Today on Talking Tea we’re witnessing tea history brought into the present at the serenely beautiful Floating Mountain teahouse in New York City, where ongoing programs on tea history and tea meditation are opening fresh perspectives on tea preparation and on tea as a contemplative practice.
We’re chatting with Lina Medvedeva, owner of Floating Mountain, and with Scott Norton, who runs Floating Mountain’s tea history workshops and, with Lina, leads the tea meditation sessions at Floating Mountain. We first talk with Lina about the origins of Floating Mountain and some of it’s unique design features, as well as Lina’s own tea journey and her perspectives on tea and spirituality.
Scott has become known in the New York tea community for his experiments in re-creating Song dynasty style whisked tea (the precursor to matcha), and we chat with Scott about the importance of not just learning about but actually experiencing tea history as we sample two of Scott’s approximations of Song-style tea using Song-era tea ware. Lina re-joins our chat as we discuss how (and whether) tea can be a tool for meditative practice, why the quality of tea matters for the contemplative drinking of tea, and how the experience of drinking tea can be ordinary and extraordinary, simple and mysterious, in the same moment.
More info on Floating Mountain, including its online store, shop hours and events, can be found at the Floating Mountain website, https://www.floating-mountain.com/, and at its Instagram feed.
Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.
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The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff.
This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.
Photo of Floating Mountain tea house courtesy of Elina Medvedeva.