Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Way of Tea

I may have posted the above collage already but I had several inquiries after my last blog post for more information about my tea lattes. I am a tea drinker. I collect teas where ever I travel.
I look for exotic teas and lately I have been looking for chocolate teas. The title of the above collage is THE WAY OF TEA. The Japanese strive for harmony with natural beauty. The monk Shuko (1422-1502) is credited with making the tea ceremony into an exemplification of wabi sabi design and refined, graceful living. The tea ceremony is an important part of the Japanese aesthetic.

THE BOOK OF TEA by Kakuzo Okakura is a brief but classic essay on tea drinkers, its history, restorative powers, and rich connection to Japanese culture. Okakura felt that 'teaism' was the very center of Japanese life and helped shape everything from art, aesthetics, and an appreciation for architecture, design, gardens, and paintings.

The black and white photograph is by famous photographer Werner Bischof. He took photographs in Japan over a 2 year span 1951-52. You can find more of his photos in the book JAPAN.. photographs by Werner Bischof and text by Robert Guillain.

The title of the above mixed media work is TEA. It was created by the artist Lissa Hunter.
You can find more of her work in her book LISSA HUNTER: Histories Real and Imagined by Abby Johnston.

Above, is a watercolor painting by Daniel Kelly titled ANCIENT BLUE. He is an American artist living in Japan. You can find more of his paintings and prints at his website here.

Mel Robson is a potter in Australia. She makes functional and non-functional cups and bowls and dishes in porcelain. You can find out more about Mel, and where and how you can get your hands on some of her fabulous porcelain pottery at her blog here.

As you can see in the above image, Mel is obsessed with old maps and text and handwriting.

There is a wonderful blog I want to tell you about. It is Tea for Joy and you can go to the blog here. This blog has things British and vintage, but also features a tea of the week. There are beautiful images and links to other blogs.

There are some wonderful new teas available now that become delicious tea lattes. Go to the Republic of Tea website here and check out their Cuppa Chocolate Tea Collection- a new tea there is Red Velvet Chocolate. Another tea I have is Chocolate Mint Rooibos by TEASE and you can find their website here. I make a cup of tea, add either non-fat milk, or non-fat half and half cream, and a dash of Splenda sugar. Then I use my Milk Frother to 'froth' up the milk and then I add India Tree dark chocolate bits. You can find all sizes, types and prices of milk frothers at Amazon.com. You can find the chocolate sprinkles along with sugars and spices at the India Tree website here.


FLOW with whatever may happen
and let your mind be free:
Stay centered by accepting
whatever you are doing.
This is the ultimate. -- Chuang Tzu

40 comments:

Valerianna said...

I'm sitting down to my tea latte - Celestial Seasongings, Bengal Spice Tea, a small teaspoon of local raw honey,
and soy creamer. Sometimes I froth it, sometimes I just add a touch of creamer.... its heavenly. I love the Republic of Tea, I'll check out their chocolate collection, looks yummy! Lovely artists today as well.
Tea blessings, Valerianna

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Sitting with another sharing a cup of tea - one of life's small but significant ceremonies. Over tea I have cried, laughed, mourned, celebrated.
But now I want some new pottery....
Thank you Donna for a beautiful and elegant post.

iNdi@na said...

i travel with tiny teapot and teabowl-of-the-month in my bag. usually when teaching i simply brew fresh ginger root in the pot, keeps me happy and healthy
although i will admit to acquiring teas along the road - unfortunately Australian Customs get rather suspicious of tea-leaves!

for a nice chocolatey tea try gently toasting some mate and adding a little cocoa, a hint of nutmeg and some dried orange zest. keep it in a canister with a vanilla bean. is lovely without adulterants but also quite delicious with milk and honey

Teri said...

This is a great post Donna. I am definitely checking out the chocolate teas and especially the frothers. I used to have something that worked like that but part of it broke. I have slowly gotten away from tea drinking and feel like I would love to get back to it again. Say: is Werner Bischof related to Elmer Bischof? Maybe brothers? I guess I could google it but I thought I would just ask you because you probably know. Great art too. Thanks for the reply about the Santas.

lyle baxter said...

what a lovely post! you have broadened my knowledge of tea and introduced me to more talented artists too. thank you for letting me enjoy both!

Donna Iona Drozda said...

I too am a tea lover and, like Leslie, have savored so many life passages over a cuppa.

The Book of Tea is a long time friend...

all of the images, as always, are sumptuous and so warming, like tea, I'm swooning over the mapped cups.

Annie said...

Hi Donna. I'm savouring my first cup of tea of the day as I read. Nothing quite like it! I have tried many types but I always come back to the Assams and Ceylons. Lovely post.

Uschi said...

The first time I came across a tea-latte it was the classic yogi-tea with the cinnamon note, milk foam and a drip of honey.
It's soul food, isn't it?

petras kunstblog said...

Hi Donna,
This is funny ... I'm on my way to my studio and I just made a pot of tea with honey and cream. This is now your topic.
The Collage has again become very good. I like the little teapot.
I also like the pictures of the ceramics
greetings.

Ian Foster said...

I must confess to being a coffee person but I found your blog extremely interesting with all those lovely links to explore. Who knows I might even become enthusiastic about tea when I have tried a chocolate latee.

ELFI said...

je suis café.. mais c'est tellement beau..je vais me mettre au thé!

Noela Mills said...

Great information and images, Donna. The teas sound absolutely delicious,- I must chase up some of them. The zen of tea is a deep and intricate philosophy - loved the connotations in Japan, though I soon got over being offerred the sweet and gluggy rice dumpling things, sometimes shaped like pigs. Hard to be polite and refuse when you are the guest of honour. xoxoxo

Emma said...

I'm an avid coffee drinker but do enjoy a cleansing cup of weak black & sugarfree tea. I would keep an open mind if offered a tea latte with all these wonderful things added! I enjoyed at a Christmas lunch a small but beautiful Chinese tea ceremony, so calming - she was intrigued with me being enraptured with the tiny tea labels ;)

Mostly Turquoise said...

Hi Donna,

Like Ian I am a coffee lover, but nevertheless I adore the way you wrote about tea, the meaning, the ceremony and heritage. Thanks for the links again, I love the images of the dotted and china bowls!
Regina, SXM

Amanda said...

Hi Donna,
Beautiful post. I do love your blog. I studied with Mel Robson and am still in touch, so I thought you would want to know that she is most definitely a woman ;) And I agree, a very talent one at that. Easy mistake to make!
Now I'm off to see if I can track down those books you mentioned.

Barry said...

D- your tea is way too rich for me. The link with Japan is just another reminder of why we would like to revisit there. Green tea is the go for me. Love the opening piece. Cheers B

Liza Ursu said...

The Way Of Tea,
I love that!
Wonderful post Donna.
Those closing words are exquisite. What a way to start the day!
Thanks!

Deborah said...

Lovely and informative. I drink both coffee and tea but am now inspired to be more creative with my tea drinking.

layers said...

thank you Amanda for the correction.

dosfishes said...

Oh Donna, your tea latte sounds delish! I have never made one, now I shall have to try some of that chocolate tea! Beautiful sharing of history and places to go see as always. Thanks. xox corrine

sukipoet said...

a delightful post with some lovely tea cups and pots too.

I tend to like plain one flavor teas such as green plain no milk no sugar. or kukicha. on occasion a black tea. but for those who are adventurous, you present some lovely options.

Kathy said...

I'm a devoted tea drinker - never even had a cup of coffee in my whole life! Lately, I've been drinking oolong tea from China, imported by Silk Road Teas. It's amazing - the best I've ever had in my life. Grown by independent small farmers in the remotest hills of China and hand picked, it's darned expensive but well worth it.

zendotstudio said...

As always a lovely post. Love the piece with the teapot in it. You make tea sound inviting even to a coffee lover like me. It's good timing as I am presently abstaining from coffee so a little tea inspiration is much appreciated. Yes, Chado, the way of tea, such a lovely contemplative practice.

Lynn said...

Your posts are always so rich and full of beautiful words and pictures and wonderful links, that I can return to just one of them again and again and get lost in different images or web-links each time. Thank you!

Tess Kincaid said...

Beautiful post. Now I'm craving a cup myself. Excuse me while I put on the kettle...

bridgette said...

Have you been to the Miro tea house in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle? I used to have a studio down the street from there and would get tea to write in my journal. I love that place so much and you can tell that the owners had a deep respect and love for tea.

Don said...

I'm not a tea drinker but I always find your posts interesting. Thanks!

Sharmon Davidson said...

Lovely post, Donna. Thanks for the tea info, and also the new artists. I'm intrigued by the frothy thing- i may have to try it. I used to drink tea all the time, but have transitioned to coffee- perhaps I should transition back...

Jo Reimer said...

A very interesting and informative post, Donna. I'm partial to coffee but if I hung out with you I think I might become a convert. Tea is such a ladylike drink!

Kelly M. said...

coffee is my drink but stunning images and quotations that you've shared with us, Donna -- many thanks!

grrl + dog said...

Let me get back to you

about chocolate tea..

I'm sure I saw some a while back.

Meanwhile, it IS you that also loves vintage metal paper clips/binders?

I have some.

Olga said...

The content of your blog is a delight to have stumbled across. I love your work anyway, so shall return at the very least to lurk regularly.

Ah tea! My husband and I keep a cupboard full of teas, black and green and fruit. Teas for every mood, but not as yet chocolate tea. It does not appeal to me, but as a chocolate lover it might to him. I shall tell him.

As a child in Thessaloniki, in winter we drank tea with water from the samovar which is now in my attic. My Scottish father, far from true to form, liked his tea weak - 'just wave a tea leaf over his cup' is what we used to joke.

When I worked in Zimbabwe I drank robust Red Bush tea, grown in the Eastern Highlands. And when I worked in Indonesia I watched them picking the leave from those so picturesque bushes while I drank.

Mmm ... I think I'll just bake some scones now, for eating with a lovely cup of tea.

annell said...

I'm not sure exactly what it is. But I always enjoy the dream like quality of your blog. It is very beautiful.

ArtPropelled said...

After reading this post I can bearly sit still long enough to comment. The kettle is on and all I want is a cup of tea...... It would be so much nicer in a Mel Robson cup!

sophiemunns said...

Gorgeous post Donna. You had me wanting to come to tea and sit in that wonderful landscape I have seen in your posts ...looking perhaps on the ocean... seeing the harmony of your environment.
thinking of that is quite a tonic in itself!

Hannah said...

Donna--I sipped my green tea & delighted in your description of the tea ceremony and teas at large. Have you read "The Teahouse Fire"by Avery Ellis?-- a novel containing wonderful and lyrical descriptions of the way of tea...

mansuetude said...

i love that last quote, and the notion of the tea ceremony--done from the center of the heart, attention, That would be "the ultimate" way of 'being".

not sure about chocolate tea, but i live with a chocolate mocha frothing whip cream on top junky!

alteredbits said...

gorgeous new piece!! i'm not sure if you'd posted it before either as i had pneumonia for almost 6 weeks and hadn't been online in ages. i'm loving that i get so many new posts from you at once now though!

chocolate tea sounds divine! i'll have to try it sometime for sure. i'm a green tea girl, typically.

and if you resend me your address, i shall send you a charlotte. i certainly have plenty to go around now! ;)

ilovemylife said...

nice blog..lovely works.. keep moving and go beyond...with love

bruce said...

BEautiful post
love it all - and puerh tea too...

xox - eb