The Temple of UniTea
Temple of UniTea is a stage for bringing tea culture and people from around the world together, sharing regional tea ceremonies with the burner community and beyond.
The Temple of Unitea will be a sacred space and a peaceful respite from the chaos of Burning Man. Take Tea, Make Tea, and ParTeacipate in the art that surrounds you.
At The Temple of Unitea we will provide the ceremonial space, the Tea, the hot water and conviviali-Tea for all, thereby making parTeacipation easier for those already making a long trek to Black Rock City.
From the road people will see our pagoda style entryway made up of two color changing 15' dragons framing our camp logo between them. The archway will be back lit with color changing LEDs to be a welcoming landmark night and day. On each side of the entry way will be dragon bike racks to give visitors a place to park bikes, visiting art cars, and our tea transporting platform mutant vehicles.
Once inside our sanctuary, people will be sheltered from the dust and the wind in a comfortable environment that is slightly cooler during the day and warmer at night. The walls will convey an aura of calmness with beautiful lines and comforting sacred geometry. We plan projection mapping, light shows, ambient music and daily tea services during our week on the playa.
The temple will be comprised of a structure built on an RV frame that parks behind the entrance of our camp. It then unfolds and expands to create a multi-story temple surrounded by shade structure to host tea ceremonies with visitors. After walking through the dragon archway the path leads to our temple wooden doors that open to a tea room with access to patios on each side. The tea rooms and patios will contain tables, lanterns, floor pillows, curtains, and, of course, a table for preparing Tea.
Once inside our sanctuary, visitors will be sheltered from the dust and the wind in a comfortable environment that is slightly cooler during the day and warmer at night. The walls will convey an aura of calmness with beautiful lines and comforting welcoming tea community. We plan projection mapping, light shows, ambient music and aerial performances during our week on the playa.
The Temple of Unitea, is a sanctuary for secular tea rituals. Our Japanese inspired Tea Temple will be open to guests of all race, religion, and creed and will be served tea with intent, and encouraged to drink tea with pause and appreciation. Unitea is not just about serving drinks; it is about full partteacipation, about growing a communitea. A communitea that finds appreciation through examination of all things - objective and subjective.
Building for Burning Man
Currently we are building out our Tea Mobile Tea Temple for Burning Man 2018, here are some pictures of our progress.
Beyond Burning Man
The Temple of Unitea will made it’s debut on the playa at Burning Man 2016. After which the temple will return to Austin where it will continue to be a place of reverence, a place of pause, a place of sustainable communitea, a place where we will pour into each others cups and souls.
Tea has always been a secular ritual that conveys a diplomatic connection. Tea cultures cross national borders and straddle religious divides. No matter where we come from, tea has the ability to bring us closer. To create space for people to commune over the objective and subjective alike. A space for people to unite and appreciate things. It’s been said to truly come to know someone, they should share a cup of tea with them.
Tea drinking is a global phenomenon. Consumed by millions, it is the second most popular drink in the world, after water. It’s known as both a comfort and medicine - it quenches thirst, heals bodies, and sustains souls. Wherever it is taken, it brings a sense of well-being, harmony, convivialitea and hospitalitea.
We believe in transparency. View our budget here.
Tea Ambassador Program
In 1979, ambassadors from the United States, Soviet Russia and Great Britain were each asked for their vision of the future.
The American ambassador replied: "In the future, rugged individualism and free market capitalism will inspire all people towards a life of prosperity and well-being."
The Soviet ambassador answered: "In the future, the workers will own the means of production and everyone will equally share the fruits of their labor."
The British ambassador pondered the question and then answered: "In the future, I think I would like a nice cup of tea."
At the Temple of UniTea we will share our own rituals, as follows:
Each morning, blended breakfast Teas will be served
Each afternoon High and/or Low Tea featuring our blended house Tea blend will be served
An alternative house Tea, the Texas yaupon (North America's only native source of caffeine) will be available at all times.
Our Tea Ambassador program seeks to schedule Tea rituals at our Temple that have been brought to Burning Man 2016 by Tea drinking delegations from regionals all over the world. Events will be scheduled in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Visiting Tea Ambassadors will be given schedule cards, stickers and Tea towel flags to encourage others to join and share in their ritual. Such events might include:
The Japanese Zen Buddhist Chanoyu: "The Way of Tea" proposes that the spirit, man and nature come together in a serene setting in which knowledge can grow into wisdom. Participants experience the four principles of life: tranquility, purity, harmony and respect. Hosts traditionally wear kimonos and guests remove their shoes, which is something we will ask of all visitors to the Temple of UniTea. We will use a communal bowl as part of this ritual
The Moroccan Tea Ceremony: Three glasses are set before guests and Tea is poured from a great height in order to "aerate" the Tea and make it frothy. Sugar is added to each subsequent glass so that the first glass is bitter (like life), the second is sweet (like love) and the third is gentle (like death). We would like to stage an aerial performance for this ritual
The Russian and Turkish Traditions: Tea will be sipped through sugar cubes or with raspberry jam stirred into the cups
The British Blind Tea Tasting Test: Should milk be added first or last? Can Tea drinkers taste the difference between loose Tea and Teabags? Join us at our high table for low Tea, or our low table for high Tea, and participate in some rigorous taste tests. We will provide scones, (dehydrated) clotted cream, jam and a butter knives/sugar cube prongs for anyone looking for a sweet time.
Other potential Tea ceremonies may include the following, based on interest from abroad:
China: "The Tea Monkey": An Aerial Performance and the Gong Fu Tea ceremony
Irish Tea: The “Breakfast of Champions”
Bubble Tea DJ Happy Hour: “K-Pop, T-Pop and the Bubble Tea Dance Explosion” curated by visiting DJs
The London Café The "Penny Universities" Tea Tradition
Australia//New Zealand/Sri Lanka/Burma/Thailand/Indonesia
Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay: The yerba mate experience
South and East Africa and sun-brewed hibiscus Tea
Learn even more about out Tea Ambassadors program here.
We will also gift the Temple of UniTea for special events, such as:
STeam Punk Tea-Time / The High as a Hatter Tea Party
Flowers and Tea, a celebration of moments of frivolity and contemplation
Tea Leaf readings: The Science of Seeing Your Future (located in one alcove of the Temple)
The Teddy Bear Picnic Tea Party
The Tea Cozy Fashion parade: "Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a Tea cozy, doesn't try it on." ~ Billy Connolly
Teacon Ordinations and Tea Weddings
Closing ceremony: "Tea Leaves" with ceremonial dumping of Tea leaves into recycling containers and voluntary self-taxation by carrying them home to compost them in the permanent home of the Temple of UniTea in Austin, Texas.
Learn more about out Tea Ambassadors program here.