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May 2013

Herald of Spring


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AuthorKai Ya
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Herald of Spring

by Kai Ya


Every tea has its own unique personality and power, making it impossible to compare teas from one genre to that of another, or even those within the same genre. Puerh teas, for example, are often simple and direct, yet powerful and full of wisdom, like the unrefined pithiness of an old village woman. Wuyi Rock teas, on the other hand, carry us up to the most refined, delicate peaks, requiring of us a great deal of sensitivity, and all the elegant sophistication of the philosophical conversation you might have with a woman in the city. How to compare them? And yet, Green Tea is in a sense my favorite genre of tea, and I am so pleased that we are sharing some with you this month, and especially this one, which has long been a favorite of ours.

One of the best things about Green Tea is that it heralds the arrival of spring. It's time to come crawling out of our caves, blink our eyes, take off our shoes and socks and run on the grass under the sun and feel the warm dirt between our toes again. Hooray! There is very little processing required to make Green Tea, so it is also one of the first teas to become available in the spring season, but there's more to it than that. Come to think of it, it's Spring which heralds the coming of Green Tea, since the tea wishes to be drunk at this time of year. Green Tea is cooling, light, refreshing, and at its best when it is as fresh as possible; as near to the time when it was still there on the bush or tree basking in the sun as you can get it. (Actually, I really love aged Green Tea too. However, this has to be considered as a totally different genre of tea, since it's not really 'green' anymore.)

I tend to feel nostalgic when I drink Green Tea - it's my oldest tea friend, being the first tea that ever spoke to me, and I often have the feeling that I may have drunk a great deal more of it than I can even remember. It takes me back somewhere; it uplifts me and encircles me with its gentleness and simplicity. Green Tea, to me, is an embodiment of light, and drinking it is a communion with light. I feel it filling the cells of my body, I hear it singing through my soul and my spirit joins in its playful, gentle dance. Green Tea is playful, and it reminds me of a time when sunbeams inspired me to play with them, or the way light dances at the bottom of a clear pool of water. Green Tea still has a sun-inspired playfulness and wants to share it with us. As a choice of teas to get you out there brewing in Nature for the first time this year, which I wrote about last month, I couldn't recommend a better choice. This tea loves to be drunk outside on a sunny day, or in your tea space at whatever time of day is brightest.

Green Tea loves music that is reminiscent of light as well. I personally enjoy plucked string instruments with little or no accompaniment: Simple Gu Xing music or a harp perhaps. I particulary enjoy an album I have of Celtic strings, and another that is a very delicate duet of flute and hammer dulcimer. Just think of any music you have that reminds you of the play of light on water and you will have a good match for this month's tea. ( I'll be sure to post a few of my specific favorites up in the tea of the month section of our forums this month, and I hope you will share some of yours with us as well!)

Like a lot of Green teas, being so simply processed and lacking pretension, this tea enjoys being made in the oldest way, leaves and water in a bowl. However, I strongly encourage you to make a bit of it in your teapot as well, as I have enjoyed many transcendental sessions with this tea in that way as well. The leaves are a bit smaller this year than they were in the past. No matter how or where you enjoy this tea, I am so happy to be sharing it with you and participating in your sharing of it with yourself and others, and hope to hear from some of you about it as Spring unfolds and arises without and within us this year. May your every sip be filled with Love and Light!

Do not gulp the tea, but sip it slowly allowing its fragrance to fill your mouth. There is no need to have any special attitude while drinking except one of thankfulness. The nature of the tea itself is that of no-mind. It does not discriminate and make differences. It is just as it is.
- Pojong Sunim