Dearly Beloved Readers of Scotttea,
A little over a month ago I led the tea talk and interactive workshop “History in a Bowl of Tea: Tea in the Song Period”. As part of an ongoing series of tea talks I’ve been leading for over a decade, and a sequel to a talk I gave several years ago, this time I dove even deeper into tea’s history to investigate tea and tea culture during the 宋 Sòng period (960-1279). Now, as many of us find ourselves sequestered in our homes, under self-quarantine against COVID-19, I want to offer up the video from this tea talk, filmed live at Floating Mountain Tea House in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Only two hours long, consider this video a crash course in ancient tea history as we discuss how tea developed from ancient medicine to lofty beverage, enjoyed by scholars, monks and emperors alike. Using ancient Sòng, as well as antique and contemporary reproductions of Sòng teawares, we’ll go into great detail of how tea during the Song period was prepared.
All 抹茶 mǒchá, unless stated otherwise, was hand-produced and hand-ground in the manner detailed in Sòng period texts, to approximate as closely the look, feel and flavor from this time. For reference, I have provided a list of what we tasted.
• First Tea: Hand-ground semi-wild 白茶 báichá from Fuding, Fujian, China.
• Second “Tea”: Powdered mugwort leaves grown and produced in South Korea.
• Third Tea: Hand-ground 碧螺春 Bì Luó Chūn grown in the Dongting mountains near Lake Tai, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China.
• Fourth Tea: Whole leaf 碧螺春 Bì Luó Chūn (brewed for comparative purposes).
• Fifth Tea: Fresh-ground 抹茶 matcha from Uji, Kyōto prefecture, Japan.
For additional insights on this topic, I have linked previous blog posts that discuss tea during the Sòng period:
To view “History in a Bowl of Tea: Tea in the Song Period, Part II”, follow the link above.
For the first talk I delivered on tea in the Song period, please follow this link provided below:
If you are interested in attending or scheduling this tea talk or tea talks like this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.