced before wrapped itself around me. I was sharing jasmine tea with a random Chinese woman next to me and I decided to try what the customers came in to purchase. What a great experience. I mixed in with the locals, relaxed my busy day away and purchased some really nice teas. There was no rush and after chatting, and deciding I needed a rest from tea, I was able to launch myself into the rest of the day very successfully.
Everybody needs to experience a rest from tea.
Myself, Kyla and Jodie enjoying tea
At the supermarket tea shop
Supermarket 21st Century Tea Ceremony