After being asked to be this month's Teawayfarer, I had to contemplate my time with Tea. Three stages come to mind, three key moments that changed everything. Like most Australians, I drank tea with my grandparents from the pot with a tea cozy to keep it warm - strong and loose leaf with milk and sugar. Then, in my late teens, a friend suggested I try tea without milk. I tried it and I could taste something other than milk and sugar, the tea.
Many years later, I had my first tea moment. After drinking herbal beverages for some time, I was taken to a tea room in Sydney and experienced drinking a second generation Da Hong Pao. It was amazing, to say the least.
My second tea moment came after I became a regular at that tea room, and got to try many fine teas. Circumstances changed for the owners, and I ended up taking over care of the shop. Then the third amazing thing happened: Six years later, I got an email from some joker named Sam, asking if another bloke named Wu De could come prepare tea for a group here. I thought, "Sure, why not?" I had tried some wild-harvested teas before, but not the old growth he'd brought with him. I didn't mind puerh, but preferred oolong. A great puerh is special and can change your relationship to tea.
So here I am at the Hut, learning more than I knew was possible and contemplating Tea and me. In hindsight, it is no surprise I have aligned with Tea.
I have played music for decades, so sound, vibration and tone have been the primary to my journey and focus. There is a place in us that music touches that can only be known when you are in that space; and there is a knowing that Tea touches that only comes when you are in the space as well.
All things are frequency, and Tea is a bridging tone for me. The first time I stopped and resonated to the tone of Tea, I knew there was more than I could fathom in Her song - the sound that goes to all places and continues to grow, like a tree does.
The healing potential of tea is not used to its full extent yet by most in the East or West, I feel. We can help this grow more as a global community, which supports those that maintain the integrity of tea produc45 tion, tradition, brewing and love. Find your truth in Tea and stand in that truth, remaining open to learn and help. Adapt as Nature does.
I tip my hat and offer my gratitude to the aboriginal peoples for sharing this herb long ago, to those supporting them today, and to other traditional growers everywhere; I bow to the Tea Hut crew for this lineage and for helping those of us who heard the call of Tea, and to all of you reading this for participating.
If any of you find yourselves in Sydney and feel like listening to records and sharing some fine tea, please come by.