To many tea is just a simple and unassuming drink. To some, though, it appears to have a deeper meaning. In the book ‘The Way of Tea’ Aaron Fisher invites you to discover tea as a way to be in tune with your own self, to live a life in harmony and peace.
Aaron Fisher is a writer, an artist and foremost a tea lover with a vast experience of the Far East. This book, therefore, comes wrapped in Eastern philosophy with focus on calm presence and harmony with nature. For Aaron tea is about ‘mindfulness, reverence and withdrawal from worldly concerns’, and he shows that anyone can achieve a state of mindfulness and clarity through tea.
The book starts with the introduction to Tao – an ancient Chinese concept of the way as a part of, and in harmony with, nature. It then delves into the pages of tea history, discussing how tea practitioners, regardless of their time, were in search of spiritual experiences through tea; and showing the contributions of the key historic tea personalities. You are then taken through the stages of this spiritual experience and shown how you can advance with tea.
Contrary to many other books about tea, providing factual information about tea was not the main goal of this book, and the author admits it at the very beginning. The discussion of tea history and eastern tea philosophy, therefore, may go without too much depth, without pealing all the layers. Still, the book provides an overview of the evolution of tea through time and a good introduction to some key spiritual concepts that relate to tea, such as Tao, quietude, presence, clarity, etc. While discussing the turns of tea history and presenting some key spiritual concepts, the book maintains a rather light and easy to follow style. It often has a calming effecting, making you want to reach for your cup of tea and even to be a better more focused version of yourself.
To conclude, if you have read other tea books, you will probably not learn so much more factual information about tea in this one, but it will provide a road map to a better tea experience and maybe even a more fulfilling life with tea.