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
…all of my students could testify to how redundantly I repeat that it is
incredibly important that we don’t allow our tea wisdom to become
“expertise” in the egotistical sense, and that we never allow ourselves
to be tea snobs, judging other people’s tea practices. The great
Japanese tea master Juko said that criticizing others’ tea just shows
that you have a long way to go yet. I don’t think Juko was
hypocritically judging those who judge, merely stating that beginners
will do this and the more wise you become, the less this is necessary.(Aaron Fisher- Life of Tea Blog)
I have met many different tea friends over the past few years, many of which have completed the George Brown Program. The amount of tea, the kettle one uses, quality of tea and “devices”. These are things that one should learn over time, I have found that in one gaiwan, I just need to cover the bottom for a rolled Oolong. While for another I need to fill it just that little bit more because of the shape.
As for kettles, I first used a plastic Betty Crocker I was gifted at the start of my Journey. I have mentioned this off hand to a few people, friends and customers at work, only to receive the same reaction. Many people see plastic as “taboo”, but in my case this particular kettle is of sentimental value. This in itself added to my tea. On the other hand I was looking for a kettle made of a different material, partly from peer pressure and partly from the desire to have different elements ( think fire, water etc) in my tea sessions.
Quality of tea is another thing that one must learn. The first teas that I purchased were from the Chinatown supermarket. I used to have a Toucha Pu-er from back then, it only cost me $2.99CND. This tea has a fuller body than some other pu-er I have tried before the ones I am trying now. Pu-er in general is a learning experience in itself as there is a vast array of types, regions, leaf size etc.
Devices and tea ware vary from person to person. When I was an employee at Teaopia and Teavana, I became accustomed to the “Tea Master”, made of …plastic. Customers buy them all the time, I have even used them on occasion when I have no other method to brew. The end result is the about the same.
In contrast to this device I use gaiwans at home, a much more enjoyable method to brew tea. It took me a long time to get to the point of even purchasing one as the amount it could brew at once was small. Canada and America are used to large mugs, large tea pots that are filled with many many tea bags. My first cup of tea was from a tea bag as a child in a tea pot that held 10 cups of tea which equaled to only 5-6 with our mugs. While working for both companies I helped them find the teapot that matched how they were comfortable making tea. Which is the way that meant the most to them, usually developed by tradition.
What I am trying to say is when we learn things in such a setting as a class or school. There is a need to take a step back from what we have learned and allow the leaf to speak for itself. Make some “mistakes” in the amount of tea or temperature of water you use. Relax and see what happens. This is the best way to learn and continue to learn from the leaf.
If tea called for a gold tea room, would you seek out to get one?
Nichi nichi kore ko jitsu – every day is a good day
Stress finnaly settled in last week, even more so when I realized I had not done my tasteing for the week. After a weekend of relaxation I will get back into my tastings, but I think I will allow myself some wiggle room to post every two weeks if need be. I have found after my first tasteing I have lost the love to write about these teas this is why I need the ability to review when I feel it is right.
And by following Aaron Fishers advice of focusing on one action at a time, I can enjoy my tea and then write about it there after. As for this little line I thought It was good to start my work day with Japanese quote to raise the spirit.
If you have been over to my art blog you may have noticed I posted about a performance piece surrounding Chanoyu. This will happen in the spring, much planning and learning needs to happen before late March early April area (when I hope the Cherry Blossoms are open). Keep an eye on both blogs as I may post about this event on either depending on the nature of the update. For those of you that have not visited my art blog the link is down below.
The past little while I have been researching Chanoyu and hope to have enough to post about quite soon. It is getting close 11:30am now I should get ready for work. Best of luck with your studies~
My art blog-Split/Gender
I have been thinking over the last little bit on the ideas I can recall from “The Way of Tea” by Aaron Fisher . A very well written tea book on Tao and Tea. Again as I usually end my nights (and begin my mornings) I check out different tea related things. Tonight that was looking at The Leaf and following it to Wu De (Aaron Fisher)’s blog. In January I e-mailed him inquiring about his book and was invited to his school when I have the chance. This school now has a web page, The Sage Hut, it is compleately non profit and very inviteing. It seeks to teach others about Tea and the Tao or Cha Dao.
I have met with many differnt types of people over the last few years, all with different opinons on the leaf. “Meeting” Arron, through his book, I have come to a point where I am seeking more than just the leaf itself. This being Cha Dao. As it is quite late right now I feel putting this, need into words impossible. In short, I wish to begin to post about things I see in tea, not just reviews which do help my pallet in preparation for the George Brown program. This I hope will include Cha Xi (which is represented to an artful form my Stephane over at Tea Masters) , thoughts on tea ware I use (and even things that I use that may not be “ment” for tea), Cha Qi (Once I can understand it, so this is something to learn), etc. These posts will not be to push anyone in any way what so ever towards this method of seeing. Tao is very interesting to me and I hope it will bring this Journey in the direction it feels I need to go. Perhaps I will find myself in Taiwan with Wu De.
To sum it all up, keep an eye out for these posts. They may be included along side a tea “review” (more so a tasting) or on their own. All in all good night now, I have a final cup for the evening waiting for me.
The book flowed very well. Kept me wanting more even though I had to A: change trains, B: Switch to the bus ,or C: work. I quite enjoyed reading more about all the other old masters of the past and more on Tao of tea.
It helped a lot that I had previously read Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and Kakuzo Okakura’s The Book of Tea. I understood each and every word and also tried to remember if I have ever felt Cha Qi. I have never been good at writing for blogs but feel that for this one writing what comes to mind at first works best.
Anyhow overall I feel like reading this book again as it was just as calming as my tea sessions and my own studio time. I hope to soon get a copy of Kakuzo-sans book and then start writing a possible book I have planned or scholarly paper. Which ever of the two it ends up being.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Tea and Tao, separate or not.