Digital Table: Global Tea Hut September

  Welcome to the Digital Table where you are part of a
global conversation with tea. Global Tea Hut is a Non-Profit Organization that
sends out a sampling of tea, a gift and a special magazine. Everything is
brought together by the community to spread the love of tea, Dao and
Zen
. Join us the last Wednesday of every month to discuss the current packet from Global Tea Hut.


      This series was created because the message from Global Tea Hut touched
me. It is of my own creation and I receive nothing from them ,but good karma of
spreading their message and cause . All past posts can be found under “Digital Table” here.

Digital table is a series that dives into tea, zen and dao through Global Tea Hut's Monthly subscription. Magazine, gift, Wu De Puerh Teaching Learning

 This months package blew me away! Not only was the issue larger and packed full of information, but this months tea was an old friend. Bing Dao, also known as Ice Island or “King of the Forest”. I tried this tea for the first time around this time last year at Tao Tea Leaf. It was like a long lost friend coming to visit after many years apart.
    When trying this tea again after almost a year, it still had a minty side to it on the tongue. The favour is hard to place but it reminds me of a spring that ran into the creek near my Grandfathers home. It had slight earthy notes but also “tasted” of nature.
 

Digital table is a series that dives into tea, zen and dao through Global Tea Hut's Monthly subscription. Magazine, gift, Wu De Puerh Teaching Learning

 On to this months magazine which is packed full of information on Puerh and other goodies. I quite enjoyed learning more about this type of tea , especially the different eras associated. Although I must say I was glad that Wu De included another article stressing the importance of the brewer.
   As I said last week, the condition your mind is in will effect your tea. Wu De took it even further in is article, “The Center of a Tea Session”. He used a calligraphy analogy to further  this idea

 …the student asked the master how to paint the perfect scroll of calligraphy, to which the master responded, “perfect yourself and paint naturally!”.

This line shows that your internal self is just as important as how much you practice brewing.  Wu De even suggested that even how you treat people and what you eat can effect the brew. It would be very interesting to try a new diet and see how it effects your tea brewing (because Tea Journey readers are kind and are true to their truth). 

Global Tea Hut is a digital community where tea drinkers enjoy the same tea(s) every month across the world. It is subscription based where all the proceeds go towards a non-profit tea center (Tea Sage Hut) in Taiwan that is open to all. For more information on Global Tea Hut and the center please visit them at:

Global Tea Hut

Tea Sage Hut


**All opinions are my own and subscription is paid by me, as a donation to the tea center

Digital Table: Global Tea Hut August

  Welcome to the Digital Table where you are part of a global conversation with tea. Global Tea Hut is a Non-Profit Organization that sends out a sampling of tea, a gift and a special magazine. Everything is brought together by the community to spread thelove of tea, Dao and Zen. Join us the last Wednesday of every month to discuss the current packet from Global Tea Hut.

   This series was created because the message from Global Tea Hut touched me. It is of my own creation and I receive nothing from them ,but good karma of spreading their message and cause . All past posts can be found under “Digital Table” here.

digital table gblobal tea hut august 2014 Kingfisher Jade Tsui Yu Oolong Taiwan Three daughters of taiwan tea

  Summer has been flying by! Thankfully with this months tea I kept cool. It was such a treat to receive this oolong as I found it cooled me off (How about you?). This months tea is the Spring 2014 Kingfisher Jade(Tsui Yu) Ooolong from Ming Jian, Taiwan. This tea is very special! It is one of the three daughters are the most famous varietals that were created around the 1970’s for Taiwan. Who would have known this if it were not for Global Tea Hut! The tree teas are unique to taiwan, no where else can you get these three.

      Which teas are the “Three Daughters”? They are Golden Lilly (Jing Shuan), Kingsfisher Jade (Tsui Yu) and Four Seasons Spring (Si Ji Chun). As King fisher Jade had the same cooling effect as Four Seasons, I am going to guess that Golden Lilly is similar ( I can’t wait for them to send it out).  

     Going back to this months tea, King Fisher Jade, it had a lovely cooling effect on the body. With its smooth taste and floral hints it was just right for unwinding at the end of the day. The flavours of the tea came out very clear when I used the gift that was sent with it. Chinese “Medicine Stones”, they are put in your water container/kettle to soften, purify and remineralize the Water. Truly the perfect addition For any tea lover. 

digital table global tea hut august 2014 kingfisher Jade tsui yu taiwan medicine stones china

 My favourite article is part of the “Eight Bowls” series :The Eight Bowls: Study, Contemplation and Prayer by Shane Marrs. It was just what I needed at that moment. A little reminder of what I have learned through Japanese Tea Ceremony.
    Its little lessons that get taught that are really lessons of life and zen. Through tea we should practice humility, gratitude, forgiveness, and  loving-kindness. Mastery of tea is the mastery of the self, strangely very similar to yoga (okay its self- acceptance but it is close to me). The brewer’s heart is the most important part of tea as it becomes infused into our brew.

      During Japanese Tea Ceremony these key points are the foundations of which you learn. We express humility when we enter the tea room through a low bow. gratitude when we lift or tea bowl in thanks. Every action is a respectful loving action for not only guests but ourselves. Forgiveness when the host forgets the next step or head guest forgets their line (or we forget to slurp at the end). 

   These points mirror in life as well. Especially as we grow up, I turned 27 this year and have found these in many situations. Such as: 

Humility- Admitting to the type of person I was in the past and apologizing to those I hurt

Forgiveness- While I hope others will forgive my past, I am also ready to forgive Theirs.

Gratitude- When a friend pays for dinner or a snack. They always get a thank you and a huge hug! (and I re-pay them latter)

Loving-Kindness – Being there for a friend when they need someone to talk to

    While we hope we all are doing each of these every day though, there are times where we forget. The important thing to do is try our best and hope that we receive it in return.  Practice them in daily life and they will come through in your tea.

Global Tea Hut is a digital community where tea drinkers enjoy the same tea(s) every month across the world. It is subscription based where all the proceeds go towards a non-profit tea center (Tea Sage Hut) in Taiwan that is open to all. For more information on Global Tea Hut and the center please visit them at:

Global Tea Hut

Tea Sage Hut

**All opinions are my own and subscription is paid by me, as a donation to the tea center

Digital Table: Global Tea Hut July

  Welcome to the Digital Table where you are part of a global conversation with tea. Global Tea Hut is a Non-Profit Organization that sends out a sampling of tea, a gift and a special magazine. Everything is brought together by the community to spread the love of tea, Dao and Zen. Join us the last Wednesday of every month to discuss the current packet from Global Tea Hut.

   This series was created because the message from Global Tea Hut touched me. It is of my own creation and I receive nothing from them ,but good karma of spreading their message and cause . All past posts can be found under “Digital Table” here.

  This months tea came with a little story in which the members of Global Tea Hut all had a hand in. While the leaves themselves may not have been picked by them (it takes a long time to have the speed and precision to pink tea). They were processed by them, from start to finish!
   The end result was a lovely Red Tea that they created on their visit to Yunnan. “Daughter of the Forest” or Qian Jia Zhai 2014 , made completely with leaves from a wild tree that is well over 200 – 700 years old in Ai Lao, Yunnan.
   Each member created their own batch and every one was put together at the end. You might be asking “why would they do this?”. The reason is that as they made their own batch they infused the tea with their energy at every stage, then when they mixed them together every ones energy became one.  When drinking the tea you can feel the good intentions coming through because of this extra step.
       “Daughter of the Forest” tasted smooth, with cooked fruit taste and a light baked bread like flavor (it reminded me of baked bread, the “proper” term would be brisk). The energy was definitely there as instantly it calmed every nerve and muscle in my body. My family had gone through a very stressful ordeal (water damage and a little drama, more on this latter), so having a cup of this truly helped me realize that the stress will pass. Basically I had begun to meditate with the tea.

 Which brings me to my favorite article in the magazine “Eight Bowls: A Meditative Mind” by Shane Marrs. Here Shane explains how both tea and water respond to human emotions. They “suck it up” and it comes through when we make our tea. For example, if you have ever had tea made by someone who is having a truly bad day, that tea will have a differnt taste than from someone who is having a fantastic day. A better example would be the difference between tea from a tea ceremony to tea quickly made at home. They are night and day!
     A great explanation is this zen quote, ” If I’m not mindful then it isn’t tea that we’re drinking,, but rather my afflictions and delusions”.  For me this line explains that is important to focus on one thing at a time, in this case tea. If tea is not the focus then are you really “tasting” the truth of the tea itself?

Global Tea Hut is a digital community where tea drinkers enjoy the same tea(s) every month across the world. It is subscription based where all the proceeds go towards a non-profit tea center (Tea Sage Hut) in Taiwan that is open to all. For more information on Global Tea Hut and the center please visit them at:

Global Tea Hut

Tea Sage Hut

**All opinions are my own and subscription is paid by me, as a donation to the tea center

Digital Table: Global Tea Hut June

    Welcome to the Digital Table where you are part of a global conversation with tea. Global Tea Hut is a Non-Profit Organization that sends out a sampling of tea, a gift and a special magazine. Everything is brought together by the community to spread the love of tea, Dao and Zen. Join us the last Wednesday of every month to discuss the current packet from Global Tea Hut.
   This series was created because the message from Global Tea Hut touched me. It is of my own creation and I receive nothing from them ,but good karma of spreading their message and cause . All past posts can be found under “Digital Table” here.

This Month Global Tea Hut sent out a Second Tea As This Months Gift. What a surprise! It was very neat to discover that both teas are from the same garden. Then processed as two different teas. This months tea are an Oolong and Red Honey Fragrance Mi Xiang Spring 2014. They are from Ming Jian, Taiwan. Each one had its own distinct coloring to them from their processing. The Oolong being the greenest and the Red tea being, well reddest.
   Both teas had their own unique flavor, but similar mouth feel. The red tea was warm, earthy and slightly biscuitty (reminding me of freshly baked bread). The Oolong was a little flowery with a touch of some kind of fruit. While both teas tasted differently, they both made me feel relaxed and centered. The Oolong made my muscles relax, and melted away anything that was troubling me. My mouth was left with the lingering taste of the tea and watering at the thought of having more.

Favorite Article  

  I tried the teas before I had the chance to read any articles. The one that stood out the most this month was “A Movement Towards Sensitivity” by Wu De.  He reminded us how tea tasting can be both objective and subjective. At tea tastings it is common that there is a “standard” taste profile and then the personal profile. It is very often that the standard either becomes our own or part of it. We focus so much on finding and defining the tastes by comparing to other things like mushrooms or cinnamon.
   The following line is an excellent reminder of what we are forgetting when we stick to this model:

 Lu Yu says that you never discern the quality of tea by “merely contemplating its flavor or sniffing its aroma”.

 I understand that speaking about this article contradicts my earlier “analysis” of this months tea but I know there are many of us out there that feel the need for these descriptors. Wu De suggests though to add a new dimension to the tasting, mouth feel. How does the tea interact with our mouth? Body? I made sure to include this in my own notes as I agree with Wu De that it can ” create a huge leap in your ability to appreciate tea”. I personally suggest focusing on this feeling first before breaking down and searching for connections in the taste/aroma. Make tea the key player in your tea time.

Focus on only tea

It has been a while since I have had tea outside so after packing up it was time to head out. It was a little noisy around the creek but after a little hunting (and practicing yoga ocassinally) Matt and I found some quiet. We quietly shared a few bowls of tea together of each kind. 

When it came to documenting the moment for Tea Journey I was very glad for my yoga practice. I was able to block out the noise of the camera, turn inward and focus on the teas. Every peice of my chaxi helped acheive this. 

Keeping it simple I was able to ensure the tea session was more of a meditation than tea tasting. I did not take notes on the teas till much latter. Keeping the focus on the teas I was able to feel it within me and learn more from the tea. Bowl tea is perfect for this. Everything is by touch and eye. No measuring by using a digital scale, no slurping, etc. Everything was simple and focused on the experience.

Having tea outdoors in this method makes it seem like a Japanese Tea Ceremony. The Japanese Tea Room is a special place where one focuses on their practice, slowly opening up and letting the spirit of tea inside them. The same idea is what I brought with me this day. There is no judgement. Only me and tea. 

Global Tea Hut is a digital community where tea drinkers enjoy the same tea(s) every month across the world. It is subscription based where all the proceeds go towards a non-profit tea center (Tea Sage Hut) in Taiwan that is open to all. For more information on Global Tea Hut and the center please visit them at:

Global Tea Hut

Tea Sage Hut

**All opinions are my own and subscription is paid by me, as a donation to the tea center

Digital Table: Global Tea Hut May

    Welcome to the Digital Table where you are part of a global conversation with tea. Global Tea Hut is a Non-Profit Organization that sends out a sampling of tea, a gift and a special magazine. Everything is brought together by the community to spread the love of tea, Dao and Zen. Join us the last Wednesday of every month to discuss the current packet from Global Tea Hut.
   This series was created because the message from Global Tea Hut touched me. It is of my own creation and I receive nothing from them ,but good karma of spreading their message and cause . All past posts can be found under “Digital Table” here.

Global Tea Hut has been a regular part of each month since its beginning. It brings people together across the globe under one “roof” over tea and Dao. With the magazines full colour spreads and hand selected tea, it is a blessing. I invite you to join me at the end of every month to join together with Global Tea Hut. Together we will talk at our digital table and sip the tea together!

      

       This months tea is “Dian Hong” but creatively named “Golden Vajra (Jing Gang Chu) by Global Tea Hut. It is a delightful Autumn Wild Red Tea From 2013. From the article on this tea I felt blessed to know that the plant that this is from was propagated from seed, not a cutting. While sipping away and reading these words it really made me appreciate the extra works that went into this tea. It felt more earthy and alive.
      The tea itself started out smooth and had a light tonic taste, with a hint of lemon. There is no need to add milk to this tea (unless that is your thing),try it as it is and you are in for a special surprise.
           Two articles really stood out for me this month. Water for Tea by Nick Hudis and Tea with Angels by Wu De. Both gave me the feeling that I was with them either traveling to fetch the weeks tea water or learning more about where they travel. Nick took me on a unique trip through Britain to a hidden gem for tea water. It made me want to search harder for my own gem in my area (keeping my fingers crossed).  While Wu De reminded me how tea is not just a beverage but something that cultivates a life with it. Being a tea person for over 6 years (four years online) really helped me develop as a person.  When I first began Tea Journey I was quite a tea snob. I learned about things that I was not yet ready for, like the energy of tea (qi) and things that changed me patience. 

  


    
      Tea Journey is heading in a new direction according to my ever evolving values and views on tea. Like Wu De its something to go right into, its hard to write about and must be respected.  My tea practice turned into a lifestyle last year and is ever changing, growing.  To make it deeper I have taken up Yoga to better understand myself , and my tea practice.  I feel that by learning more about myself I will be able to move around the  tea room.
     Most of all I feel that tea must inspire this direction. If I were to send myself to the world tea expo, what would I really learn? It would all be just information, my body and soul would not learn the truth from the leaves at all. What I do know right now, is my tea tells me to slow down and take my time. Use my patience to my advantage  and to make my choices wisely. What ever he future holds for me or Tea Journey only the universe knows, but I will continue to press on and do what feels right.  
     For this months tea I first had it in  a pot, but after I felt the need to have it in a bowl. As all my tea ware is packed up I am working with what I have and what feels right. Simple , clean and pure. Just me, water and leaves. Next week I will be in Montreal so who knows if I will come back with something to help while I am in this transition period. Only the universe knows.
             

Global Tea Hut is a digital community where tea drinkers enjoy the same tea(s) every month across the world. It is subscription based where all the proceeds go towards a non-profit tea center (Tea Sage Hut) in Taiwan that is open to all. For more information on Global Tea Hut and the center please visit them at:

Global Tea Hut

Tea Sage Hut

**All opinions are my own and subscription is paid by me, as a donation to the tea center