As lovely as is this tuo cha (tea compressed into a little bowl shape)
, the fine cup competes for attention. In the Shan Shui (water and mountain landscape)
scene, a stolid and imperturbable human figure crouches, fishing at the water’s edge, in the shadow of the forest. Far away, three-quarters of the way around the cup, a solitary fish swims freely in the vast water beneath an enormous mountain, suggesting that at least sometimes the romantics among us are right: there really is only one fish in the sea! What can the figure do but wait, and hopefully find joy in the act of waiting. "They also serve who only stand and wait.
It was not an expensive cup, a cast off I bought used on ebay along with 20 other little cups. This miniature panorama of the human condition was likely created in seconds, some anonymous artist/worker applying a few deft brush strokes in a Chinese factory. Still, in its own way, it seems like it might crystalize centuries of Chinese art and thought.
You know “Sometimes the teaware is as much of the experience as the tea.
This is one you really should click on.
The tea is also worth considering. It doesn’t taste its age, but it is still ten years down its unique path.