From time to time we have people dropping in on the tea studio. People walking by, whose curiosity gets the best of them. The space has something of a magnetic effect on tea enthusiasts.
On Wednesday we had a lady with a baby come in. She said Pu-Erh was her favorite tea. She loved earthy, strong flavors. The child fussed a bit through the first few rounds of a 1980’s raw tea, until we included her by letter her smell the tea pitcher. This seemed to help and before long she was asleep and her mother and I were able to relax and let the tea set in. We talked about writing, interior design and meditation. The delicate cloud of a fine tea descended and an hour passed in the space of what seemed a few minutes. In the west we call it unplugging. In Taiwan we used to say we were charging ourselves — plugging into the universal energy. In the embrace of the best of teas we become as babies, carried in a mother’s embrace. The best teas are beautiful beyond description. They inform the experience of every tea you have after — these doors, once open, never again closes.
Good tea is something which, once experienced, is long remembered but not always easy to find. Sometimes we associate a great cup of tea with a certain experience, certain person, place or time. The magic of a great tea offers, if only for a moment, the experience of the timeless. In Chinese we call it the feeling of 10,000 years contained within a single moment. It is beautiful, and bitter-sweet. Within the experience of a great pot of tea, we are our true selves, the sum-total of our experience; the best and most treasured aspects of ourselves.