The "tea room" designs created by the students under the direction of Ms. Li are sometimes very contemporary and at the same time in rhythm with centuries of traditional tea cultures found in Asia. Ming Dynasty tea bowls sit on brightly colored modern textiles laid on the ground as a tea "tableau" rather than a traditional tea table. Dramatic overhead lighting is screened through trees brought in to throw shadows on the scene and highlight the drama of the tea ware. Dancers spin through the empty space like human mobiles or constellations in a dark and open sky.How awesome would that be... I would love to see something similar in Melbourne!
An interesting post from Alex Zorach about whether tasting tea affects your palate, and vice versa... and some more about tea-tasting on the Leafbox Tea forum. I've been thinking about this, as I've been re-reading some bits of The Harney and Sons Guide to Tea and trying to pay more attention to the flavours in my tea. Is it all too subjective though? What do you think?
And, on a more serious note, the ever-thought-provoking Corax from CHA DAO writes on the economics of tea: is tea an affordable luxury? Is the tea industry in danger? Should we develop our own 'tea stimulus packages' (I certainly do my best)? I don't understand a great deal about economics, but it seems to me that this might be another argument for purchasing tea as close to the source as possible, cutting out the middlemen and helping the manufacturers of high quality tea to make as much profit as possible from their extraordinary skills. What's your opinion?