At the end of January, I had the unique opportunity to visit some of the most famous tea mountains in southwest China, in Yunnan, Bangdong, 雲南，邦東鄉. I learned so much about tea and tea life and met so many amazing pure tea people far away from commercial and cultural interests. Maybe one of the few places left where your heart can follow the spirits of nature. I once mentioned a thought of Wang Meixia’s book, 王美霞 普洱茶錄-易武的茶香歲月, about Puerh tea: “While hiking through the sacred tea mountains you can feel the breath of these ancient tea trees.” Well, what should I say, there is so much power and history in these tea leaves. It’s not like drinking tea only, it’s like interacting with the brew. It’s not about flavor, its rather about a feeling.
Being back in Berlin I followed the kind invitation of a special Tea Friend, Le Ying, to introduce some of my experiences and new treasures to the Tea Cave, Thirsty Moon, and its audience. A place with a very inspiring and artistic environment attracting a certain type of people with a taste for quality and “real stuff”. I once again was surprised how many tea people are hiding out there and how fast the knowledge and appreciation of tea are spread. But even more about the fact that we all have certain things in common: a modest smile on our faces and the ability to experience the sensations and perspectives of raw nature and beauty. I can barely remember how many infusions we did but with each infusion, the spirit becomes more intense.
I normally rather prefer quiet and contemplative tea sessions, with only a few participants, than crowded and lively ones. However, it is important to let the tea speak for itself and unleash its qualities. Enriching your environment with certain contents will automatically result in particular outcomes. It’s the same with tea. The regular and conscious encounter with tea will affect your perception of reality, your status of mind, the way how you interact with the world, and of course your sense and creation of art. In other words, during this tea event unconsciously and without any effort, many works of art were brought into existence while the atmosphere itself was full of inspiration and richness. In the end, we had the pleasure to enjoy a very rare aged tea-cake from Menghai, 勐海, but at that time we all were “high” already by the vibes flowing through the cave.
Floating home after several hours of intense tea consumption of Puerh Teas, 普洱, and Gushus, 古樹, I felt like having a jet-lag and started to reflect on some thoughts. My regular set of attributes explaining the effects of tea consumption are: inner peace, harmony, calmness, awareness, beauty, “less is more”, “finding answers” and so on. But this time I realized I haven’t laughed that much in ages. It was so much fun, so many weird or awkward but entertaining situations and conversations. Amazing “non-tea music” fitting perfect to the tea-moments. Staring at a row of peanut shells, putting a dried mushroom in a piece of wood, a perfectly balanced teacup, that all is pure beauty. While staring at these works of straight art in a simple, dull, unconditional way is pure enjoyment and freedom of mind, that raises pleasure and a different aspect of enlightenment.
So, when drinking tea next time, don’t be too serious about yourself and don’t forget about the fun part! Thanks for the invitation and the great people. It was an awesome afternoon.