Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tea People: Jason Witt, Author of Spirituality of Tea

Welcome to the first Tea People interview. Today we're visiting with Jason Witt, who is currently writing a book titled Spirituality of Tea.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I am crazy about God and tea. I also love classical violins. I’m a vegan on most days but sometimes when I go out to eat I’m only vegetarian. And I’m on a low-calorie diet, which I also sometimes (but not often) break when I’m out on the town. I often take long walks and need to since I don’t own a car. I don’t want one and don’t want to buy my own house either. So you can consider me green too.

2. Tell us what your book is about.

My book is about the Spirituality of Tea. There’s not a lot of eastern mysticism even though much of tea’s history was inseparable from Zen Buddhism. It’s written for Western people, especially Americans. It’s about how tea can quickly bring a person closer to God. Of course the person has to want to come to God and not be driven to someone or something else. But Spirituality of Tea shows the faithful how great a Blessing tea is for them.

3. Why did you decide to write about tea?

God revealed it to me. I’ve had a romance growing with tea for a few years now and suddenly it was time. I saw that I need to devote my whole to tea. Just as I write, my experience was totally spiritual in realizing how important tea is going to be for me. As wine is to Jesus, tea is to Jason.

4. Do you remember the first cup of tea you drank?

How was it? I remember a brand of tea in bags my mother had around the house when I was young. It was “Constant Comment” tea. But all I remember as a first drink was about three years ago. I faced the need to give up drinking alcohol and it just seemed natural to turn to tea as a substitute. From the beginning then I wanted to drink Oolong Tea. I favored it even though I drank the cheap stuff.

5. Do you drink tea predominantly for health or enjoyment – or both?

I drink tea for the health of my body, mind, and spirit because I’m strict about my diet and only eat certain limited kinds of healthy foods. But I also drink tea for great enjoyment. It’s one of the few addictions that are good for you so in the case of tea, more is more. It’s pleasure without any guilt.

6. What are your three favorite teas?

I’d have to say these are Oolong Tea. And I love so many of them I’d have to just go with the general categories. My favorites are Wu Yi Rock Oolong, Anxi Oolong, and Formosa varieties too.

7. What’s your favorite pairing of food with white, green and black teas?

Since I eat a lot of grains and greens, I like the pairing of Sencha with them. It goes well with vegetables and salads. It’s a very versatile tea to pair with foods and gets along well. I don’t eat meat anymore which a lot of people say some darker Oolongs go well with. And I can’t eat much dried fruit to complement lighter Oolongs because there are too many calories in them. Oh well. A good Sencha can grace my table anytime.

8. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

My website is and there you can subscribe to my newsletter Teaternity. I don’t blog, by choice, but I put out a brief newsletter on the Tea Faith once a week. That’s the best way to keep in touch me unless you want to follow me on Twitter @jasonwitt or friend me on Facebook

Thanks for allowing us to get to know you better, Jason!

Feel free to leave a comment below for further discussion or questions.

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting concept for a book!

    There have been times when I take a sip from that perfect cup of tea that everything just seems to fall into place . . . I can see the connection between tea and spirituality.


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