Shincha and Erhus

March 30, 2011

Even with the terrible tragedies in Japan, I can’t help but think of Spring without dreaming of Shincha. It seems that the weather is shaping up for a late season but there are a few places taking orders. I have had a number of inquiries and questions on the safety of this year’s crop, and honestly while I am reasonably certain it will be fine, I have some reservations in definitively saying it is 100% safe. 99% I could do, maybe, but there are a lot of factors and issues at play. I’d love to hear other’s theories and thoughts.

Now for the Erhu bit. I own a number of instruments and play none of them well, but I love music and I do love experimenting and playing terribly. I also love music. I’m entranced by the Sitar and the Erhu both. A Sitar is a tad out of my price range and would require a lifetime devotion to be even bad at, same for the Erhu but it is at least affordable. :) So I finally dove in and purchased a decent beginner/intermediate Erhu. I honestly have no real idea what I’m in for and have not played a bowed instrument before, but I love classical Chinese music and know and recognize more of them than classical Western pieces. At the least I hope to be able to play a few basic melodies and maybe use it to sample for some digital creation, at the very least it will make a lovely piece of art!

So what’s been up?

March 16, 2011

Short answer, life. Long answer, life. :) A new job has been very demanding of my time and also has cut my access to the Internet and many sites during the days. I have gotten back into making art more often, which, next to tea is a great passion of mine that has lain dormant for too long. I’ve also been busy working to bring quality teas to smaller coffee shops and even individuals with an aim towards using the proceeds to help the families that make these amazing teas available for us to enjoy. I know I’ve promised updates, and they are coming very soon.

With the recent tragedy in Japan my most anticipated time of the year for Shincha and the first Japanese greens has been barely a thought at all. I’m just hoping for the best for all those affected.

My cup continues to alternate between the stalwart favorites of Huo Shan Huang Ya (Yellow Tea), heavily fired Shui Xian (oolong), and a cast of characters including: Darjeeling, Assam, Sencha, and Feng Huang Dan Cong, among others. I received a great compressed brick of Shui Xian/Wu Yi Cliff Tea that was wholly new to me, and very good, that I hope to cover in more depth soon as well.

With Spring I hope to help teasphere bloom anew with posts and photos and great tea… as well as whatever else tickles the fancy. Thanks for hanging around!

Tea Art

February 5, 2010

I have a number of interests and hobbies and sometimes it doesn’t even occur to me when two intersect, this was one of those times. A while back I had the idea to try to paint with tea as the medium. Sure, people overbrew plain tea or coffee to stain or paint, but with such a deep knowledge of different teas and their various hues I figured I could really do some neat artwork. While I have done a few samples and have a ton of ideas racing around in my head, I sadly haven’t had the time to make them a reality yet. But they are coming. I did however do one piece where I stained the paper itself with some Shui Xian oolong and then did a minimalist brush painting on top. But, since in my mind my art-world is separate from my tea-world, I never thought to post it here. Hope you enjoy it!

Yixing on oolong

Yixing teapot on Shui Xian oolong tea-stained paper

(4″x6″ ink on tea-stained paper. I would consider making unique limited, signed pieces. The paper would be individually stained for a one-of-a-kind pattern with the image then painted upon it. Leave a Comment or email if interested in details.) Note: This image was scanned, digitized and compressed for viewing on the Internet so some detail is lost/altered slightly.