We see them all over the internet: Make Tea, Not War. Then we hear of more people getting blown up. Time to make a more serious statement.
Tea is a symbol, just as the dove is, for peace, harmony, and tranquility. Growing the tea plants, harvesting, processing, and bringing them to market takes cooperation among many people. Enjoying tea can be done by groups or in solitary settings. You can disagree about aspects of tea – whether to add in spices and fruits, etc.; whether herbals should be called “tea”; which type of tea is more soothing; Japanese matcha versus Chinese matcha – but in the end you all agree that you like tea. That’s a good thing. The first step to peace is a commonality. Another is mutual respect.
Many drinkers of fine teas, especially like the premium ones from China that we specialize in, have also discovered a path to peace through Zen, a school of Mahayana Buddhism; it originated in China during the Tang dynasty as Chán. Zen is popular throughout Asia, including Japan. The key is meditation and focusing on nature – ourselves and the world around us. Appreciation and care for all things. How could anyone make war under such a mindset? And it certainly builds that mutual respect as well as a sense of commonality.
The gongfu style of tea preparation (see our simplified version here) and the chanoyu (Japanese tea ceremony) are two more ways where tea is a part of peace and serenity. Both of these focus on time – slowing down to enjoy every step of the tea steeping process – and on every aspect of the tea – growing the leaves, harvesting, processing, marketing, and preparing. We emphasize this slower, more studied and careful approach to enjoying tea and think it will be a path to peace for all. Just as parents have taught their children for generations to count to ten when angry before striking out, the time it takes to heat water and infuse the leaves can cool you from whatever anger you might be feeling. And spending time studying about tea instead of how to make an exploding vest can be far more productive and achieve more.
Wishing everyone a life full of contentment and joy!