Register now!and get more exciting experience!

Log in

在成都喝茶 Drinking Tea in Chengdu

wh  10-09-27 16:20





At the end of the 1980s I went to Chengdu for my first time, and was very impressed with the style and mood of people drinking tea. Some years later I managed to revisit Chengdu several times. Although I tried hard to rekindle my first feelings of drinking tea in Chengdu, the sound of mah-jong tiles made me feel that the city had lost its spiritual connection with drinking tea.

At the end of 2007, I journeyed to Chengdu again. Taking a trip to Wenshu Monastery, I wandered about the various halls and strolled into the eastern part of the temple. When passing the "Liuye Pavilion", I noticed a smallish yard. It was crowded with roughly one hundred people sitting on bamboo chairs and drinking tea. What a bustling place! It was easy to tell that most were local Chengdu people and not tourists like me. Several monks dressed in religious clothes were also sitting among them. It was as if I had rediscovered that feeling from the tea yard in Chengdu many years ago. Sitting myself down on a bamboo chair with two bowls of tea, I soaked up the atmosphere.






The tea yard was built in the Chinese ancient architectural style with red walls and grey tiles. Planted for beauty were several long-leaved podocarps and wintersweets, and stone tables were dotted around with bamboo chairs creaking after years of use. All the space was filled and the waiters were forced to pass along a narrow path squashed at the back.

Attendants walked about refilling cups and I noticed that they were all male. They held a copper teapot with its handle covered by a red cloth, and were dressed in striking yellow waistcoats.





Among the tea sippers were old men drinking alone and some groups of youngsters having fun. Old couples and their grandchildren sat and chatted in the sunshine. I suddenly became aware of a group of people wearing suits and playing cards. One of them had his feet on the edge of a stone table, cards in hand, and was staring intensely at the game. There was a shell of a sunflower seed stuck to his lips, and I contemplated how long it had been there.




People here lead a free and easy life, away from the noise of the city. A cup of Chan tea with friends in Chengdu is my idea of a wonderful life.


Share |
Edit on10-09-27 16:20