One of the reasons why I, and other tea lovers, enjoy tea is because of the tea culture. What is tea culture? It is the way tea is made and consumed, it is how people interact with tea and others when drinking tea, and it is the aesthetics surrounding tea drinking.
Many cultures have created intricate formal ceremonies or customs. Western cultures have adopted afternoon tea or tea parties with its scones and sandwiches, big hats and costumes reminiscent of years gone by. Eastern cultures perform tea ceremonies with Japan’s complex, formal and serene ceremony being the most well known. Other examples of Eastern tea ceremonies include the Korean tea ceremony or darye, that focuses on tea as an easy and natural event, with fewer formal rituals, fewer absolutes, greater freedom for relaxation, and more creativity in enjoying a wider variety of teas, services, and conversation. Or the Chinese tea culture where it is customary to brew and consume tea: as a sign of respect; for a family gathering; to apologize; to express thanks to your elders on one’s wedding day; to connect large families on wedding days; and to pass on the tradition.
Tea Custom Contest Rules
Now until December 31, 2009, Tea Escapade invites you to share your tea custom. In 350 words or less, submit the tea ceremony observed by you or your family for a chance to win a gift basket filled with an assortment of teas from Mighty Leaf Tea AND a Tea Top Brew Mug! Submit entries to TeaEscapade@yahoo.com with the words “Tea Custom” in the subject line.
You may have recently started your tea custom. It may be performed intimately between you and your significant other, your children, or best friends. As in my family, my stepson and I take a few moments each week to share a cup of green tea – what 15-year-old boy in America does that? Or the tea custom may have been initiated by your grandmother and passed down from one generation to the next. The custom may range from simple (using the same special tea cup or mug) to complex – it doesn’t matter as long as it passes the following criteria:
- Tea is shared with at least one other person;
- The custom occurs regularly i.e. every Christmas, once a month, on birthdays, etc.
- The custom is special to those who participate.
Just be sure to explain who is involved in the ceremony, the frequency with which it occurs, and the details about the actual ceremony. Include your name, home address, email address, and telephone number with your entry.
Entries submitted to TeaEscapade@yahoo.com with the words “Tea Custom” in the subject line by 11:59 p.m. December 31, 2009 are eligible for consideration. One winner will be selected and announced on January 11, 2010.