Friday, April 22, 2011

Korean Tea Classics Book Club- ChaSinJeon- A Chronicle of the Spirit of Tea- Final Thoughts/ Discussion

If anyone has anything else they would like to say about ChaSinJeon or perhaps some overall thoughts, please post them here. Late comers, feel free to add to any of the commentary in any of the previous sections.

In a week or two we will start to cover DongChaSong, the most celebrated of Korean Tea Classics, section by section.

Feel free to join the online book club at anytime by simply purchasing Korean Tea Classics.



Matt said...


Concluding remarks:

Just wanted to mention a few things on this text as a whole.

Firstly, many people often write this text off as just a practical guide. The depth that we have devolved into during the discussion of this text suggests otherwise. As stated by Zhang Yuan, the knowledge contained in this text was passed on from temple monks when it was compiled during the Late Ming Dynasty. It is knowledge about tea that is old and deep and should be seen as such.

This text is sometimes celebrated because it represents a type of tea that we still consume today- loose leaf green tea. Other earlier texts, including Lu Yu's Classic of Tea, were written when cake tea was in fashion and therefore speaks to a rather different type and style of tea- not loose leaf green tea. Today green tea is making a comeback globally, making this text even more relevant.

Lastly, it is important to note that this text represents the base of Korean tea culture of which most of The Korean Way of Tea stems from. The Korean Way of Tea that is practiced today is very close to that outlined in this text. Two factors preserved this style of tea in Korea. This style of tea was unknowingly preserved by the Confucian literi of the Choson Dynasty. Choson took cues from China holding power in Korea from 1392-1897 overlapping with the Ming Dynasty in China. Although tea culture was in someways suppressed by the Confucian government, the state was referred to as the "Hermit State" during this period and consequently kept the influences of China and Japan mostly at bay throughout their long rule preserving what was left of Korean tea culture.

Secondly, the preservation of this style may have had much to do with the reintroduction of this text by Cho Ui and the influence it had on both Confucian and Buddhists teaists alike. Certainly the recent rebirth of interest in The Korean Way of Tea was much influenced by Cho Ui and his works on tea.


Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot, Matt, for having initiated a book club and shared the knowledge of this book. As usual, all your comments were very interesting and gave birth to new approaches and thoughts about tea. A great path along the Way.

Matt said...

Julien ELIE,

Thanks for your ongoing participation as well. Looking forward to your thoughts on DongChaSong.