The Book of Tea - Review
by Kakuzo Okakura
week we take a selection from The Book of Tea by Kakuzo
Okakura. There is a new edition with an introduction by Sam
Hamill and some nice new photos.
is a work of art and needs a master hand to bring out its
noblest qualities. We have good and bad tea, as we have good
and bad paintings - generally the latter. There is no single
recipe for making the perfect tea, as there are no rules for
producing a Titian or a Sesson. Each preparation of the
leaves has its individuality, its special affinity with water
and heat, it's hereditary memories to recall, its own method
of telling a story. The truly beautiful must always be in
it. How much do we not suffer through the constant failure
of society to recognize this simple and fundamental law of
art and life; Lichihlai, a Sung poet, has sadly remarked that
there were three most deplorable things in the world: the
spoiling of fine youths through false education, the degradation
of fine paintings through vulgar admiration, and the utter
waste of fine tea through incompetent manipulation.
art, tea has its periods and its schools. Its evolution may
be roughly divided into three main stages: the boiled tea,
the whipped tea, and the steeped tea. We moderns belong to
the last school.
those of you who enjoy the whipped tea, we suggest Matcha,
powdered green tea prepared by whisking until it has a froth
Book of Tea (2000 edition) is available at amazon.com.
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Pursuit of Tea, Inc.