Monday, March 9, 2009

Tea Feng Shui

A good tea master practices good feng shui. "Feng Shui" is considered by many to be simple superstition. However, there are some very good reasons for many Feng Shui practices, some of which are more scientific than you might imagine.

Feng Shui ('wind-water") is the art of placement of the things that surround your world. Good Feng Shui brings good luck, because the flow of universal energy is properly directed in a balance of the yin and yang.

Here are some general Feng Shui rules and tea serving suggestions:

1. Start with a clean kitchen and clean untensils. An unclean kitchen, especially the stove, is considered very bad luck. Avoid pointy plants in the kitchen, in favor of full-leaf, flowing ones, and keep the counters clear of unneeded utensils and appliances.

2. Use pure water and pure tea, and always serve it in ceramic or glass vessels, never plastic, wood or metal.

3. Pre-steep. The first steeping releases the scent of the tea and primes the leaves to release their flavor. Pour this first steeping out (it is considered rude to serve a guest the first steeping).

4. Give the tea your full attention: smell, taste, and observe, that you never take tea for granted, or the moments in which we are able to enjoy it.

For those of you who are more technical, place your utensils in the part of the kitchen corresponding to their elements: Water to the North, Wood to the East, and Metal to the West and Northwest.

(Thanks to Angi Ma Wong for her suggestions. Buy her book here.)