Japanese tea masters used to say: “A cup of tea is a cup of peace.” AAU Student Council organized a peaceful relaxing evening by presenting a two-sessions “Tea Workshop” Tuesday, which starts to become an annual tradition at the university.
“Tea-jay” who led the event started with: “My name is Tomas and I love tea.” To him, it is not just a beverage but a whole culture. He travels to China every year to enrich his knowledge about the drink and its effects on body, and learn the art of drinking tea first hand.
The workshop consisted of two parts. Preparing and enjoying a favorite kind of the tea followed degustation and comparing of different types of the beverage, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Indian. The participants drank “naked” tea without sugar to feel all the levels of the taste and flavor to the fullest: fragrance, texture, aftertaste, and influence on the organism.
According to the “tea-jay,” tea is in many ways like wine. It can be made of different plants and have various ways of processing, and a special manner of naming. It is usually named after the area it was grown in and the tree leaves that were used in the making. However, those names are long and difficult to remember. Therefore, business names are invented to make them user-friendlier. For example, Snow Buds, White Peony, Fenix Orange Blossom, Golden Needles, and Old Comrade were the names of the tea displayed at the workshop. Thus, tea drinking becomes also an aesthetic ceremony.
Participants learned that views of traditional Chinese medicine differ from European views about the health effects of the drink. For instance, in China green tea is believed to have a cooling effect on the body, whereas black tea is believed to have a warming effect. Yet, the influence is individual and one has to try a particular kind to find out how it will perform in their body.
Approximately 15 students attended the “Tea Workshop,” which was a success. Thich Nat Hahn said: “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves — slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” The event in the midst of the school week helped students relax and regain the needed energy to continue studying.