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我的中国故事 | 我的中国茶之旅

2017-11-16 本文来自:《国际人才交流》2017年10期 作者:桑国亚 分享 |

文/桑国亚(天普大学法学院) 译/杨天一

 

By John Smagula

(Temple University School of Law)

 

编者按:

本刊邀请在华的外国朋友回顾他们在中国过去五年的工作与生活,分享他们的工作进展和他们关注的中国现象。本期特刊登美国天普大学法学院教授,“清华—天普法学硕士项目”美方主任桑国亚(John Smagula)的文章。

 

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​桑国亚(中)在湖北长阳县与当地茶农合影

 

我过去经常喝咖啡。从大学开始,到我在华尔街工作,再到我从事教育行业,咖啡一直就像是我前进的燃料。

 

我从来没有考虑过关于茶的事。童年时,我的父亲每天早晨都会煮立顿茶,他喜欢茶甚于咖啡。我的母亲也会在一天中的晚些时候喝茶,然而对于她而言,茶永远也不能代替早晨的咖啡。那时,我们从来不会单纯地只喝茶,总是要加一些牛奶、糖、柠檬或者蜂蜜来调节口味。

 

中美两国的茶文化差异很大。中国生产的茶中70%以上都是绿茶,然而在美国消费绿茶的比例只有不到20%。大部分美国人只喝红茶、袋装茶或者冰茶,且大多数茶都是从印度、斯里兰卡和肯尼亚进口的。当然,这些滋味浓的茶与中国云南和福建生产的精致、芳香的红茶是无法相提并论的。

 

 

I used to drink coffee. Lots of it. From college to Wall Street to teaching law, coffee was the fuel that kept me going. I wasn’t different from those around me, as most Americans drink coffee every day.

 

I never thought much about tea. When I was growing up, my father brewed Lipton tea every morning, as he preferred tea to coffee. My mother had tea later in the day, but it never substituted morning coffee. We didn’t drink tea plain, and we always added milk, sugar, lemon, or honey.

 

Chinese tea culture is very different from U.S. tea culture. Over 70% of tea produced in China is green tea, although less than 20% of tea consumed in the United States is green. Most Americans drink black tea, bagged or iced, and the strong tea blends we drink are imported from India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya.These earthy black teas are quite different from the delicate,fragrant black teas from Fujian and Yunnan.

 

 

当时我还是个孩子,我并不知道茶与茶之间还有这么多的区别。我从不泡茶喝,除非我生病的时候——因为我相信茶具有一定的治疗作用。偶尔我会在点食物时要一些冰茶,或者在便利店买瓶装茶饮料来喝。不管怎样,在我年少的时候,茶对于我来说一直都不是最优选择,而仅仅是众多饮料中的一种罢了。

 

后来,我来到了中国。1991年我在南京大学求学,2000年后我因为工作原因规律性地来中国出差。我现在任美国天普大学法学院法治项目的主任、副教授。从2012年开始,我便长期居住在北京,与清华大学合作,担任“清华-天普法学硕士项目”的美方主任。随着我在这里的时间越来越长,我对茶的喜爱也变得越来越深。

 

As a child, I didn’t know there were different kinds of teas. I never brewed tea unless I was sick, as I somehow believed it had healing properties. Occasionally, I’d order iced tea with meals or get a bottle at the convenience store. In any event, tea was always an afterthought for me. It was one of many available beverage options.

 

Then I started coming to China. I was a student at Nanjing University in 1991, and I later started traveling to China on a regular basis in 2000 for work. I now am the Director/Associate Professor for Temple University’s China Rule of Law Program. Since 2012, I have been based in Beijing, directing Temple University law school’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program in collaboration with Tsinghua University. My appreciation of tea grew as I spent more time here.

 

茶之初体验

 

起初刚到中国时,我还是对咖啡情有独钟。那时,中国的咖啡店还没有像如今这样普及,所以我常喝速溶咖啡。其实我并不真的喜欢速溶咖啡,我在美国时从来没有喝过速溶咖啡。记得有一次,我要去相对偏远的地方徒步旅行,于是我买了许多速溶咖啡以备不时之需——我担心出了大城市可能连速溶咖啡都买不到了。

 

随着时间的推移,我逐渐感受到茶如何成为日常生活的一部分。有一次我拜访了一个福建的家庭,他们每天晚饭后都会在家里自己泡铁观音,这早已成为他们家每天必不可少的一件事情;我还拜访过一家广州的茶楼,那里的茶艺师用各式各样的茶具为我表演了工夫茶;此外,当我拜访我在成都的朋友时,我们会在茶馆相聚并一起品尝竹叶青,看着茶杯里的茶叶垂直地立着浮在水面上,我常常感叹茶的神奇。

 

这些经历使我对茶越来越好奇,渐渐地也让我开始学着了解茶文化。我开始问自己:既然身边有如此神奇的茶,我为什么还要喝咖啡呢?于是我决定体会一下这充满神秘色彩的茶。

 

当我终于走进了北京一家茶叶店时,我立刻被眼前如此丰富的选择湮没了。各种瓶瓶罐罐上写着我不理解的茶叶名字,比如“银针”和“毛尖”。售货员接二连三地问了我很多问题,“绿茶,乌龙茶,花茶还是红茶?”那一刻我真的感到非常震惊。

 

我最终选择了一个我相对更为熟悉的茶——龙井。然后售货员问我要什么等级的,我只是简单地选择了最便宜的那一种,因为我当时并不清楚不同等级的茶叶之间有什么区别。我又买来了一些干柠檬用来一起煮茶,除此之外我也不知道有什么更好的方法。

 

说到泡茶,我也只是简单地把一勺茶叶放进咖啡杯中,然后倒入开水泡制。后来茶叶开始慢慢沉入杯底,我又一直加水直到茶叶失去了味道。

 

虽然这只是一个尝试性的开始,但我下定决心要多了解一些有关茶的知识。2009年我去了一趟杭州的西湖,在那里花了一整天的时间与当地一个茶农家庭待在一起。他们向我介绍了许多制茶的过程,用了一些我从来没有听说过的专业术语,比如“杀青”和“回甘”。那一刻我彻底被吸引了,这次经历打开了我想要了解中国茶文化的大门。从那以后我便进入了一个全新的世界,一直在学习,学而知不足。

 

first impression

 

On my earlier trips to China, I was still a coffee drinker. I drank instant coffee, as coffee shops weren’t as plentiful then as they are now. I didn’t really like instant coffee, which I never drank in the United States. I remember once getting ready to go backpacking in a remote area of China, and I brought my own instant coffee with me, fearing that I’d find no coffee outside of the large cities.

 

Over time, I learned more about how tea forms a part of daily life. I had visited a family in Fujian who brewed Iron Goddess (Tie Guan Yin) after dinner at their home that evening, something they did every day as a matter of course. I had visited a tea house in Guangzhou where the server performed the Gongfu tea ceremony using a large assortment of tea ware. When visiting with friends in Chengdu, we would meet at tea houses and brew Zhu Ye Qing (known figuratively in English as green bamboo leaf tea), watching the leaves float vertically in the glasses, something I had always found very mysterious.

 

These experiences came together and formed a great curiosity within me, gradually raising my awareness of tea culture. With all this tea around me, why was I still drinking coffee? I decided to experiment more myself.

I stepped into a tea shop in Beijing, and I was instantly overwhelmed with the options. I looked at the canisters with names I didn’t understand, like “Yinzhen” (Silver Needle) and “Maojian” (Green Tip). The seller asked me many questions, one after the other in quick succession, “Green? Oolong? Floral? Dark?” I was overwhelmed. 

 

I opted for the more familiar-sounding Longjing (Dragon Well) tea, and then the vendor asked, “Which grade?” I just chose the least expensive one, not knowing that there were different grades of each tea. I also bought some dried lemons to brew with it, not knowing any better.

 

To brew the tea, I simply put a scoop of tea leaves into a coffee mug and poured hot water over them. Eventually, the leaves dropped to the bottom of the cup, and I kept adding hot water until the tea lost its flavor.

 

Despite this tentative beginning, I thought I should learn more. In 2009, I took a trip to Xihu (West Lake) in Hangzhou and spent a day with a family of tea farmers there. The tea master explained tea processing to me, using terms I had never heard, like “shaqing” (kill the green) and “huigan” (come back sweet). I was instantly intrigued, as the visit to a tea farm opened my mind to a whole new world of Chinese culture and society. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.

 

学习茶艺研究中国茶

 

于是我便开始了正式的茶艺培训,先是在美国,后来在中国。功夫不负有心人,2010年我获得了美国的注册茶艺师资格,2013年又在东方国艺获得中国的注册评茶员资格认证。虽然那段时间课程紧张,考试难度也不小,但现在回过头来看,这一切付出都是值得的。随着我对茶的了解逐渐加深,我意识到茶艺与法律有着非常相似的地方:在法律学习中,书本中的知识是基础,只有实务经验才能造就优秀的法律人;在茶艺的领域,书本上的知识同样是基础,通过在实践经验之中培养的感官能力才是成为一名茶艺大师的关键。

 

在我学习茶的旅途中,实践经历也占了很大的比重。我经常会去全国各地的茶园并与当地的茶农进行深入交流,汲取知识。在这些年中,我的足迹踏遍了中国的各个省,包括福建的武夷山和安溪,安徽黄山市的祁门县和太平县,江苏的无锡,湖北宜昌的长阳和五峰以及四川的峨眉山等。值得一提的是,在宜昌,我和当地的茶农成为很好的朋友,我不仅在茶叶的生长季节去当地考察学习,我还会在过年时前去专门拜访。

 

茶带给我的一切对我来说意义非凡。当我遇到了茶,便自然而然地放弃了陪伴我已久的咖啡。作出这样的转换其实并不难,尤其是当新的选择远比旧的选择好得多的时候。如今的我已经不会在前往偏远的外地旅行时携带速溶咖啡了,恰恰相反,现在的我反而会从遥远的地方买些茶带回北京或美国,这是我的个人专供。毫无疑问,因为茶,我的生活发生了改变。

 

我对于茶的研究始于我了解到所有的茶叶都产自茶树。白茶、绿茶、黄茶、乌龙茶、红茶以及黑茶都是从茶树中来。然而不同种类的茶叶之间最关键的不同之处实际上在于茶叶加工过程中的氧化程度不同:绿茶完全未氧化,但红茶往往是充分氧化的。除此之外,如萎凋、揉捻和发酵等不同的加工技术和生产工序也会对茶叶的种类产生影响。

 

tea training and research

 

I then went for formal tea training, first in the United States, and then in China. I became a certified tea specialist with the U.S. Specialty Tea Institute in 2010, and then in China through the Oriental Arts Tea School in 2013. The instruction was intense, and the exams difficult, but well worth the effort. In studying law, book knowledge forms the basics, but experiential education creates a legal practitioner. With tea, book knowledge sets the foundation, but developing an acute sensory perception through practice is crucial for a tea master.

 

As part of my tea study, I have visited tea fields and spent time with tea farmers throughout the country, including Wuyishan and Anxi in Fujian; Qimen and Taiping in Huangshan, Anhui; Wuxi in Jiangsu, Changyang and Wufeng counties in Yichang, Hubei, and Emeishan in Sichuan. I have become friends with some of the Yichang farmers, having visited them during the tea growing season, but also during Chinese New Year.

 

All this tea and travel had an impact on me. Once I discovered tea, I stopped drinking coffee. It wasn’t hard to make the switch, as it’s always easier to give something up when you have something better to switch to. Rather than pack coffee with me when I travel to remote parts of China, I now bring tea from remote parts of China back with me—both to Beijing and the United States—to make sure I have my own personal supply. Life sure has changed.

 

My study of tea began with learning that tea is produced from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis. White, green, yellow, oolong, black, and dark teas are all produced from the tea bush. The key difference lies in oxidation of the tea leaf during processing. For example, green tea is not oxidized, and black tea is more fully oxidized. Different processing methods, such as withering, rolling, and fermenting,also create different varieties of tea.

 

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在黄山,桑国亚体验制茶

 

在我学会如何辨别茶叶的种类后,茶叶店中的各种“未知”变得容易理解了。比如白牡丹是一种白茶,虽然它的名字中带有“牡丹”二字,而实际上并不是由牡丹制成的;龙井和碧螺春是两种典型的绿茶,却有着不同的产地和生产工序;由于氧化程度比白茶和绿茶都要高,所以铁观音和大红袍都属于乌龙茶,它们的生产过程也需要更加复杂的工序;金骏眉和正山小种是两种红茶,它们的氧化程度比其他种类的茶叶要高些,但一个来源于芽而另一个来源于叶……关于茶的知识很多很多,我提到的也仅仅只是冰山一角,正是这种不断探索的过程让茶显得更有味道。

 

渐渐地,我开始了解了茶叶店中各种茶叶的名字。比如,茉莉花茶并不是茉莉花的“茶”,而是茉莉花窨制的绿茶;人参乌龙是一种掺杂着少量人参和甘草根的乌龙茶;而菊花茶其实并不是茶,而是一种汤药或者草药。茶叶的品种、香味和气味各式各样,有着无穷无尽的拼配方式。

 

茶叶的分级同样也是一个非常复杂的过程。在课堂中我学习了根据茶叶的外形、色泽、香气、汤色、滋味、叶底来给它们打分。举个例子,对于龙井茶来说,茶叶外形均匀的龙井就要比有着不同样式的龙井高级一些——尽管它们尝起来可能没有太大差别。

 

除了为茶叶评级,我还要学习各种不同的泡茶方式。绿茶最好的泡制方法就是用高玻璃杯来泡制,乌龙茶可以在盖碗中泡制,对于普洱茶来说紫砂壶则是个更好的选择。选择使用矿泉水、蒸馏水还是自来水在一定程度上会影响着茶的香味;不同的茶叶也会对应着不同的最佳水温——泡制白茶和绿茶以80摄氏度为最佳,而红茶则需要100摄氏度的开水。

 

 

Tea shops became easier to understand once I learned how to classify tea. Bai Mudan (White Peony) is a white tea, and despite its name, does not have peonies in it. Longjing and Bi Luo Chun are both green teas, grown in different regions with differentprocessing methods. Iron Goddess (Tie Guan Yin) and Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao) are both oolong teas, as they are oxidized more than white and green teas, and they also need more complex processing.Beautiful Golden Eyebrows (Jin Jun Mei) and Lapsang Souchong (Zhengshan Xiaozhong) are both black teas, with one made from buds and the other from leaves, yet both are more oxidized than other teas.

 

Little by little, I started to make more sense about the names I saw at tea stores. For example, jasmine tea is not its own tea, but rather, green tea scented with jasmine flowers. Ginseng oolong is an oolong tea sprinkled with ginseng and licorice root. Chrysanthemum tea is not tea at all, but rather a tisane or herbal infusion. The varieties, flavors, and scent combinations are endless.

 

Grading tea is a complicated process. In class, we learned to score the dry leaf, color, aroma, liquor, and wet leaves. With Longjing, for example, if all the leaves are the same size and have a similar appearance, it will have a higher grade than a Longjing with leaves of different sizes, even though it may have a similar taste.

 

I also had to learn the different methods for brewing tea. Green tea is often best brewed in a tall glass. Oolongs can be brewed in a covered bowl (gaiwan). Pu’erh teas can be brewed in purple clay (zisha) pots. The use of spring water, distilled water, and tap water can affect the flavor of the infusion. Different water temperatures suit different teas, with white and green teas best infused at 80 degrees Celsius, and black teas brewed at 100 degrees.

 

“我”的茶

 

尽管有这些复杂的茶叶分类和规则,在泡茶时考虑具体情况也十分重要,要看茶泡茶。比如叶子较大的绿茶在泡制时可能会需要更热的水温,老白茶可能更适宜在紫砂壶中泡制。实际上,尽管有这么多标准化的条条框框,但喝茶其实是一个非常主观的过程。我经常向我身边的朋友建议在挑选茶叶种类和泡制方式时要遵从自己的内心,选择他们所喜欢的。我个人更喜欢在早晨喝红茶,经常用一个带不锈钢过滤网的玻璃杯来泡正山小种,我之所以喜欢正山小种是因为它有着蜜糖和红薯的香气。中午,我喜欢喝绿茶,比如产自湖北的采花毛尖带有一丝板栗的香味,这对于喜欢吃板栗的我来说简直就是享受。在寒冷的冬天,普洱就是我的最佳选择,无论是生的还是熟的都可以让身体暖起来,就像寒冷和潮湿中的一个温暖的火炉。

 

对于招待客人时的工夫茶,我则会选择乌龙。先从带有兰花香气的铁观音开始,然后冲泡大红袍,那浓郁的甘甜和烤桃子的芬芳让人陶醉。这两种乌龙茶很耐泡,在几次冲泡之后看着乌龙茶的叶子在水中慢慢舒展开,这样的过程简直是一种享受。

 

对于中国茶文化的研究与学习,让我的生活变得更加丰富多彩。我去过茶园实地考察,也曾与茶农们谈天说地,在结识了许多茶友的同时也让我对中国的生活与文化有了进一步的了解。今年早些时候,我写了一篇题为《茶之旅》的散文诗,并在一年一度的清华大学法学院学生节中配上音乐和视频,进行了诗朗诵表演。茶的艺术,远远比茶叶本身要更富有内涵。

 

对茶的热爱让我开始向他人传授与茶有关的知识。我曾在天普大学以及南佛罗里达大学孔子学院举办关于茶的讲座,题目为《绿茶或红茶?了解中国茶》。在这些讲座中,我向美国的观众们分享了中国茶文化的博大精深以及茶的种种益处。

 

同时,我还在北京的东方国艺学校授课,在那里我与学生们分享中国和西方不同的茶的文化和习俗。这不仅能够促进茶文化的传播与发展,而且能通过茶来让我们加强相互的沟通,促进彼此了解。

 

最后,我创建了一个叫作“老桑说”(laosangshuo)的公益励志微信公众号,在那里我也会与读者们分享茶文化的方方面面。每一天我都会学习到一些新的与茶有关的知识,我也十分乐于将这些有趣的知识分享给世界各地的朋友们。俗话说得好,学无止境。我学到的越多,就越渴望继续探索。通过我的公众号,许多粉丝会和我互动,与我交流他们自己的想法与感受,这也令我获益匪浅。

 

茶的价值体现在中国文化的各个方面,我们也能在不同领域、不同层次感受到茶文化的魅力所在。我的茶之旅为我带来这一切影响是我始料未及的,之所以与你分享我的这段旅程,是因为我希望它也能够激励你,鼓励你继续探索和感受博大精深的中国文化。

 

my personal tea

 

Despite these classifications and rules, it’s important to consider each tea independently when brewing. For example, a green tea with a larger leaf many need a hotter brewing temperature, and an aged white tea may brew better in a clay pot. Drinking tea can be very subjective, and I always tell friends to buy teas they like and brew as they prefer.

 

For example, I prefer to drink black tea in the morning. I brew my Lapsang Souchong in a glass tea mug with a stainless-steel infuser. I like Lapsang because it has hints of honey and sweet potatoes. In the afternoon, I prefer green tea. I often brew Caihua Maojian from Hubei province, as it has chestnut taste to it, and I have always liked roasted chestnuts. On very cold days in the winter, I enjoy brewing Pu’erh, either cooked or raw, as the Pu’erh seems to warm me up, especially on a damp, cold day.

 

When entertaining guests with the Gongfu tea ceremony, I brew oolongs. We’ll start with Iron Goddess (Tie Guan Yin), with its characteristic orchid scent, and then switch to Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao), with its rich aroma with hints of grilled peaches. These oolong teas unfold their leaves slowly and can withstand several infusions.

 

All this study about Chinese tea culture has enriched my life. I have explored tea fields, spent time with tea farmers, made many tea friends, and learned more about Chinese life and culture. Earlier this year, I wrote a story called “My Tea Journey,” which I set to a music video and recited at the Tsinghua law school annual student festival. The art of tea goes far beyond the leaf.

 

My passion for tea has also caused me to teach about it. I have spoken at Temple University and University of South Florida’s Confucius Institutes on tea, giving a presentation called, “Green or Black? Understanding Chinese Tea.” In these talks, I have shared with Americans the richness and diversity of Chinese tea, as well as history and health benefits.

 

I also teach a course on tea at the Oriental Arts Tea School in Beijing, where I share with students the difference between Chinese and Western tea customs, helping us understand each other better through tea.

 

Finally, I have created a WeChat Subscription Account, Lao Sang Shuo (WeChat ID: laosangshuo), where I blog about various aspects of tea culture. I learn something new about tea every day, and I enjoy sharing these findings with audiences in China and abroad. The more I learn, the more I know that I need to learn. Many readers of my blog share their thoughts with me, and this exchange has been very enriching.

 

Tea embodies many different aspects of Chinese culture, and it can be experienced on many different levels. I would never have guessed that my tea journey would have such an impact on me, and I hope my journey will inspire you, too, to explore the wonders of Chinese tea.

 


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