Saturday, 2 May 2015

Tea: A Lament

A couple of months ago, I gave up drinking tea on account of the milk (I’ve discovered I'm dairy intolerant). Sure, I know you can use nut or bean milks like Soya milk, but quite honestly they don’t quite do the trick in neutralising tannins, or supply that sweet nutritive velvet quality cow or goat’s milk does. I also liked my tea STRONG; Yorkshire, Assam or Breakfast tea, and nut milks don't do much for that. So now I’m a reluctant black coffee freak. You can only drink so much of that stuff, so I transition to herb teas later on in the day. It’s sort of working, but then I see poetry such as Lu Tong’s In Gratitude For A Gift Of Fresh Tea and I wince. I guess he didn’t have his tea with any milk, so sipping weak green tea could be an option. I’ll blog again if I find a way through this gentlest of crises.

The first bowl moistens my lips and throat;
The second bowl banishes all loneliness;
The third bowl clears my mind of words and books;
At the fourth cup, I begin to perspire-
Life’s troubles evaporate through my pores;
The fifth cup cleanses my entire being;
Six cups and I am in the realm of the Divine;
Seven cups- ah, but I can drink no more;
I can only feel the gentle breeze blowing through my sleeves,
Wafting me away to the Isle of Immortality!

Lu Tong, eighth century Chinese poet
From: In Gratitude For A Gift Of Fresh Tea

Reproduced from 
The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing  by Kenneth S. Cohen (2000)

North Utsire

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