Wednesday 5 October 2016

A Broken Cup :: My Sweet Stories with Tea..我的甜茶蜜语...

One of the many reason why I am so into drinking tea is because of the many "stories" surrounding it.
The process of drinking tea slowly unfolds these stories, while new stories are being created each day with every cup of tea i drink. Each cup, each tea pot, each block of tea, even a simple tool to break the tea, all seems to have its stories to tell me.

Recently decided to bring my tea leaves to my little lolly shop such that i can have little enjoyment in between making batches of lollies. With so much factors that will affect a good brew, naturally i got to bring some good tea set to brew my precious tea leaves. But due to space constraint at my little lolly shop (yeah, is expensive space we talking about in Orchard Road yah), i brought my Zisha cup(紫砂杯) instead....

This cup was given to me by one of my YiXing’s friend as a gift during my trip earlier this year for my "tea-pots-pilgrimage". Yi Xing (中国宜兴)  is a land where zisha pots are famous for. Glad to have met up with so many of the legendary pot makers behind my collection of tea pots as well as making new friends during that short little trip. (Might blog about that wonderful trip in days to come) 
So sad that this being one of my favourite cup just broken last week due to mishandling.

What broken is not just the cup, but a piece of kind gesture from a friend faraway. Tried to contact some of my contacts in Yi Xing (宜兴), hoping to get back one that is similar; not that it can replace it, but just to make myself feeling better with one that looks alike.

After that broken cup, I brought my porcelain cup to the shop. Another gift from my China friend in De Hua (德化,福建) during one of my trip to Quanzhou (泉州) back in 2008. Was an interesting trip back then and the only regret is not getting more porcelain items from there since that is the place in China (beside 景德镇) that famous for fine porcelain items.

Still remember that particular day, my friend who worked as the local tax authority, walked into one of the shop that he claimed is his friend's, had a few casual chat with the owner, then turned to me, asking me to take whatever I like. Being a modest Singaporean, i told him i don't need any of those. Out of convenient, he just took this cup from the rack (without paying) and gave to me as a souvenir. I finds it very "stylo" with certain attitude ("霸气") in how he did it, like a local gangster collecting protection money. Nevertheless, is a gift from a friend, so i kept it for the past years and always happy using it for all beverages while remembering this little story that happened back then.

These are just some of the stories behind these 2 cups. I find it fascinating how these cups and pots that are handcrafted by some craftsmen, using soil, mud and ingredients from the land of China, transformed into a beautiful and practically usable cups using their hands, and how it travel all the way across the ocean to Singapore and reaches me. And of course, the sad part of someone breaking them up too.
There are more stories behind every piece of pot, every piece of cup, every disc of tea.... each have its stories waiting to unfold.
Even a little chipping off of the tea pot cover, a little bit of stains, all these are part and parcel of my life, of what i went through. It also reflects how impatience i was in the process of cleaning my tea pots. Reminding me to cultivate a better character when brewing my tea, telling myself to slow down my pace when drinking tea as well as having courage to face the pain of damaging/breaking of my pots. Trust me, it isn't easy to move on when a cup that you liked or a pot that being with you so many years, just break because of a character flaw in ourselves.

Sometime what makes drinking tea interesting are the stories.... The process of drinking tea slowly unfold these stories, while new stories are being created each day with every cup of tea i drink. Each broken cup, each chipping off of the tea pot, each disc of tea I collected, even a simple tool used to brew the tea, all seems to have its beautiful stories to tell, eagerly revealing itself to me. Beautiful stories brewing everyday indeed.