I have been meaning to start something new and it came to me, in an e-mail from Alex Beadon. For the next 7 days I am participating in a blogger challenge to help push us beyond our comfort zone. If you would like to join in all the information can be found here at Alex’s page for the challenge.
Bowl tea is meant to be simple, taking it right down to the bear bones of tea. This means that all you need is a bowl ( or even a cup), freshly-drawn boiled water and tea leaves. That is all. There is no need for this gadget or that , or even any special tea ware there is out there.
Why do this at all? By taking it down to its very core it allows you to the element of play and tunes you into listening to the tea. When you are brewing try more water and less tea or any other ratio. This way you will know the way your tea wants to be brewed.
A Tea bowl
Freshly-drawn boiled water
1. Gather your materials together, and then choose the amount of tea you are going to work with. I encourage you to not use a scale or even something to measure. Listen to your intuition, trust and learn from it.
2. Pour water over the leaves, or down the inside of the bowl to make them “dance”. For this portion feel free to play with temperature as well. Again avoid using pre-set temperatures on your kettle if you have it, instead set it to the highest and listen to the water. By listening you will learn the different stages of a boil and how they relate to “real temperature”. But please be careful not to burn yourself.
3. Lastly decide when you are going to drink the tea. Personally I like to drink it very slowly but start sipping right away. This way I can taste how the tea develops as it steeps longer.
This is where the amount of tea you used will come into play. Make mental notes on how it tastes now and then a bit latter (10–30 seconds latter perhaps). Do you like it? Does this represent the tea truthfully? Let your answers guide you for your next bowl of tea.