I became a fan of tea because of two very special friends. I must admit, my drink of preference is coffee and my second choice is dry red wine. But for the sheer enjoyment of company and slowing down and feeling at peace, I am glad I discovered tea.
I have been to several tea shoppes, tea houses, tea parties and afternoon teas at fancy hotels. I am always carried away by the utter civility of it all. So this book caught my eye at the library a few weeks ago: Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West by Beatrice Hohenegger.
It is not a fast read, but Ms Hohenegger has many small chapters on the history of tea which have interesting tales about tea and its discovery and importance in the East and its arrival and importance in the west.
Here are a few nuggets from this fun history of tea:
*Lu Yu the tea sage wrote, "Drinking tea is an act of consciousness and a celebration of life."
*The Bodhidahrma first intertwined tea and meditation.
*A sincere heart is at the center of tea.
*In merry old England tea is credited with generating an early feminist movement.