In May, the year's harvests start rolling in and the tea lover starts to wonder what kind of weather she'll be drinking this year, since the differences in tea from year to year have much to do with changes in the climate. We try new teas and compare them to the old, finding much joy in tasting new teas like puerh alongside their elders - examples from previous years. This offers us the chance to understand the mystery of age in tea. We return now to lighter teas: occasionally a lightly-oxidized oolong, young sheng puerh and more rarely a white or green tea as well. The weather in Taiwan is beautiful this time of year, and these light teas herald the change in season, as they have since ancient times.
We have just returned from the largest-ever Annual Global Tea Hut tea trip, which reminds us to take the time and celebrate all the marvelous connections that have happened through this magazine-experience. I travel around the world, "making friends through tea," and seeing how those friendships are the seeds for others to meet, the community grows and grows. We have come a long way from twenty members and a black-and-white newsletter! As the new teas come in, and I am tasting the potential candidates for our annual Light Meets Life fundraiser, I feel a dreamy, poetic grace for the abundance surrounding and flowing through our global efforts to awaken tea spirit. Returning to the tea, I remember how many more bowls and cups there are to share and smile, invigorated and inspired to work hard again. And we have some great teas coming this year for you, including one I call "the dream," as I have been working with a farmer in Yunnan for several years to get it right and have finally done so!
Some of you may not know this, but I have begun studying photography in my quest to express tea spirit through these pages - hoping that some of the sentiments of being at the Hut or in tea ceremony are displayed to those who haven't yet attended a session, and inspiring those that have to put another kettle on and serve some more tea. I know I have a long way to go in achieving those aims, but I have devoted some time, love and energy to improving the images in this magazine. It therefore brings me great joy to announce one of my favorite times of year, and an inspiration for this magazine and for me personally: the beginning of our 2017 Annual Photography Contest. Any of you, and even those who are not Global Tea Hut members, can submit one photograph that you feel expresses tea spirit, and we'll choose winners later in the year, who will receive many wonderful prizes.
As Global Tea Hut gathers momentum, we feel more of a pressure to build the new Center, Light Meets Life. I personally do not feel compelled towards "more" and am content with the Center we have, Tea Sage Hut. I know that once we do move, those of us who enjoyed this smaller Center will wax sentimental about the "glory days" when things were smaller. Still, I understand the merits of moving to a course schedule, for the benefit of everyone in this global community, and those yet to come. Imagine receiving a catalogue of the coming year's courses with your December Global Tea Hut and leafing through it, choosing from week-long to intensive ten-day courses on Cha Dao, various brewing methods taught at multiple levels (like Gongfu Tea I, II, III and IV, for example), linear courses on Oolong Tea, or even The Seven Genres of Tea, and of course, gatherings and retreats... As we turn potential guests away due to the fact that the Tea Sage Hut is constantly over-booked, the pressure to create the new Center grows. We are therefore going to find a way to incentivize your help in spreading the word. As you help us find new members who subscribe to Global Tea Hut, you will be eligible to receive Light Meets Life teas, teaware, rarer teas we enjoy here at the Hut, paintings, books and ultimately, even a free trip to the Center! We are currently working out the logistics of tracking this. Stay tuned to our social media for more details.
This is an exciting issue, as the new maocha arriving from Yunnan allows us some perspective on elder teas, like our Tea of the Month this time. Drinking these new teas also has sparked interest in exploring the aging of sheng puerh a bit more in depth than we have before, including some articles on the changes in puerh during its infancy through its youth, middle and old age. We have devoted much of this issue to aging puerh - sourcing good tea, how and where to age the tea, and much more! This issue is a testament to our goals of including more and more perspectives in each issue of Global Tea Hut, offering articles by a greater variety of authors and translating more. Once again, we have to thank Wuxing Publications for all their support!
This month, we will have some extra articles translated on the topic of aging puerh tea, as there is really much more than we can include in this issue. The September 2014 Extended Edition on Puerh is good background reading as well.