James Norwood Pratt


My Chinese tea teacher, that crafty Taoist priest Roy Fong, always says tea is the product of heaven, earth and man coming together in harmony. Heaven is the climate, right down to the weather and winds during the short life of the leaf on the bush. Heaven is everything above the surface of the soil. Earth is the soil itself, the terroir from which the tea springs, each district with fresh particularities of difference. It is Man, the human factor, who combines these aspects of Heaven and Earth into Tea.

This Human Factor is what we find in Amita Virmani’s portraits of Tea People.

Besides everything else, a great deal of Care goes into every sip of tea and the Care is theirs. They are heirs to a pre-historic craft and alive as you and me today. But are we as full of hard-won tender Care?

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