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James Norwood Pratt Celebrated in San Francisco and Chapel Hill

James Norwood Pratt Celebrated in San Francisco and Chapel Hill

James Norwood Pratt, America’s Leading Tea Lover, and quite possibly the world’s most widely read authority on tea and tea lore, has deep ties to North Carolina. A lifetime learner and accomplished scholar, Mr. Pratt has been celebrated in both San Fra…

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James Norwood Pratt, America’s Leading Tea Lover, and quite possibly the world’s most widely read authority on tea and tea lore, has deep ties to North Carolina. A lifetime learner and accomplished scholar, Mr. Pratt has been celebrated in both San Francisco, CA and Chapel Hill, NC in the past six months, with another event scheduled for fall 2018.

 

In a private ceremony in San Francisco on December 7, 2017, James Leloudis, the Peter T. Grauer Associate Dean for Honors Carolina, recognized Mr. Pratt as an Honors Carolina laureate and presented him with a certificate of attendance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dean Leloudis commended Mr. Pratt, a native North Carolinian, for his exceptional scholarship on tea – from history to folklore and culture.

 

Five months later, Mr. Pratt returned to his roots in Chapel Hill and presided over an Honors Carolina Tea Tasting and Conversation for a standing-room-only audience of students, faculty, and friends. Several of the students are serious teaists, and Mr. Pratt suggested that they consider developing a tea club alliance with their counterparts at the University of California–Davis.

 

Honors Carolina will welcome Mr. Pratt back to Chapel Hill in the fall to deliver the annual Hillard Gold ’39 Lecture. The lecture was established by alumni James and Jonathan Gold to honor the memory of their father, Hillard, a member of the UNC Class of 1939. Hillard Gold practiced medicine as a urologist and believed in the power of education to break down barriers, broaden our experience of the world, and improve our lives. “I am delighted that Mr. Pratt will again spend time with our students and the wider campus community,” Dean Leloudis said. “He will teach us about the significant and complex role tea has played throughout history, and the ways it shapes our world today.”

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Congratulations to Shabnam Weber!

Congratulations to Shabnam Weber!

Congratulations to the just-announced president of the Canadian Tea/Herb Association, Shabnam Weber!

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Congratulations to the just-announced president of the Canadian Tea/Herb Association, Shabnam Weber!

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What was Europe’s first tea not from China or Japan?

What was Europe’s first tea not from China or Japan?

In 1835, the first consignment of Java tea reaches Amsterdam. It is Europe’s first tea not from China or Japan.

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In 1835, the first consignment of Java tea reaches Amsterdam. It is Europe’s first tea not from China or Japan.

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Love is sweet!

Love is sweet!

Given the wonderful response to the tea love story of Koongse and Chang, I thought I would share another story of tea love. The sweet email and photos were sent to me by Charles and Marthea, from a wine event in Oakland, CA, on Saturday November 4, 201…

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Given the wonderful response to the tea love story of Koongse and Chang, I thought I would share another story of tea love. The sweet email and photos were sent to me by Charles and Marthea, from a wine event in Oakland, CA, on Saturday November 4, 2017. “Here’s to many more years of good tea and sweet love” – Charles and Marthea
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Hello Mr. & Mrs. Pratt,
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Thank you for sharing your books. Charles loves them! Also, thank you for sharing how tea is shared each morning with the two of you. As I thought, my honey had a lovely ginger/ mint tea ready for me when I got in.
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Love is sweet!
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Continue to enjoy… one sip at a time.
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Blessings,

Marthea and Charles

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What is the likely origin of British willow pattern porcelain?

What is the likely origin of British willow pattern porcelain?

The willow pattern, in the traditional Chinese blue and white, is supposed to have originated at the Caughley, Shropshire, porcelain works about 1780. It was quickly copied by migratory engravers in the factories of Staffordshire and other parts of Eng…

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The willow pattern, in the traditional Chinese blue and white, is supposed to have originated at the Caughley, Shropshire, porcelain works about 1780. It was quickly copied by migratory engravers in the factories of Staffordshire and other parts of England. A story differing in detail at the hands of various raconteurs but retaining its main essentials is told about the willow pattern, which is said to illustrate the legend of Koongse and her lover Chang.
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Koongse was the beautiful daughter of a wealthy mandarin, who lived in the two storied house in the center of the pattern. There is an orange tree behind the house. A willow tree overhangs a footbridge. Koongse lost her heart to her father’s secretary, Chang. This greatly angered the proud mandarin, who ordered Chang to keep away from the place. As further precaution, he betrothed Koongse to a wealthy but dissolute old Tajin (Duke). The father then built the palisade, or fence, that appears across the foreground of the picture, in order to keep Chang and Koongse apart. He allowed her only the freedom of the garden and teahouse encircled by the stream.
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The lover, Chang, floated messages of love and devotion down the little stream in a coconut-shell to his fair one. On the evening of Koongse’s first meeting with her hated fiancé, he presented her with a box of jewels. After the guests had feasted and the Tajin was drunk with wine, Chang slipped into the banquet-hall disguised as a beggar and signaled Koongse to flee with him.
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🎨 Afternoon Tea by George Dunlop Leslie (1865)
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📚Excerpt from The Romance of Tea

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Who made the earliest known mention of tea in the literature of Europe?

Who made the earliest known mention of tea in the literature of Europe?

The earliest known mention of tea in the literature of Europe appeared about 1559. It occurs as Chai Catai, “Tea of China” in Navigationi e Viaggi, or Voyages and Travels, by Giambattista Ramusio (1485-1557), a noted Venetian author who published a val…

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The earliest known mention of tea in the literature of Europe appeared about 1559. It occurs as Chai Catai, “Tea of China” in Navigationi e Viaggi, or Voyages and Travels, by Giambattista Ramusio (1485-1557), a noted Venetian author who published a valuable collection of narratives of voyages and discoveries in ancient and modern times.
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Ramusio, as secretary to Venetian Council of Ten, collected some rare commercial information and met many famous travelers, among whom was Hajji Mahommed, or Chaggi Memet, the Persian Merchant credited with having brought the first knowledge of tea to Europe.
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🎨 Giambattista Ramusio – 📚 Excerpt from The Romance of Tea, by William H. Ukers and Annotated by @jamesnorwoodpratt
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Want to learn more? This book and more are available at: www.jamesnorwoodpratt.com/books/

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Sharing one of Jason Chen’s spectacular oolongs with “Sooz”

Sharing one of Jason Chen’s spectacular oolongs with “Sooz”

Here’s beautiful “Sooz”, aka Suzette Hammond, International Tea Consultant (@soozluff), sharing one of Jason Chen’s spectacular oolongs in the apartment.

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Here’s beautiful “Sooz”, aka Suzette Hammond, International Tea Consultant (@soozluff), sharing one of Jason Chen’s spectacular oolongs in the apartment.

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Brigette’s Birthday Celebration

Brigette’s Birthday Celebration

Mike Harney and the effortlessly chic Brigette came in from the East coast to celebrate Brigette’s birthday.  (Actually she’s ageless and blessed with poise and grace.)  How fortunate we’re able to get together a couple times a year. Here we are in Chi…

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Mike Harney and the effortlessly chic Brigette came in from the East coast to celebrate Brigette’s birthday.  (Actually she’s ageless and blessed with poise and grace.)  How fortunate we’re able to get together a couple times a year. Here we are in Chinatown at our favorite Hunan restaurant Brandy Ho’s.  

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Northwest Tea Festival 2017

Northwest Tea Festival 2017

The 10th Anniversary of the @nwteafestival in Seattle was a splendid affair. Founders Julee and Doug were there at the beginning, believing when no-one else did, and what a success they have wrought. Forty plus vendors from all parts of the globe. We w…

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The 10th Anniversary of the @nwteafestival in Seattle was a splendid affair. Founders Julee and Doug were there at the beginning, believing when no-one else did, and what a success they have wrought. Forty plus vendors from all parts of the globe. We were so happy to see old tea friends, many attending from the start, and meeting newcomers, perhaps their first attendance. Sharing the passion for tea is one of the Joys of life.
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Speaking of Joy! We have had a feast of visitors these past few weeks.
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First New Yorkers Darlene Meyers Perry (@theteaenthusiastsscrapbook) and Jo Johnson (@agiftoftea), Certified Tea Specialists, who happened to be teaching Tea 101 to Mixologists here in San Francisco. Yoon Hee Kim, who has an exciting new career as a chef and remains very involved with tea, oversaw the tea preparation for their stellar presentation and all three came to visit us at our apartment before heading for the airport.

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