The Book of Tea

I. The Cup of Humanity


Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage. In China, in the

eighth century, it entered the realm of poetry as one of the polite

amusements. The fifteenth century saw Japan ennoble it into a

religion of aestheticism–Teaism. Teaism is a cult founded on the

adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday

existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual

charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a

worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish

something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.

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