2 weeks ago, I had the chance to meet a long time reader of my blog traveling in Taiwan. He's American, Buddhist and lives in the 'Plum village' in France! That's already quite an interesting background! I think he was the first from this 'village' to order tea from me. What I'm sure of is that several others followed suit.
Their members practice 'tea meditation' (en français ici). This probably explains why some of the best felt tasting notes I received came from this village. To understand a tea, you need to focus and feel its effects on your body and mind. Most of us don't always have (or take) the time and concentration to experience tea fully. It's a challenge for the modern person to sit down and simply focus on a cup of tea.
He gave me this calligraphy "This is it" that I'm using on today's Cha Xi. It's a useful reminder to live and enjoy every moment. "This is it". It's our life that is happening, right now. Let's live it freely, without the shackles of our past or the fear of future.
In this spirit, today, I prepare a Cha Xi with my 2008 winter Hung Shui Oolong. I want to enjoy and share the pleasure a wonderfully roasted Dong Ding Oolong. "This is it". There's nothing else I'd rather do or nowhere else I'd rather be right now. With such a positive attitude, I can focus on each layer of aftertaste going from my throat to my mouth. I feel the energy on my tongue and my back's muscles loosen.
I can also distinguish how the tea has changed and sweetened after some resting in this object:
What is it?
Its walls are thick and are glazed inside out. The inside wall shows that it has been assembled in the middle section.
No, it's not a tea jar or a vase. In it, the leafs' flavors interact with the old glaze. They become finer and more mellow.
Actually, it's a grenade! Ships would carry them to detonate them with gunpowder when pirates attacked!
(Hat tip to Teaparker for this idea of using these grenades as tea jars!)
This brings a new meaning to the 'explosion' of joy I feel each day when I swallow my first drop of tea!
"This is it!" The love of tea transforms a weapon of war into a taste enhancer! It's a beautiful moment to live and experience, fleeting like a flower and fragile like a butterfly. Life is so short. Let's live our (good) teas with passion and creativity.
Thank you, tea brother, for this powerful message.