Literary Salon: Phil Cousineau

Monday, December 7, 2009 || 7pm ||

Phil Cousineau, Author of The Meaning of Tea: A Tea Inspired Journey

Book Passage – Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista Dr., Corte Madera

Phil Cousineau
Phil Cousineau

A Health-filled Holiday and The Meaning of Tea

“When we drink tea with others we shorten the distance between people.”

—Feng Ming-Chung, a Bao Zhong tea grower, in The Meaning of Tea.

Join writer, filmmaker, photographer, teacher and editor Phil Cousineau for an exploration of the history, health benefits, rituals, spirituality and simple pure enjoyment of tea. The Meaning of Tea: A Tea Inspired Journey offers wisdom ideally suited for modern citizens facing the stress of economic uncertainty. San Francisco tea experts James Norwood Pratt and Imperial Tea Court Teamaster Roy Fong are featured in the book. Culled from more than 50 conversations with tea pickers and plantation owners, street sellers, traders, teapot makers and eloquent tea scholars spanning eight countries—from India to Ireland and Taiwan to Tea, South Dakota—readers learn about how tea has brought peace, calm, health, friendship and often wisdom into their lives. The Meaning of Tea (Talking Leave Press, 2009) makes clear, that although more popular than ever—the wholesale value of the U.S. tea industry has increased more than 400% since 1990—it is still an underutilized source of health, solace, and friendship for the modern world.

The feature-length documentary that inspired the book, also named The Meaning of Tea, is a poignant search through India, Japan, Taiwan, Morocco, England, France, Ireland, and even Tea, South Dakota for glimpses into the secret character of tea. The Meaning of Tea’s soundtrack, Music of Tea, is a compilation of tea-inspired world music including tracks composed by Joel Douek and Eric Czar and features the song “Marco Polo” written and performed by Loreena McKennitt.

The Meaning of Tea project is an ongoing, tea-inspired journey that celebrates the history, rituals, spirituality and simple pure enjoyment of tea through the eyes of tea lovers from many places around the world. The Meaning of Tea project aims to bring to light the mysteries of the world’s favorite beverage to larger audiences, and, as tea has done for 5,000 years, to stimulate health, friendship and community.

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