I have a feeling this may only be the beginning of tea related puns if I pursue this avenue for my autoethnography! In the quick fire idea session within class I came up with a few different ideas. But out of nowhere and the one that has stuck with me was tea. Exploring tea across Asia, it’s history, symbolism, uses etc. I of course already have experience in tea drinking, I’m a connoisseur of the classic English breakfast! However I do know that tea has a rich history, particularly in Asia. I thought perhaps I could do an exploration of tea culture, whilst also sampling teas from all over along the way.
Admittedly I was mildly inspired by that scene from all the way back in Sherlock season 1 episode 2 with the tea ceremony. It’s probably my earliest experience with tea being about more than just something to consume.
So without knowing very much more than that, I thought I’d delve right into google and see what pops up first!
I mean it’s well known that tea originated in Asia, and can be dated back right throughout history. After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the entire world. Tea is primarily grown in Asia, and thus it’s rich history has continued as a daily ‘tea time’.
I found a very interesting blog, which I think I might actually use as the basis of my tea tasting and investigation. A bit of a jumping off point! The Homesick Foodie – An Asian Cup of Tea from Kouser Adeel lists significant teas as well as a little of the culture associated with them from different countries and regions of Asia. Japan and China both have their own tea ceremonies. Apparently Chai is also the national drink in India!
There’s a lot to go on, it’s a little overwhelming but I think I have a solid plan for my Digital Artefact in this subject. I’m going to make short videos or vlogs or perhaps just blogs trying different teas from different countries. Then I’ll do some further research into the history and culture of tea in that particular country.
For instance I have a few different teas to try out:
China: Oolong, Jasmine, Green
Thailand: Traditional Thai tea, Bubble tea
Japan: Green tea
India: Masala Chai, Dhaba Chai
I may not do all of these, it depends if I’m able to easily access them (and in small amounts!) I plan to check out some of the Asian grocers and even the bulk buy food store in Wollongong to see what is available. I’m also debating whether to splurge and buy a nicer tea set or whether to make it as authentic as I have using my one and only mug and tea strainer in my share house!!
I’m actually rather keen to try out these teas and do some further research! I enjoy tea, but haven’t really explored further that the European style, let alone the history and cultural value. I think it will be an interesting digital artefact!