In November, the weather turns perfect in Taiwan. We start drinking aged oolongs, yan cha and aged puerh more often. Our sessions grow longer, deeper and more heart-centered as the weather starts to retract towards winter - towards less movement and more meditation. This inward movement in Nature is one of the best times for a tea lover. In Taiwan, this also means more outdoor tea in the mountains, at our favorite tea pagodas, rocks and riversides. We also start having a bigger flow of guests here at the Center, which is the wind in our sails.
We feel very abundant and are so grateful for the Center we have now, Tea Sage Hut, but we are also inspired to move forwards. And we need your help to grow this Global Tea Hut. We want to reach one thousand members, which is halfway to building your new, permanent Center, Light Meets Life. The world needs a free tea school. We want to move to a course-based schedule, with one-week and ten-day courses on the Seven Genres of Tea, Gongfu Tea I, II and III, Tea and Meditation, Bowl Tea, Whisked Tea and more. We want to host organic farming conventions and invite teachers from all over Asia to come and help teach these courses as well. As at our current Center, Tea Sage Hut, all room and board, teachings and tea will be free, served heart to heart on a donation basis. Aside from helping further this project by donating for Light Meets Life fundraiser cakes, we need your help to spread the word about Global Tea Hut, which will most likely fund the development of the new center. When we get to two thousand members, we will be in a position to start acquiring more land and even begin the building process.
So this month we'd like you to invite some friends over, serve a Global Tea Hut tea, talk about this amazing, growing community and then post the gathering on any of your social media. Many of you are doing this anyway, but this month we'd like to reward you for doing so. Just email us the link (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will put a bonus tea into your December envelope! In this way, this amazing education, tea and community will prosper and spread and we'll meet our goal of one thousand members this year!
Reaching a thousand members won't just get us closer to our goal of building Light Meets Life, it will also allow us to continue improving this experience. We are still working very hard on an app to connect all of you, for example. We would also like to keep increasing the quality and expanding the variety of teas we send, translate more for our Classics of Tea series and do more journalism, taking trips to tea-growing regions of the world to cover the rich history, processing and lore of tea mountains throughout Asia. We also hope to start offering two scholarships in the coming year: one for a ten-day visit to the Center and one for a space on our annual Global Tea Hut trip, which we are already busy planning. (It will be epic next year!) We would also love to hear from you about some of the changes you would like to see in the magazine, the Tea of the Month, the gifts or the community.
You have hopefully already started to notice that we are investing more time and energy into making these magazines a better read, including better photography and design. We are all volunteers here, so this has meant many hours of training courses to improve our ability to share tea knowledge, wisdom and spirit with you, our tea family. We have also made a real effort to provide substance to this magazine, both in our own writings and in the articles we choose to have translated. The larger this community is, the more we can continue to strive towards a more professional design and better content and tea, while never losing touch with the community that is the heart and soul of this experience!
This is a very special issue of Global Tea Hut that has been years in the making. We get asked about incense and tea all the time, both via email and also by guests who are visiting and have seen us burning incense or holding formal incense ceremonies. When it comes to incense for tea, the best is really Aloeswood, which is a very interesting and deep topic in its own right. We are happy to translate some articles on Aloeswood for you and learn about it together. We also have a very special gift for you this month: a small stick of some very high quality Aloeswood incense to burn as you drink this month's tea and learn all about incense.
This month, we hope to expand this already in-depth issue to make it an even more comprehensive publication on Aloeswood, incense and tea, as well as incense ceremony. We will therefore be posting some more articles to add to the abundance of information.