Most of you will have thoroughly enjoyed our July issue of Global Tea Hut by now. Having read all about our trip to Yunnan, and all the exciting adventures we had there, you no doubt were waiting for this announcement: the first of our 2014 Light Meets Life teas have arrived!
This is the first, and most special of the three teas we've produced for LML this year. The second two teas should arrive soon, and we will announce them in due time...
This amazing tea was handpicked from 1,000 to 1,800-year-old trees deep in the forests of the Ai Lao Mountain range in Yunnan, China.
Yunnan is the birthplace of all tea, and the cradle of Cha Dao. Old and wise trees such as these have been a part of the cultural heritage of the local aboriginal people for millennia. In fact, many of the tribes in Yunnan believe they are descended from Tea. The local tribe, called the Ku Chuong, also believe that in drinking this tea your heart sees clearly and you can never get lost. May every sip be your guide!
Ai Li Juan is a Ku Chuong from the village of Qian Jia Zhai, in the Ai Lao Mountains. She loves tea and her culture. A vast amount of the funds she raises from the production of old-growth Puerh is being devoted to a new center that will preserve the Ku Chuong handmade tea skills as well as other aspects of their cultural heritage, from weaving to singing and dancing. All of the ancient trees surrounding Qian Jia Zhai are protected by the local council, and the farmers cooperate in their harvest. The trees are numbered and also guarded by a forestry service to prevent over-harvesting or other harmful agriculture, like agrochemicals. Only a very limited amount is harvested each year, and always by hand; it takes hours to hike into the forest where the old trees reside. For that reason, only 150 of these cakes were made - each one numbered.
The magical liquor of this tea was ordered in May of 2014 when around fifteen Global Tea Hut members traveled to Qian Jia Zhai together to purchase the tea. Together, we hiked for several hours up the mountain paths to the "King Tea Tree" - an old grandfather that surveys his mountain of heirs. This wise old tree is 2,700 years old. Beneath him is an altar, where generations of aboriginal people have come to pray. Like the Native Americans, tribal people in Yunnan ask permission from elder plants to take the medicine of their children and grandchildren. We also laid our prayers at his feet, singing our songs of gratitude. We asked permission to bring this tea home. We asked for his help in the creation of our tea center, and we asked for physical, mental and spiritual healing for all those who drink this tea.
The boxes the tea comes in are handmade, and a special wood was used that imparts no odor to the tea. Also, the boxes are hand painted by Wu De, in the spirit of our journey to this mystic place. Each one will come with a unique painting and be signed and numbered on the inside of the lid. Inside, there is a description card with much of this information along with three pictures, one of Auntie Ai, one of the King Tea Tree and one of his many children from which this tea was produced. The cakes themselves are made of handpicked, processed and traditionally stone-pressed tea. Each one is 250 grams. They are wrapped in natural-fiber, handmade paper, which also supports the local Ku Chuong community.
As many of you know, we are an organization devoted to awakening harmony through the spirit of tea. We seek to build community through our mutual love of tea as plant medicine, Nature and as a spiritual vehicle. Our current center (Tea Sage Hut) in Miao Li, Taiwan, hosts hundreds of visitors each year. They come to learn meditation, Cha Dao and to deepen bonds with this growing, worldwide community. All room and board, tea and teachings are free. In continuation of this, we plan to build a bigger, more permanent center, which we will call "Light Meets Life". 100% of the profits from this tea will be put into savings towards the building of Light Meets Life, which will also be a free space to learn meditation and Cha Dao. None of the proceeds from this cake will be used towards our current center or any other project.
The minimum donation for one of these amazing cakes is 100 USD. You are welcome to donate anything beyond that, knowing that it will help bring us closer to building our new center! This price does not include shipping, which will be quoted to you and depend on your country. If you are interested in having one of these 150 cakes or have any questions that weren't answered here, please contact us at: