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Friday, January 16, 2015

New Video Describing Balhyocha!

So lately I have been doing a lot of personal searching, and personal development and goal setting. One thing that didn't sit right was how far I drifted away from tea, and while the past few months it has been getting a foothold in my life again, I did not want the blog or the videos to go.  I never quite announced this outside the group that challenged me to set these goals, however Tea was a central part of those goals.  Part returning to things that keep me balanced, and part returning to things that bring me joy.  As such, and I hope my blog readers can help keep me accountable.  I am setting out to produce at least 1 video each month, and 1 unrelated blog post each month.  (So look for a minimum of two posts a month from me throughout 2015!)

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Why do you choose your your teaware?

Hokujo Kyusu and  Masahiko Yunomi

I have run several small interesting experiments with my friends, namely when giving them a choice to use any cup I have to offer, who chooses which, and why did they choose that one?  Is there something about the shape, glaze, size that appeals to them, more than any other piece? Oddly while most of my teaware distinctively speaks to me and as such has traits I admire, the pieces chosen by friends when they visit sometimes shock me, as a friend known for distinct style and flair may actually choose a very humble looking cup, while a friend who normally is incredibly quiet may choose a cup that screams *look at me.*  Now I don't analyze it too much in regards to friends, I prefer to do that on my own preferences for choosing teaware.

Celadon Teabowl (1)

Regular readers know I like Hagi Yaki for its Wabi Sabi appearance, basically saying "I am not perfect" right out there in the open.  But even in more perfect looking pieces I prefer my teaware to have less than ideal glazing.  An ideal glaze has identical thermal expansion properties as the glaze, as such there is no tiny hairline fractures in the glaze that will stain over time with use, the glaze quite literally is a perfect sheet of glass adhered to the surface of the bowl.  But I by far prefer that additional imperfection even on an otherwise perfectly symmetrical and well formed piece.

Park Jong Il Teapot Staining

To me, these pieces of teaware mimic all of us.  An absolutely perfect piece while stunning is always the same, and gets boring after awhile.  While it is the stresses of life, that create the chaos in our life, which make us interesting people.  These stresses allow us to not hide who we are, but rather throw it all out there in the open, and say "This is me, I have been through things, but here I am!"  That is what I want my teaware to say.  That is why I love each and every piece of teaware I have, to me they have shared their life, and their story, just like good friends in life.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tough Decisions, is it time for an end?

I sat down tonight, saying it has been too long since I last posted, I specifically carved out a solid stretch of time to work on a post.  Something I am not used to as my posts had before mostly been written on a whim, when the spirit hit.  Granted the writing probably very well reflected that free and almost rushed to post attitude, however even after sitting down to tea, having a very nice session, words and  topic are still failing me.

I've thought about a variety of topics, some of which fitting my goal for this blog perfectly, however the drive and thoughts weren't there to follow through on them.   Others I felt I could write, but they continued the ongoing trend I've been wanting to break about this blog becoming overly personal, and not really about tea.   Life has been hitting incredibly hard and fast lately, where the time to sit down and enjoy tea is a savored, albeit rare opportunity, the time to write about those rare experiences non existent.

So as the time I have set aside to write, knowing full well my blog has not been updated in what is quickly approaching a quarter of a year.  I think I need to announce a belated prolonged [potentially permanent] hiatus from this blog.   I still will enjoy tea, and still hope to produce the occasional tea video. However I am not sure this blog will continue to serve a purpose for me, and my enjoyment of tea.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Days that make us Remember

I am not going to lie, for a little while there I had started to forget what it is I actually like about tea, and why I spent so much time drinking it, and learning how to best prepare it.  I think if people spend enough time on anything eventually they will need to step back and reevaluate their situation.  I've found myself several times in the past week being completely able to have tea on multiple occasions, but opting not to for one reason or another, and no reason was really particularly good.  So today after having a wonderful relaxing eight mile run, the weather was too perfect not to spend time outside, and why not brew some tea?

On so many levels I did everything wrong with this tea session, including for three of the four steeps using water that was so scalding I had to set down the water cooler mid pour to re-position my fingers, yet knowing Korean Greens can often use a bit extra heat, assuming you adjust the steep time appropriately (knock it way down!)   The first three infusions turns out quite amazing, however it clearly was too much for the Korean Sejak I was brewing as steep four was pretty much bitter, colored water with no other flavor.  Yet there was something freeing about being outside, looking at my *garden* on my deck, enjoying the breeze, and sipping on tea brewed *wrong* but delicious anyway.

Everyone gets discouraged every once and awhile, it is what we do to either give up or refocus ourselves that makes all the difference.   Cheers!

Oh in case anyone missed it I did manage to record a video a week or so ago, so another Rambling video of me brewing tea is up on Youtube.  Enjoy!

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