Korean Way of Tea – Panyaro

Korean Way of Tea – Panyaro

The Korean Way of Tea – Panyaro is not as rigid as the Japanese Tea Ceremony [Chanoyu] but more formal than the Chinese Tea Ceremony [Gongfu Cha].  Kim is very passionate in her presentation of the Korean Way of Tea – Panyaro.  She explains tea is an important part of reclaiming the true heritage of the Koreans.

After the Japanese invaded Korea in 1910, many traditions and aspects of Korean culture were lost.  The invaders systematically wiped out much of the history. Some writings survived in remote monasteries, and from these historical relics, the Korean Way of Tea – Panyaro is revived.

Hyo Dang

Way of Tea - Panyaro

Hyo Dang initiated the revival and wrote the first full-length study of tea in modern Korea. The ceremony is an expression of the graceful way of life.  Peace and understanding accompany each cup of tea.

As with the previous ceremonies, Kim wears a beautiful costume.  She kneels for the ceremony, and the four guests, myself included, remained in the same position. This is very difficult for all of us!

Each movement is performed slowly and precisely.  Kim returns her hands to her lap after each movement. The tea items are covered with a cloth, red on one side representing the earth and blue on the other, representing the sky.

Tea and Water

Hot water in a large teapot is poured into a bowl. The teacups are filled with hot water to warm them. Each time the bowl is lifted, Kim uses a small napkin to wipe the bamboo scoop before placing the tea into the teapot. The water is removed from the cups and filled with a small amount of tea. Kim keeps going back up the line again until each teacup was filled.

Similarly, Kim places each cup on a saucer with the same precise movements and presents a cup to each of us. After that, when she indicates, we all sip together.

The cloth is placed on the cups and pots after we finished our tea.  We all bow and, with great relief, stretched out our legs!

For instance, here is a photo of Kim and me after the last ceremony.

Way of Tea - Panyaro
Tea Lady and Kim Pham after the Korean Way of Tea

Above all, what a great day at Selby Gardens.  The experience is fantastic and very different from the English ritual of taking tea; however, it is very similar in many ways.

In conclusion, regardless of how you take your tea, make it special every time and embrace the moment. Local Tea Company was a proud sponsor of all three Tea Ceremonies at the Asian Cultural Festival.

The Tea Lady

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