2003 - 2013, a decade of education and improvement
My first tea classes with Teaparker started 10 years ago, in the winter of 2002/03. For the birth of my first son in 2003, I purchased 2 tongs of my spring 2003 wild Yiwu puerh (1 for him and one for me). A few years later, when I started to select teas for my readers, this tea naturally became part of my selection (and still is). With the blink of an eye, this tea has now reached 10 years of age.
The time that has passed hasn't been lost in vain. On the contrary, and this alone would be reason for celebration, I can feel with every cup I make the positive changes that have happened to my tea life during these 10 years.
That's why I chose to brew this raw puerh today. I want to taste this decade of improvement and refinement and express it with a meaningful Chaxi.
The cups I choose have recently arrived from David Louveau de la Guigneraye. They are the 3rd version of the celadon lotus set we have designed together. (Do you remember the second version and first version?) This time the colour is more blue-green and the walls are quite thick. The glazing is very smooth and soft thanks to the mixing of some marble in his clay. David was able to push the firing up to 1320 degrees Celcius. The cups are very stable on their stand and more harmonious than the previous versions.
Using David Louveau's new teaware (see also the teaboat and jar below) is a way to express this decade of improvement. What is especially gratifying is to see that my tea education hasn't been a one way street, but that I could also pass my knowledge to other people (thanks to this blog) and see them improve.
The zhuni teapot is very similar in shape to my first teapot (purchased before I started taking tea classes), but works so much better thanks to its top quality clay! There are some improvements that are not easily seen. They can be almost hidden, like the patterns on this old orange Japanese kimono belt. But these hidden improvements are often the most meaningful.
The beauty of the Cha Xi, the matching colors of wares and fabric, is what all can see. Here, I have also made progress (thanks also to a better camera!). But it's more what you can't see so directly that causes greatest pleasure: my calmer state of mind, that I better know how to pour water from the kettle in the teapot, the smooth and deep aftertaste of the tea...
First a fine beverage, tea has become a kind of way to express my feelings in a creative and positive way. This Cha Xi is a celabration of (tea) life and the meaningful use of the last 10 years!
My name is Stéphane Erler. I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.