For quite some time we’ve been wanting to explore Korean tea culture on Talking Tea, so we’re very happy to be joined in this episode by Brother Anthony of Taizé, a prolific writer, translator and teacher and co-author of two notable books on Korean tea, The Korean Way of Tea and Korean Tea Classics.
Brother Anthony chats with us about the roots of his own passion for tea and his connections with the modern revival of Korean tea culture, and how that revival was spurred on in large part by the initiatives of the Venerable Hyodang, a Buddhist monk and tea maker at the Dasol-Sa Temple near Jiri Mountain (pictured), and his wife Chae Won-Hwa, who carried on the initiatives after Hyodang’s death. We look at the history of tea in Korea and the connections between Buddhism and Korean tea culture, we discuss some of the unique aspects of how high-quality Korean green tea is processed according to the methods of the Venerable Hyodang and Chae Won-Hwa, and we look at why the quality of the tea and the tea-making process is central to Korean tea practice.
Brother Anthony gives an overview of some of the history of Korean tea literature, and also talks with us about the history and method of making balhyocha, a relatively recent innovation in Korean tea. And, perhaps most importantly, we discuss with Brother Anthony what he views as the essence of the way of tea, a practice of mindfulness, stillness and communion with nature, whose motto is: “No fuss.”
The Korean Way of Tea: An Introductory Guide and Korean Tea Classics are both available on Amazon at this link.
For more info about Brother Anthony and his many translations and works on Korean tea and (non-tea) literature, visit his website, anthony.sogang.ac.kr.
Morning Crane Tea, a vendor mentioned by Brother Anthony in the episode, is at teaatmorningcranetea.blogspot.com.
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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.
Header image “Raw Puerh mid 1980 Menghai” by Cosmin Dordea, used under a Creative Commons CC By-SA 2.0 license. Adapted from original.