Today I'm having a cup of Tazo Lotus Green Tea
in what I call my rice with dragon set from China.
The pattern in the clay is made using rice. Once it is fired, only the pattern is left.
You can see a flower outline on the tea pot.
The dragon (painted in a lovely blue) is found on the inside bottom of the cup and on the saucer.
I had dim sum and tea with a friend and was reminded of one of my favorite tea stories from China when my friend tapped two fingertips on the table after I poured the tea.
Over the years the Chinese imperial court adopted the custom of drinking tea. They drank it in the ornamental gardens, or in special small buildings dedicated to making and serving tea to family or friends. In the cities, pavilions for taking tea became meeting places and were visited by men who would talk politics or business or simply relax. Special equipment was developed, culminating in the decorative pots and cups that we see today. Taking tea became a formal process and different styles of making and drinking tea developed. Some of these special traditions remain today.
One such tradition is to tap on the table and there is a story behind this. An emperor was concerned about the living conditions of his subjects and wished to see for himself what life was like outside the court. He dressed as an ordinary man and, taking a few guards with him, also dressed in ordinary clothes, went to a tea pavilion in the town. He asked for tea, and a pot of tea with cups was brought to the table. The waiter poured the tea and set the pot beside the emperor. When they had drunk the cups of tea, the emperor served more tea to his men. The men needed a secret way to show their gratitude and respect to their emperor and, using two fingers, his guards bent their knuckles and knocked then on the table. This was to signify kneeling before him. A reference to this tradition survives today: when your host pours you a cup of tea you should tap your first two fingertips twice on the table as thanks.
There are lots of Tea Parties in Blogland.
Two of my favorites:
Thank you ladies!
Silver jasmine is a delicate flower that adds a sweet fragrance and light flavor to green tea.
(365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know)
Wishing you well, a JOY filled week and a great cup of tea!