Global Tea Hut is an experience. It is an ad-free magazine, with translations of ancient tea texts and modern tea experts, travelogues, articles on tea processing, history and lore as well as the Way of Tea (Cha Dao). And it comes with chemical-free, fair trade tea every month. Global Tea Hut is also a community of tea lovers in over forty countries who are looking to connect, share tea and heart space and learn about tea together. And Global Tea Hut supports a free tea Center, called Tea Sage Hut, which you are welcome to visit, as well as worldwide courses that teach tea brewing and cultivation, all without any financial motivation. Global Tea Hut is a unique opportunity to change the world one bowl at a time…
Global Tea Hut is an experience. It is an ad-free magazine, with translations of ancient tea texts and modern tea experts, travelogues, articles on tea processing, history and lore as well as the Way of Tea. And it comes with chemical-free, fair trade tea every month. Global Tea Hut is also a community of global tea lovers in almost forty countries who are looking to connect, share tea and heart space and learn about tea together. And Global Tea Hut supports free tea centers you yourself can visit, schools that teach tea brewing and cultivation without any financial motivation. Global Tea Hut is a unique opportunity to change the world one bowl at a time…
Elevation is a gorgeous red tea. When Japan controlled Taiwan, they brought large-leaf tea seeds from Yunnan and Assam to Taiwan to stimulate a tea industry for export. The large-leaf trees thrived best in Sun Moon Lake, where they built several plantations. At the end of the war, when the Japanese left, these gardens were abandoned. Decades later, farmers started tending them again, though they had become a blend of planted and wild trees by that time. Mr. Su’s garden has been preserved organic since then, maintaining a healthy ecology with thriving trees, many of which are eighty to a hundred years old. Mr. Su even bought the land adjacent to his so that his neighbor’s inorganic farming would not affect his own. He then chopped down the betel nut trees his neighbor had been growing, which are detrimental to the environment, and is leaving that tea for ten years to restore a natural, healthy ecology.
Elevation is harvested in the summer, when the leaves are budding. Usually, a bud and three leaves are plucked each time. The tea is then withered outdoors briefly, and oxidized in long troughs with fans that maintain a warm airflow. The withering can go on from six to twelve hours. Then, the tea is rolled for around ninety minutes, before being piled on bamboo trays and oxidized again for an hour or two. Finally, the tea is oven-dried. This simple processing suits the wild, verdant trees that made these leaves. (You can learn more about the processing of Elevation and look at several photographs if you go to the “Past Issues” section of our website and look up the October 2016 issue of Global Tea Hut, which also includes several accounts of drinking Elevation from around the world.)
Elevation is one of our all-time favorite bowl teas. It is brimming with Qi and with love. It is best prepared in the morning. We always ask Mr. Su to oxidize our tea a bit less than what he is used to. He thinks we’re funny, but always complies. Though this means the tea won’t be as sweet, we find that the heavy oxidation reduces the connection the leaf has to the land, resulting in less movement of Qi and connection to Nature. When the tea is left slightly green, it is more vibrant and full of life. We have experimented over the years and found the perfect amount of oxidation: We want to keep it a red tea, but let the green vibrancy of the summer and full body of this amazing environment shine through more pristinely. After you steep this month’s tea, you will see that the leaves are still vibrant, slightly green and strong.
We always offer this tea at workshops and events around the world, using it to expose new Chajin to a tea practice. If you are just starting out on your tea journey, this is the perfect month to begin a tea practice every morning. You can start by just putting some leaves in a bowl and sitting quietly for three bowls every morning. If you already have a tea practice, this month is a chance for us all to return to our roots and remember to stay humble. We might also use this occasion to invite over some new friends and introduce them to tea, helping to spread the word and grow this Global Tea Hut.
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Elevation is the only tea we send every year. It is the perfect introduction to a tea practice for those of us starting our journey and a reminder to return to our roots for those of us who have traveled some distance. As we meet our old friend again, we will explore sidehandle pots and sidehandle bowl tea ceremony.
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