Friday, August 5, 2011

Korean Tea Classics Book Club- Dong Cha Song- Hymn In Praise of Korean Tea- 8


"A follower of the Way constantly sought tea's perfect beauty,
planting it with his own hands on Mount Meng.
When he had five pounds of it he offered it to the prince."


Feel free to join the online book club at anytime by simply purchasing Korean Tea Classics. Dong Cha Song is 17 stanzas in length, we will go through each stanza week by week. Jump in and join the discussion as you please.

Peace

6 comments:

AdamMY said...

This section reminds me of a bit of a PR war between several tea shops roughly 2 years ago (if my memory serves me correctly). This was involving Dan Cong, and whether is was feasible to harvest a significant amount from a single tea bush/tree to warrant its own product listing. I really should try and track down some of those posts, because I remember several people more knowledgeable about tea farming than myself, gave estimates on roughly how much tea a single tea plant can produce.

I only bring this up because while to a single person 5 pounds of a single tea sounds excessive, at least from the view point of it being a fresh green tea in which it should be consumed in a somewhat timely manner. But for an entire production of a farm it sounds exceedingly small. So when I hear the number was 5 pounds of tea produced, I can't help but think it is some small grove of tea plants, in the middle of this mountain forest. Quite a nice picture, compared to the mass agricultural "wasteland" I see all over the Midwestern United States.

Matt said...

Adam,

"I can't help but think it is some small grove of tea plants, in the middle of this mountain forest."

It is really a beautiful image-
a hermit on the side of the mountain loving tending just enough tea bushes to ensure that they are vibrant and properly processed.
No thoughts wasted on ways to increase yields- what tea is produced is simply what is manageable to create the best quality.

Thanks for bringing up single bush Dan Cong- this is one area where we can see this type of care these days.

Peace

Matt said...

All,

Notes on Stanza 8:

This stanza stresses an very important element of Korean tea culture etiquette- putting others before yourself.

Layman Fu Dashi spends 3 years of his life growing and perfecting his tea, only to give all of it as a tribute. In giving, this Buddhist practitioner has liberated himself from possessions- not an easy task for any teamaster especially in today's world. Truly, he understood the Way of Tea.

Peace

Ho Go said...

No possibility of an ulterior motive? :)

Matt said...

HoGo,

Still unsure about your motive! Hahaha...

Peace

Ho Go said...

Yes, that's the whole point!