Tea & Teaware

All the proceeds support the creation of Light Meets Life!

Light Meets Life is the bigger future version of our current center, Tea Sage Hut. We plan to build Light Meets Life in the mountains nearby to Miao Li. Our current center hosts hundreds of guests a year. All food, lodging, tea and teachings are free. We operate on a pay-it-forward system. Light Meets Life will continue in that same spirit of giving. We hope to be able to host up to fifteen permanent residents and forty guests on any given day in the new center. The proceeds of this tea and teaware will be used towards the creation of Light Meets Life. Click on the pictures of any of the tea or teaware to see a full page of details!


Tea

  • Stacks Image 276620
  • Stacks Image 276623
  • Stacks Image 276626
  • Stacks Image 276629
  • Stacks Image 276632
  • Stacks Image 276635
  • Stacks Image 276638
Please contribute what you can for this amazing 250g cake of tea. The minimum is US 50$ + shipping.
More Details...
Stacks Image 276678
Stacks Image 276680
Stacks Image 276682
Stacks Image 276684
Stacks Image 276686
Stacks Image 276688
Stacks Image 276690
This beautiful cake comes from Daqing village in Jinggu, which is about 1600 meters above sea level. “Moonlight White (Yue Guang Bai, 月光白)” is a unique white tea that lies somewhere between a white and red tea, depending on how long it is withered by the farmers and then how long it is aged after drying. They say that this tea was once withered under the moon, which is why it is named thus, though these days that is more of a colorful tale. Our tea was processed in autumn, when the moon is at its fullest, and since it withered more—most likely overnight—though not outdoors, it is, in its own way, connected to the moon. The extra withering lends this tea a darker, redder liquor. Our tea is truly somewhere between a red and white tea.

This white tea is richer than almost any other white tea we have experienced. This is because it comes from old-growth, large-leaf trees and is withered longer. These wild trees have natural, whitish-purple buds, but the tea is composed of leaves and buds both, lending it a greater depth and more complex body. The large-leaf tea doesn’t wither and dry the way small-leaf white tea does, whether Silver Needle (only bud) or Bai Mu Dan, which has leaves like our tea.

Moonlight White is gorgeously sweet, like dew. It tastes to us the way flowers must taste to hummingbirds. Some sips are fruity and the next are flowery and musky. It is a very deep and complex tea, especially for a white tea. White teas are rarely this rich, either in the mouth or the body—for make no mistake, Moonlight White is also deep and transformative. If you can, drink it outside under a full moon, which will change your life!
  • Stacks Image 277206
  • Stacks Image 277209
  • Stacks Image 277212
  • Stacks Image 277215
  • Stacks Image 277218
  • Stacks Image 277221
  • Stacks Image 277224
Please contribute what you can for this amazing 250g cake of tea. The minimum is US 75$ + shipping.
More Details...
Stacks Image 277235
Stacks Image 277237
Stacks Image 277239
Stacks Image 277241
Stacks Image 277243
Stacks Image 277245
Stacks Image 277247
The Dream is actually the culmination of a twelve-year project to try and create sheng puerh that we, ourselves want to drink and store. Back in the day, no one drank young sheng puerh. All sheng puerh was produced for aging. As more and more tea lovers have started enjoying young sheng, the production has shifted towards something more like green tea. Two of the things that often made cakes of the Masterpiece (1949-1972) and Seven Sons (1972-1998) eras of puerh unique were that the tea was oxidized slightly more and that multiple years of tea (maocha) were blended together. Many old-timers have told us that factory blends very often contained slightly aged tea with young tea if it proved bolder and more “ageable.”

We wanted to create a tea that would be amazing to drink now and a super candidate for storage, as well. We knew we wanted to use Yiwu raw material, but maybe outside the focused areas to find something more affordable and clean. We also needed a farmer to work with us on getting the oxidation levels to where we wanted. Eventually, we found someone with old-growth, clean trees to help and started sampling. The early samples were all over-oxidized—more like a lightly-oxidized dian hong. Then when we got that right, we saved tea from the last two years and blended them in this stellar cake. This tea is sweet, thick and deep. It is a phenomenal tea for drinking or aging.
  • Stacks Image 276871
  • Stacks Image 276874
  • Stacks Image 276877
  • Stacks Image 276880
  • Stacks Image 276883
  • Stacks Image 276886
  • Stacks Image 276889
  • Stacks Image 276892
  • Stacks Image 276895
  • Stacks Image 276898
  • Stacks Image 276901
  • Stacks Image 276904
  • Stacks Image 276907
  • Stacks Image 276910
  • Stacks Image 276913
  • Stacks Image 276916
Please contribute what you can for this amazing 250g cake of tea. The minimum is US 108$ + shipping.
More Details...
Stacks Image 276927
Stacks Image 276929
Stacks Image 276931
Stacks Image 276933
Stacks Image 276935
Stacks Image 276937
Stacks Image 276939
Stacks Image 276941
Stacks Image 276943
Boundlessness is our sheng puerh cake for this year. It comes from wild, old-growth trees on Wuliang Mountain, which is some of the highest tea in Yunnan. Wu Lian g peaks at over 3,000 meters and our cake comes from old trees growing at around 2,000 meters. This tea was sourced by Master Tsai and Snow for us, who traveled to the region and chose this year’s sheng, watching to make sure the tea was picked from old trees and then carried back down the mountain for pressing. The tea was harvested from trees that are all two hundred or more years old. They are also all wild, seed-propagated, chemical-free and from rich biodiverse ecologies. Each cake was then stone-pressed by Snow’s friends in Kunming. Boundlessness is full and rich, uplifting with a stronger relationship to the sky due to the altitude. We find it sweet, with many floral notes, but with a depth and Qi that means it will also be a great candidate for aging. Our cost for this tea was around eighty dollars a cake, so the minimum donation is very affordable. We are hoping that some of you will contribute more, as is so often the case, and help us build our future Center together!

  • Stacks Image 276471
  • Stacks Image 276474
  • Stacks Image 276477
  • Stacks Image 276480
  • Stacks Image 276483
  • Stacks Image 276486
  • Stacks Image 276489
Please contribute what you can for a 150g packet of this stellar tea. The minimum is US 50$ + shipping.
More Details...
Stacks Image 276500
Stacks Image 276502
Stacks Image 276504
Stacks Image 276506
Stacks Image 276508
Stacks Image 276510
Stacks Image 276512
Stacks Image 276514
Stacks Image 276516
We are so excited to share this beautiful aged tieguanyin with you. It is from an organic farm in Muzha, Taiwan, and was harvested in 2006, so it is already more than ten years old. It was traditionally processed, with heavy oxidation and roast, making it a wonderful and delicious brew right now and also a great candidate for aging. The liquor is bright, sweet and slightly sour, with a bold Qi, complex aromas and is more patient than what you are used to in an oolong (it is “iron goddess of mercy,” after all).

Drinking aged tieguanyin is one of Wu De’s favorite past times. Whenever there is a pause in the Center’s busy schedule and he can drink some tea in his “Ruddy-Faced, Scraggly-Haired Hermit’s Hut” (that is really the name of his house), he very often chooses an aged tieguanyin. Tieguanyin is rich, complex, bold and delicious with strong Qi and it is patient, lasting many steepings—the perfect companion for a ruddy-faced man studying or meditating!

Puerh requires humidity to grow and age well, so many places around the world aren’t suitable for aging puerh. Oolong doesn’t ferment, though, it only oxidizes over time, which means it does not require humidity. In fact, oolong ages better in a dry, sealed environment! Also, oolong changes faster than puerh, growing beautiful in ten years, exquisite in twenty and absolutely stunning in thirty years. It is more difficult nowadays to find an oolong worth aging, though, as lightly-oxidized, greener oolong is the mainstay. Such tea can age, but the high moisture content in the leaves means it will have to dry out first, and therefore take a long time to reach a nice stage, also passing through a long, awkward and undrinkable phase. Traditionally-processed oolong, on the other hand, is drinkable at any age, including just a few months after it is processed, and only gets better with time. This tea can be quite joyously drunk now or aged and drunk even more happily in some years!

We had the tea wrapped in the traditional paper style of yesteryear and created our own stamp to mark the bamboo paper. Through some stunning generosity and good fortune we were able to attain this tea at a very affordable price (less than this year’s Muzha tieguanyin!).
Our Expansion Packs are not part of our Light Meets Life fundraisers. In fact, they aren’t fundraisers at all. We try to offer a few opportunities a year to expand the topic of the magazine and let you try many different kinds of tea that explore whatever issue we are currently publishing. We try to keep them at $40-$50 and spend most everything on the tea, packaging and shipping. This effort is purely educational. Learn more at the Expansion Pack webpage.
  • Stacks Image 277312
  • Stacks Image 277315
  • Stacks Image 277318
  • Stacks Image 277321
  • Stacks Image 277324
  • Stacks Image 277327
  • Stacks Image 277330

Teaware

Stacks Image 275840
Please contribute what you can for this amazing kettle & stove set. The minimum is US 370$ with shipping.
More Details...
Stacks Image 275896
Stacks Image 276261
Stacks Image 276259
Stacks Image 276257
Stacks Image 276255
Stacks Image 276253
Stacks Image 276251
Stacks Image 276249
Stacks Image 276247
Stacks Image 276245
Stacks Image 276243
Stacks Image 275898
Stacks Image 275900
We have created these amazing kettle and stove sets out of genuine Zisha clay, which will get better with every use if you use fine-quality water. Every detail of these kettle sets has been designed by Wu De with pure tradition and function in mind.

Tradition: these sets are modeled after the design of Mulberry Creek white-clay stoves from Chaozhou, which are one of the Four Treasures of gongfu tea. Antique white-clay stoves are hard to find and are very fragile cracking at the slightest touch easily, and the modern examples aren’t made from the same clay. The old ones were underfired due to the composition of the natural, white river clay from Mulberry Creek. Modern craftsmen do not know where that place is any longer and use many kinds of white clay to create their stoves. Often, the underfiring leaves an earthy taste behind that is not suitable for many teas, especially light ones. Yixing has a much better effect on water, creating smooth, round and bright water, so it was an obvious choice. The best gongfu water is boiled on charcoal and then transferred to Yixing.

Function: Wu De wanted the shape to be as close as possible to the traditional kettles with cannon spouts that allow for greater control of distance and speed of pour. Through experimentation with many handles, he also insisted that the handles be made of clay, for better stability and control, as detachable bamboo or metal handles wobble and are less steady. He also moved the carb hole to the back behind the handle, which solves two issues: first, one problem with clay handles is that they can conduct heat and if the carb was on the lid, steam may make the handle too hot to handle, so having the hole in the back prevents this. Secondly, this actually improves the smoothness of the pour, making for greater control over the stream, since there is greater air pressure behind each pore.

He designed the stove to be very functional as well. One of the problems with traditional Mulberry creek stoves, as well as many modern stoves, is that the kettle often smothers the alcohol flam if the kettle and stove are both flat. Wu tried many solutions and found that the best was to cut square holes in the surface of the stove’s rim, much like the turrets of a castle, allowing airflow from the hole at the bottom of the brazier and through the top as well.

The brazier splits in half, so you can use a taller or shorter version of your alcohol stove depending on the chaxi you choose, though the bottom half doesn’t have turrets for good air flow. There is a hemp wrap around the upper portion so you can move the whole stove, or release the top when it is hot.

We are including two alcohol burners, one glass and one tin. The glass one is amongst the highest quality we could find. It has a porcelain top and is made of thicker Japanese glass. It fits inside the top and bottom part of the burner. The tin alcohol burner is cheaper, but it travels really well and we suspect some of you who travel to make to, or make lots of outdoor tea, may even use this with your other kettles. It only fits in the upper burner, as it is bigger, but has a strong flame and is durable.

Technically, the stove is designed with a basket for charcoal, as it is based on old-school Chaozhou stoves, but Yixing conducts heat very well and there is a good chance your stove will crack if you use charcoal. This is meant as an alcohol stove only. If you are going to use coals, only put them in the center of the upper well and only a very small amount that does not get the sides hot or the stove may crack and the hemp roast! We cannot be responsible if it cracks! This stove is only for maintaining heat, not for boiling water! Also, the kettle works best on a small amount of charcoal or alcohol. You cannot use it on gas or an electric stove, and if you want to be safe, only use it on alcohol!

You may wonder why we chose Yixing zisha for the stove at all since it cannot be used for charcoal and alcohol both and another kind of ceramic or even metal could. One reason is aesthetic, to have uniformity in the set. The other is that the material the kettle is touching will actually influence the water subtly, and zisha on zisha is smoother. Once you compare the water from this kettle, made from forty-year-old Yixing zisha clay, you will understand why we chose it!

The entire set of stove and kettle comes in a custom wooden box that Wu De has hand-painted with a bit of calligraphy. They are all handmade and so will have minor differences as a result.

Each set is a minimum donation of $300 + a flat shipping fee of $70, which means we can wrap it up extra safe and make sure it reaches anywhere in the world it is headed without a problem. There are only 100 of these magical sets in the world and each is numbered.
Stacks Image 277412

Sold Out Temporarily

Please contribute what you can for these amazing antique cups. The minimum is US 150$ + shipping.
More Details...
Stacks Image 275924
Stacks Image 275926
Stacks Image 275931
Stacks Image 276241
Stacks Image 276239
Stacks Image 276237
Stacks Image 276235
Stacks Image 276233
Stacks Image 276231
These amazing cups are from the early- to mid-Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). They are roughly three hundred years old. In our experience, antique cups make much better tea. The quality of the porcelain, wood firing and simple spirit of use over time enhance one’s tea greatly. We invite you to experiment with these cups versus modern ones. We think you also will find that they improve your tea. These cups are glazed on the outside with celadon as decoration, which makes them quite gorgeous, indeed.
 
These were originally wine cups, though they have most likely been used for tea for decades now. They were not high-class cups either, but simple, ordinary ones, used by everyday people like us, which we feel better expresses the spirit of tea. As a result, they are wabi, which means imperfect. We will do our best to match the cups in sets of five, which is the traditional number of a set of cups, but there will be some variation in size. Also, these cups are three hundred years old, so they all have spots, chips and sometimes even hairline cracks (not leaking though). Antique cups that are perfect grade are very expensive, often more for one cup than this entire set. We hope that like us you will not only accept the “blemishes” of time on these cups, but celebrate them for what they are: the wear and tear of daily use over centuries, which is a large part of the soul in these cups!
Stacks Image 275850
Please contribute what you can for this useful tray. The minimum is US 35$ + shipping.
More Details...
Stacks Image 277418
Stacks Image 277420
Stacks Image 277422
Stacks Image 277424
This authentic Yixing tea tray is very useful for making gongfu tea. It is multi-functional. You can use it as a teaboat, especially for larger pots that don’t fit into a deeper dish. You can also use it as a cup tray for 3-5 cups, depending on their size. Each tray is made from genuine forty-year-old zisha (purple-sand) clay.

Stacks Image 276180
Please contribute what you can for this amazing teapot. The minimum is US 250$ + shipping.
More Details...
Stacks Image 277446
Stacks Image 277448
Stacks Image 277450
These gorgeous zisha (purple-sand) teapots are made from genuine forty-year-old clay. They are all handmade in cooperation between Master Zhou’s two apprentices and Master Chen herself, who finished every single pot. Like Master Zhou, Chen Ju Fang is another of our teachers. She is a master of Yixingware in her own right. Their studio is called “Wu Xing Shan Fang (巧契),” but we had “Light Meets Life” stamped on the bottom of these pots.

These pots are a copy of one of our teacher’s favorite early-Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) teapots. The stars are actually flecks of duanni clay that are added. to. the zisha clay and rolled in before the pots are made. This style is aesthetically beautiful. The stars are only on the surface, so the inside is only zisha clay (to improve the tea). Each pot comes with a Global Tea Hut box and a certificate stating that the pots are handmade by Master Chen.
Stacks Image 276203
Please contribute what you can for this amazing teapot. The minimum is US 200$ + shipping.
More Details...
Stacks Image 277404
Stacks Image 277408
Stacks Image 277406
Ju Lun Ju is our favorite shape of teapot, as it is most-beloved by most all the tea teachers we know and study with. The round body makes them good for any kind of tea. We asked the potters to make ours a little taller, so that they would literally be a compromise for all kinds of tea. This simple, rustic style of pot is intentionally left unfinished: the lids often wobble, the insides are crude and all is left unadorned. We feel that this best suites the spirit of Tea, which should be a celebration of the simple, ordinary life and the natural beauty in imperfection. The open spout means you have much greater control over the pour of the pot, allowing for a greater freedom of speed and distance, which becomes important for different kinds of tea as you become more sensitive.

They say that one of the best aesthetics for tea is a “royal steed tethered to a thatched hut,” which refers to the juxtaposition of something elegant and fine with simple, rustic materials. To celebrate this, we had the Heart Sutra handcarved on each of these pots, adding some spirit and grace to what would otherwise be very simple. We had to hire an eighty-year-old carver, long since retired, to carve the pots as the young carvers don’t know how to do the entire Heart Sutra by hand anymore. The tradition of carving calligraphy, and the Heart Sutra in particular, onto Yixing pots dates back centuries. The carving is done by different artists than the pot-makers and is a discipline of mastery in its own right. Ordinarily, carving or three-dimensional decoration decreases the quality of tea you can prepare with a pot, but for some reason this influence is not there so pronouncedly with the Heart Sutra. Master Lin always shrugs his shoulders at this and smiling, saying that the Heart Sutra is the only carving he’d want on a pot. We will include Wu De’s translation of the Heart Sutra, which he worked on for over a decade, and which we chant almost every day at the Center, with each pot.

There are four pots this year. Each are made from genuine, old Yixing ore mined from Yellow Dragon Mountain. The zisha pots are made from forty-year-old clay. We have two zisha, purple clay, and two hongni, or red clay. One of each is fired in an electric kiln and the other two are wood-fired. In other words, we have a wood and electric-fired version of each clay. Please be aware the Ju Lun Ju teapots are rustic and quaint. The wood-fired pots were fired in traditional dragon kilns. They are meant to be “wabi,” or gloriously imperfect. They are intentionally left unfinished and rustic, as this is the aesthetic of humility. Also, each pot is handcrafted and so is unique, as are the carvings. The wood-fired pots likewise vary in color and darkness depending on which place in the kiln they occupied. (If you want to choose one of these pots, you’ll have another good reason to visit the Center.) Finally, some of you will surely ask about how to hold a Ju Lun Ju lid, as it has a flat button. But it also has thick sides for this reason, and that is how you hold it (as shown in the photographs). These pots are 13-140 ml.

Flat and Wide Reddish Zisha Jenshui

Stacks Image 277467

Plain Hexagonal Zisha Jenshui

Stacks Image 277477

Heart Sutra Hexagonal Zisha Jenshui

Stacks Image 277487