Week 4: Sept. 17 and Sept. 19

Assignments: check you have done all the steps in this document by Monday, Sept. 16, 5pm.

Tuesday, Sept. 17: The Classic of Tea

Prepare for Tuesday’s class:
  1. Refresh your memory on the final exercise from Thursday’s class: what claims were the authors making, and how did they use specific words or phrases to express those claims? (Including uncertainty, hesitation, emphatic claims,…). This photo is where we left off.
  2. Long before Britain had George Orwell laying down the eleven golden rules, China had Lu Yu (733-804), the “saint of tea” according to later tradition. He was the first to create the link between Shennong (The Divine Husbandman) and the invention of tea. He was also very specific about the way tea should be grown, picked, prepared, and drunk, and collected all of that knowledge in the Classic of Tea (Chajing).
    • Lu Yu. The Classic of Tea: Origins & Rituals. Translated by Francis Ross Carpenter. 1st Ecco ed. Hopewell, N.J.: Ecco Press, 1974.(PDF)
      • Read through the entire text, marking sentences or sections you find interesting, remarkable, or strange. You can select and highlight in the PDF itself.
      • In class we will focus on the sections “The Brewing of Tea” (pp. 103-113) and “Drinking the Tea” (pp. 115-119), but they will make more sense if you read through the entire text.
      • Pick out a few sentences that have your attention for a “pointing” exercise. You may select these from any part of the book.
      • Take good reading notes so you can refer with ease to specific passages you want to discuss in class, in particular in the two focus chapters.
      • Note: the illustrations date from a later period, not from the eighth century.
  3. Remember you can use the Pad to ask questions and share impressions (anonymously)

Thursday, Sept. 19: Tasting Chinese tea

  • Yu Fei Li will talk to us about current Chinese tea and tea culture, and we will drink some, too! Snacks, cups and tea will be provided
    • Revisit your tasting notes from last week Tuesday’s tea tasting, and the tea descriptors from this list.