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Lesson #28. What is Pin Cha?

The time has come to detail the very simple and popular way of tea brewing — Pin Cha. In this way, modern Chinese are drinking everywhere: at home, in tearooms and shops, during tea-tastings. Anyplace, where brewing serves more to expose the taste of tea itself rather than to manifest a ritual or an ancient tradition.

To learn the taste of tea, we use Pin Cha; to get to know the soul of tea — the ceremony.

One can go further and say that the tea-ceremony primarily aimed to delight in a state of being, and Pin Cha — to relish the taste of tea. One’s skill is growing and gradually progressing from Pin Cha to the ceremony. In any case, prior to start practicing ceremonial brewing, one has to know how to utilize the items on the table and open the tea in a simple way. Pin Cha also helps one to learn how to control the taste of tea. During the tea-brewing process itself, by regulating the time of infusion and the water temperature, one can brew tea differently. Gradually, one learns how to open tea as intended.

What seems mystery in the beginning, with practice becomes a mastery!

Пинь ча

Pin Cha has no special strict rules of behavior. Guests can freely join or leave. They can show appreciation by tapping fingers on the table or saying «Thank you», talk to the host or just enjoy the taste of tea in silence. It all depends on the party, the way communication unfolds and where to one, who is drinking the tea, directs it (or is directed by drinking it). The tea-host too has a lot of freedom. Some entertain guests with stories, others discuss tea or allow some liberties in brewing. Even the choice of tea-ware is not so strict. By and large, whatever is at hand, that is used. And at the same time, Pin Cha is not some humpty-dumpty, as one might think.

Pin Cha is a way of brewing tea with one’s heart, the sense of moment and mood, not in the least limited by any ritual.

Despite all the freedom that Pin Cha gives, there are established recommendations for the proper opening of tea. The properties of the tea-ware, the ratio of tea-leaf and water, other nuances. All these are explored in our videos about brewing different varieties of Chinese tea.

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