Tea and coffee at temples

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zan
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Tea and coffee at temples

Post by zan » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:02 pm

Is caffeinated tea and/or coffee permitted at most Theravada temples? Are monks allowed to drink it or is it only allowed for lay people?

Sorry if this has been posted before! I searched and couldn't find one asking specifically about monastic regulations.
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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by DNS » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:55 am

There is no rule against coffee or tea. Some health conscious people are going away from too much caffeine but there is no Vinaya or Buddhist rule against consuming them. Caffeine is a stimulant, but a mild one and is fine in moderation, imo.

See also: https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=27229

SarathW
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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by SarathW » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:41 am

Tea and coffee are common in temples.
The monk in my local temple always offer me tea and coffee when I visit him.
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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:43 am

zan wrote:Is caffeinated tea and/or coffee permitted at most Theravada temples? Are monks allowed to drink it or is it only allowed for lay people?
In most Thai and Sri Lankan temples they are permitted to monks and laity alike. In some Burmese temples tea is not permitted after midday for monks or for laity observing the eight precepts. The reason is that it's considered to be a food rather than a medicine because of the Burmese practice of fermenting tea leaves and eating them.

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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by binocular » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:50 am

Tea and coffee really mess with my mind, that's why I avoid them.
I can't imagine what it would be like to not be susceptible to them in that way, the way so many people seem to be unsusceptible to them, including monastics. So this topic brings up for me a lot of questions about meditation, virtue, and belonging to a Buddhist community.
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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by zan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:40 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:There is no rule against coffee or tea. Some health conscious people are going away from too much caffeine but there is no Vinaya or Buddhist rule against consuming them. Caffeine is a stimulant, but a mild one and is fine in moderation, imo.

See also: https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=27229
Thank you sir.
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zan
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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by zan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:41 pm

SarathW wrote:Tea and coffee are common in temples.
The monk in my local temple always offer me tea and coffee when I visit him.
Thank you. This is what I assumed.
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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by zan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:43 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
zan wrote:Is caffeinated tea and/or coffee permitted at most Theravada temples? Are monks allowed to drink it or is it only allowed for lay people?
In most Thai and Sri Lankan temples they are permitted to monks and laity alike. In some Burmese temples tea is not permitted after midday for monks or for laity observing the eight precepts. The reason is that it's considered to be a food rather than a medicine because of the Burmese practice of fermenting tea leaves and eating them.
Thank you Venerable. Very interesting! I have heard of many fermented foods but never tea leaves. I wonder if they are tasty?
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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by SarathW » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:02 pm

I think black tea is fermented.
Green tea is not fermented.


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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by zan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:52 pm

SarathW wrote:I think black tea is fermented.
Green tea is not fermented.
Oh wait, did I misunderstand? I assumed tea fermented to be eaten as a food would be a process more akin to kim chi. Does it simply mean oxidized, as in standard oxidized black tea? Or is it literally fermented, like kim chi, yogurt, kombucha etc. where microorganisms live in it and develop new flavors?

I was under the assumption that black tea is oxidized by letting it be exposed to air and fermentation was a different process involving microorganisms living on a product in a moist environment. So oxidized tea is black tea, pu erh is fermented tea? But what fermented tea is a food? Clearly I'm missing something.

EDIT:

This is what I was picturing, from wiki page on fermented tea:

"Edible pickled tea
Though the early history of tea is unclear, it has been established that for centuries people have chewed tea leaves. Few peoples today continue to consume tea by chewing or eating. In northern Thailand, a pickled tea product called miang is chewed as a stimulant. Steamed tea leaves are kept pressed into sealed bamboo baskets until the anaerobic fermentation produces a compact cake with the desired flavor. The fermentation takes four to seven days for young leaves and about a year for mature leaves. Miang is related to the Thai and Lao street snack Miang kham.
The Shan people of Myanmar also consume a pickled tea known as lahpet. After fermentation, the tea is eaten as a vegetable.
A similar pickled tea is eaten by the Blang people of Xishuangbanna in Yunnan, China, on the border with Myanmar and Laos. The tea, known locally as miam and by the Chinese as suancha, is first packed into bamboo tubes, then buried and allowed to ferment before eating."
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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:51 am

zan wrote:Very interesting! I have heard of many fermented foods but never tea leaves. I wonder if they are tasty?
I've never tried the Burmese product.

For three years I lived in a Northern Thai mountain village where it was too high to grow rice and so the main crop was mieng — green tea that's munched like chewing gum with a bit of salt. Despite long and frequent exposure to it, I was never able to acquire a taste for it. To me it's just unbelievably bitter and horrible.
miang.jpg
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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by plwk » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:49 am

For three years I lived in a Northern Thai mountain village where it was too high to grow rice and so the main crop was mieng — green tea that's munched like chewing gum with a bit of salt. Despite long and frequent exposure to it, I was never able to acquire a taste for it. To me it's just unbelievably bitter and horrible.
:mrgreen: Bhante, they could learn something from the Chinese and the great dishes they can whip up with green tea leaves like when I was in Hángzhōu's famed and prized lóng jǐng green tea plantation & village areas.

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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by zan » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:59 am

Dhammanando wrote:
zan wrote:Very interesting! I have heard of many fermented foods but never tea leaves. I wonder if they are tasty?
I've never tried the Burmese product.

For three years I lived in a Northern Thai mountain village where it was too high to grow rice and so the main crop was mieng — green tea that's munched like chewing gum with a bit of salt. Despite long and frequent exposure to it, I was never able to acquire a taste for it. To me it's just unbelievably bitter and horrible.
miang.jpg
Thank you Venerable. I was imagining it tasting like kim chi for some reason ha ha! That makes more sense, I have gotten loose leaf tea in my mouth plenty of times by mistake and it is indeed quite bitter and it makes sense that fermenting it would not change this.
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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by Jojola » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:04 am

binocular wrote:Tea and coffee really mess with my mind, that's why I avoid them.
I can't imagine what it would be like to not be susceptible to them in that way, the way so many people seem to be unsusceptible to them, including monastics. So this topic brings up for me a lot of questions about meditation, virtue, and belonging to a Buddhist community.
I'm a monastic and can relate to this. I don't avoid them completely but had to learn to keep the consumption of coffee very low and controlled. The stimulant of caffeine definitely makes me more susceptible or sensitive to irritability/orneriness, actually my nickname for the stuff is 'angry water' :lol: I found this to occur in me at noticeable levels after exceeding roughly 300 mg of caffeine consumption over a two hour period. Or to put another way, it doesn't cause irritation but whenever I have to deal with irritation (that would have already arisen from inappropriate attention), if I had recently consumed the aforementioned level of caffeine, it would be harder to deal with (restrain mental proliferation),

I would consume 200-300 mg (i quite enjoy coffee), which is within the safe threshold for me, if it wasn't for the other downside- the comedown, it's very subtle at those levels, but noticeable enough. Which would always happen right around the time I have great opportunity to meditate (after morning chores and before dana "food offering").

So, I make it a point to consume only 90-130 mg in the morning (I am still training to wake up at 4:30 AM, and go to bed between 9 -10 PM.)
And that's it.
I don't drink soda, anymore (in lay life soda was my main mixer when consuming liquor)

And at 5 PM questions and discussion with the Abbott I'll partake in a cup of decaf.

This has been a good adjustment I found.

This vassa period I'll be in the kuti in the woods without immediate proximity to a source of the stuff so will just go without, along with this laptop.
Regards,

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Re: Tea and coffee at temples

Post by GeoffreyHarrison » Tue May 30, 2017 7:27 am

The element is responsible for bringing the water to a boil. When you switch on the kettle, the element heats up and brings the water to boil. ... In many Anex electric kettles, the element is hidden inside the base of the kettle so that it doesn't come in contact with the water.

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