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賞茶的藝術美 The Aesthetics of Tea Appreciation

Posted by CRM . on

By 許玉蓮 Hooi Yoke Lien

泡茶泡至最後一道,使茶汁徹底獻祭後,不要把泡茶器置之一邊不顧轉身就做別的事情,或馬上准備另一個壺另一個茶接著泡,取來一白瓷小碟,將完成使命的茶葉掏出置其中慢慢把玩,欣賞茶葉已經泡開的美姿,茶葉堪得深入發掘,從初始的嗅覺感官聞吸到幽幽茶香,至喝時令人銷魂的味覺享受,至最後審視、觸摸她毫無保留攤開的茶體進入視覺與觸覺的美感,賞茶才算臻至完整,喝完茶抛下茶葉就走,彷如遊山玩水時的走馬看花,永遠感受不出那地方有什麽美、又好在哪裏。

欣賞一朵花,或觀賞一幅日落景色必須從不同角度來回不停去印證和賞析,手上捏著喝過的茶葉,同樣地也要翻來覆去看完又看看到心滿意足爲止,將茶葉一張一張細細撫摸,好好地觀看,每一張茶葉都像熱帶雨林這樣錯綜複雜地碰撞著黃、綠、紅、褐許多不同色相,低聲溫柔訴說她動人的一生,葉子呈綠色是未發酵茶,有菜香。葉子淺黃色是輕發酵茶,帶花香。葉子橘紅色是重發酵茶,帶果香。褐紅色的葉子有糖香,是全發酵茶。

舒展開的葉子能清晰分辨出是只抽芽心的嫩芽,或一心二葉、三葉,或已經是開面的成熟葉,嫩嫩芽葉的滋味較細致,成熟葉的味道比較粗狂。
如果是烏龍茶,還可更進一步觀察焙火程度,葉面較亮的金黃色屬于輕焙火,出現了較暗的淺褐色屬于中等焙火,深褐色就是重焙火了。

最後觀看葉子的揉撚輕重,越少揉撚之茶葉看起來是越平整,香味頻率表現較高,茶葉皺折越多表示揉撚越強烈,香味頻率則較低,帶有歷盡滄桑的感覺。
舉凡種種一切有形法將之培養得完全見不出在做的痕迹,近仙境了。

Do not hastily turn your back on the brewing utensils or switch to another teapot for another tea, once you have finished brewing and taking the intended rounds. Instead, you may use a small white porcelain dish to have a good look of the tealeaves that have offered their full flavour for your enjoyment, when you are about to part.  Take them out from the teapot and lay them on the dish, notice the way they have uncurled and unfurled. Beginning with the appreciation of its subtle aroma, through the enjoyment of its captivating flavour to the final inspection and touch that brings out its visual and tactile beauty, the entire process of tea appreciation is incomplete if any of these is missing. Imagine a person rushing through a place with mesmerizing scenery – leaving without casting another look at the brewed tealeaves would deprive you of the ultimate appreciation of its beauty and allure.

A flower in full bloom or the vista of the setting sun is best admired from different angles as one paces around. Similarly, we can appreciate the brewed tealeaves to our heart’s delight by touching each one of them, feeling it and giving each one a good look.  The leaves, in different hues of yellow, green, red, brown, etc, create a colour collage not unlike that of the tropical rainforest.  Each leaf is whispering to you her life story.  A greenish hue signifies ‘unfermented’ tea with a vegetal fragrance; a pale yellow hue for lightly ‘fermented’ tea with a floral scent; a reddish-orange hue for heavily ‘fermented’ tea with a fruity note; and a brownish-reddish hue for fully ‘fermented’ tea with caramel aroma.  
Fully opened leaves enable us to tell if they are just the young buds, or one-bud-two-leaves, one-bud-three-leaves, or fully unfurl mature leaves. The flavour of tender bud is more subtle and refined, while the mature leaves are more pronounced and overwhelming in taste.

As for Oolong, the colour is a clue to the degree of roasting – glossy leaves of golden yellow hue are lightly roasted; duller leaves of light brown hue are medium roasted; and those with dark brown hue are heavily roasted.
Finally, detect the intensity of rolling in the leaves. The less the squeezing, the smoother and flatter the leaves appear, and the more frequent the aroma emission. On the contrary, the more crumbled the leaves, the heavier the squeezing and the less frequent the aroma emission.

If the processing and the tealeaves blend in so well that there is hardly any trace of man’s working, it would be a tea beyond all comparison.

Tea Brewing Method Tea Talk 泡法

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