「活水還須活火烹，自臨釣石取深清。」 《汲江煎茶》 蘇軾
水、火都講究一個活字，蘇東坡詩云:「活水還須活火烹」 可見活水（意即流動之水）及活火 (意即炭火）皆是泡茶之要訣。流動之水以山泉水為上品，水質清浄晶瑩，含氯、鐵等化合物極少，所以能使茶的色香味形得到最大發揮，再配合炭火獨有的香氣及火候，不但能突出茶的清新滑口，在等待過程中聆聽炭火燃燒時的聲音，水滾的聲音，更為泡茶增添了更多情趣，因此有說煮茶要訣:「水常先求，火亦不後」之說法。
"Fresh river water (spring water) should be boiled over open flames (charcoal fire); I lean over the fishing rock, dip the deep clear river current." -Simmering Tea with Fresh River Water-, Su Shi
Fresh flowing water such as mountain spring water is very important in brewing Tea as flowing water is fresh and stays oxygenated which providing a superior taste and improving tea infusion flavor. In order to boil water for tea use, fire is also critical in making good tea. Using charcoal fire as traditional source of heat for boiling tea water is part of a traditional tea ceremony originated from the Song Dynasty (960-1127). Charcoal is the best for a fire as it improves the water and gives a natural rhythm to your tea time.
Photo Credit: Liza Wan