“Tea Life, Tea Mind” Class in Mexico City, Mexico 2024

In 2021, my sister and I embarked on a project: Amritea Teabrary. We aim to spread the love of tea and books to the world. Inspired by my experience attending the Japanese Master Course hosted by the Global Japanese Tea Association in October 2023, my sister’s studies of Japanese literature, and her attendance at the international symposium After Murakami: Japanese Literature in the World Today in Waseda University, as well as coupled with our explorations of bookshops and tea houses in Japan, we felt enthused to share our newfound knowledge of Japanese tea culture and literature.

On February 3rd, 2024, in Mexico City, we held a class titled “Tea Life, Tea Mind,” inspired by the renowned book of Soshitsu Zen XV.

The session began with a spirited round of Karuta, a traditional Japanese card game that we adapted to universal literature, followed by an immersive exploration of Japanese tea. We delved into its history, the current situation of Japanese tea, and the processes behind popular kinds like Sencha, Gyokuro, Matcha, Hojicha, and Genmaicha. At the end of the first part, participants were treated to a professional tea tasting experience.

Transitioning to the literary realm, we spotlighted Uji, a city where tea and literature intertwine. My sister delved into the pages of Murasaki Shikibu’s “The Tale of Genji” and other notable Japanese books that mention Uji’s tea culture and its iconic bridge, like “Beauty and Sadness” by Yasunari Kawabata and “Musashi” by Eiji Yoshikawa. We also mentioned Tsuen, the oldest Japanese tea shop.

At the end of the class, participants shared their thoughts and emotions, collectively captured in our book as we tasted Hojicha ice cream and rice with tea leaves!

Our hearts warmed with joy as we witnessed the enthusiasm and passion of the participants. Sharing our love for tea and books was a deeply gratifying experience.

*Text and photos by our Tea Fellow Diana Juàrez. You can follow Diana on her instagarm page.

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