Tea from the Land of the Morning Calm

The worst thing for a tea drinker is having to dip a teabag into tepid water! The number of times that I have been served some warm water with a sachet of Earl Grey; that’s not what you do to a cup of humanity


persian tea estekan micheleroohani

For me, Stakan Chai (a glass of tea in Russian—and Persian) is how tea (or chai) should be served: in a small transparent glass, no milk and definitely no lemon. Tea is, after water, the second most widely-consumed beverage in the world.

I was invited by Yoon Hee Kim to a Korean tea ceremony and here are some of the pictures:


korean tea ceremony micheleroohani yoon hee kim

“The chief element of the Korean tea ceremony is the ease and elegance of enjoying tea within an easy formal setting.” Here, Yoon Hee is preparing a green tea with amazing grace:


yoon hee kim preparing tea michele roohani

The ceremony was slow and tasteful (so unlike the rushed teas I prepare for myself) and the tea masters had beautiful fairies to help them,


korean tea ceremony yoon hee kim micheleroohani

and plenty of people to serve:


korean tea ceremony micheleroohani

As interesting as the actual ceremony was the parade of beautiful traditional Korean gowns or Hanboks:

jeogori michele roohani korean tea ceremony

My friend, Ock Ju explained that the different colors and styles indicated the wearer’s social status; some of the embroideries were breathtakingly beautiful.


jeogori korean embroideries micheler roohani

I love this 19th century painting I found in “The Book of Tea” about Persian women gathering around a samovar (samaavar):


19th century painting perisan women around a samovar michele roohani

To see some fabulous pictures of tea in different cultures, visit Yoon Hee’s site.

9 thoughts on “Tea from the Land of the Morning Calm

  1. je me suis permise de prendre la dernière belle image de cet article, très interessant…..

  2. Dear Michelle

    Beautiful pictures and so vividly you have captured the floral embroidery on the dresses.

    In India too we call it Chai. Chai was a legacy bequeathed to us by the British and so was Cricket.

    However we had our variation to the English Tea as use the lowest quality of Tea Granules not even leaves for our everyday use.

  3. I love those rich delicious reds and pinks.

    Is tea a feminine tradition, or is it just a coincidence that in both the Korean and Persian versions there are only women shown?

  4. Like the drink, your commentary and your images are most refreshing and, at times, deeply satisfying.

  5. The soil.
    The elevation.
    The climate.
    The sunshine.
    The rain.
    The tea.


    Tea is liquid Wisdom & Tea is Cup of Life..

  6. The first picture took my breath away. yaad iran kardam, ziad. delam chai meekhaad, ziad. But only if its served like that : )

  7. I prefer real strong coffee.

    Only reason folk got to drinking tea,
    it’s cheaper !

    Check it out, in real history !!!

    Tea is like ‘piss water’ to me.

    I like real strong caffeine.
    way beyond caffeine in ‘tea’.
    ( My father drank at least 7 big cups a day,
    lived to be 91.
    And smoked organic tobacco by Haida ‘natives’ grown in British Columbia, Canada

    Only reason he finally died,
    doctor cut him off coffee
    and also tobacco !.

    Best coffee for me is
    by ‘Pauling’ coffee from Finland
    especially “Presidentti” brand. !

    I smoke pure organic tobacco in a good natural wood pipe.

  8. Hi Im a persian, I came across your web and found the persian miniature which suits the best for my next week assignment regarding women dressing in pre-islamic Iran. Thanks a lot for that,M

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