Wed, May 23, 2012 - Page 16 News List

Promoting traditional tea-making culture
提升茶文化 傳統製茶工序省不得

A woman pours water into a teapot in Keelung on May 14.
基隆一位女士五月十四日注水泡茶。

Photo: Weng Yu-huang, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者翁聿煌

The modern person demands everything to be as quick as possible. People are using machines to make tea because they are more concerned about quantity and efficiency than the traditional process of making it. The traditional process, however, possesses its own special rhythm and aroma, but is slowly disappearing from modern life. This year Meimen Qigong Culture Center’s Meimen Tea Cafe in Taipei has invited Li Chao-chieh, a renowned tea expert, to give lessons on the traditional art of making tea. It is hoping to raise the level of growing, making and drinking tea to that of wine tasting in Europe.

Liang Ya-chung, president of the Dashu Association, took part in this year’s tea-making events to gain a better understanding of the meticulous process of tea-making. He says that Li, who has 30 years of experience in making tea, follows traditional tea-making methods very closely, which are very time consuming and require a lot of effort, for example, understanding how to cultivate Camellia sinensis bushes, as well as the plucking, withering, oxidation, disruption, fixation, bruising, rolling, and sweltering of tealeaves, all of which are carried out in scrupulous detail.

With traditional tea-making processes, the daily weather — including humidity and temperature — must be taken into account during every step of the process. Sight, smell, and touch are also used during the process to determine the tealeaves’ level of oxidization and when to proceed to the next step, which is how you get rid of weed-like odors, and unwanted flavors, and ensure that the fragrant aromas and abundant nutrients of the tealeaves are preserved.

Tea aficionados will usually tell you that really great tea will not keep you up at night or cause an upset stomach, and that it can be brewed several times without losing its flavor.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. scrupulous adj.

一絲不苟的 (yi4 si1 bu4 gou3 de5)

例: His scrupulous adherence to the rules caused scorn among his peers.

(他對規矩一絲不苟的態度讓其同仁不以為然。)

2. humidity n.

溼度 (shi1 du4)

例: This high humidity makes my hair frizzy.

(我的頭髮因高溼度而變鬈曲。)

3. upset stomach n. phr.

腸胃不適 (chang2 wei4 bu2 shi4)

例: Julie’s had an upset stomach for the past three days. She really should see a doctor.

(茱莉這三天腸胃不適。她應去看醫生。)


Liang says Asians have been drinking tea for thousands of years, and that the history of tea drinking culture in Asia is just as rich as that of the wine drinking culture of the West. On the other hand, the West has developed a wine tasting culture that respects the cultivation and harvesting of grapes, the wine-making process, the characteristics of wine produced in different regions and years, and even have a system for critiquing and comparing them. The similarly meticulous processes involved in the art of tea, however, have yet to receive the proper respect they deserve, Liang says.

In today’s industrialized and commercialized societies everything is so fast-paced, and tea-making processes now require the efficiency of mechanical mass production. Young people typically drink the bottled teas that are found in convenience store refrigerators, which is lamentable because it makes preserving the values of traditional tea-drinking cultures extremely difficult.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

現代人凡事求快,連製茶也使用機器講究大量與效率,但是就漸漸少了傳統工序製作的韻味與香氣。台北市梅門一氣流行養生學苑的「梅門飲居」今年邀請國內的製茶達人李兆杰,傳授手製茶的技藝,也希望將種茶、製茶與喝茶的品味,能提升至歐洲人品酒的層次。

大樹協會理事長梁亞忠今年參加梅門飲居的手製茶之旅,對傳統茶的嚴謹製作態度有更深的認識。他指出,擁有卅年製茶經驗的李兆杰師傅,謹守的傳統製茶技藝耗時費工,從茶樹的栽培、茶菁採摘,到日光萎凋、室內靜置、浪菁、大浪、殺菁、揉捻、烘焙,依循正統一絲不苟。

傳統製茶工序中,每道工序都得依當時的天氣濕度及氣溫條件,在過程中隨時以視覺、嗅覺、觸覺來判斷茶葉發酵的狀況,決定何時進行下一階段的工序,才能確保在製茶過程中去除掉茶葉的臭菁味和雜味,保留茶葉蘊含的花果香及豐富養分。

所以懂茶的人會說,真正的好茶葉,不會讓人喝了睡不著覺,或是引起腸胃不適,而且禁得住多次再泡,卻不致淡而無味。

梁亞忠感嘆,東方人喝茶已有幾千年的歷史,飲茶文化不比西方人喝葡萄酒的歷史短,但是西方人卻可以發展出品酒文化,尊重葡萄樹的生長、結果和釀酒的工序,不同產區、年份的葡萄酒的特色也能被評論比較,但是同樣需要慢工出細活的茶道,卻沒受到應有的重視。

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