In June we reach the zenith of another year of tea, another year of self-cultivation and community, sharing new teas with new friends and celebrating old friends with old teas! As this global tea family grows larger and larger, there is more that we can do together to influence the way that tea is produced and shared. We can work towards our common goal of sustainable tea farming that is good for us and for the Earth. And we can promote a perspective of tea as plant medicine, healing people by awakening serenity in their lives as well as a feeling of connection to Nature. As we create a lifestyle that moves in harmony with Nature, humanity moves towards greater prosperity and happiness - person by person, bowl by bowl...
The summer is actually a great time for tea, especially outdoors. Alternatively, if it is really hot where you are, you may want to check previous issues of this magazine for some sun tea recipes that make amazing living and/or organic iced teas! From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, it is actually healthy to have some hot liquids in the summer, helping to acclimatize you and induce sweat, which is also purgative. Some nice oolong, green, white, yellow tea or young sheng puerh are all great when the weather warms up. It is nice to try waking up a bit earlier in the summer, before dawn when the weather is cool, and pour your bowls of tea in unison with the life that is pouring into the world. The greenery and wildlife thrive at this time of year, and are at their zenith at this time of day as well.
This is a very special issue of Global Tea Hut! This May, we went on our second annual GTH trip to China, this time to Wuyi Mountain in Fujian Province, the birthplace of oolong tea. These annual excursions have so far been small in size, and we've been forced to find ways to limit participation. But as we learn all that goes into managing tour groups in China, we plan to open the trips up each year so that more and more of you can have the opportunity to go along with us and learn about tea and Cha Dao. Sixteen people traveled with us this time, almost double the amount we took to Yunnan last year. We had a spectacular trip, full of tea gatherings, hikes in the park and plenty of tea processing. Our whole June magazine is devoted to Wuyi Cliff Tea, the oldest and brightest of oolong teas. There is a magic in these ancient cliffs, inviting centuries of spiritual seekers to do their meditations around what the Daoists called, "The Heaven Portal". And there is something magical in the water, earth and air here. It awakens new patterns in you - mind and body both. The tea trees that grow in the park sparkle with the same vibrancy, singing the minerals and sun into the greenest songs, especially at this time of year. It is such a joy to see all the pickers trodding along the old trails with leaves balanced on either shoulder, to watch the bright green leaves withering on bamboo trays, and to see them processed by hand in the way they have been for hundreds of years... And then to drink such tea with the stream water nearby - breathing and drinking Wuyi's wonder into you is an overwhelming bliss every tea lover should experience.
We hope to take you along with us to Wuyi, through the stunning photography and the articles on Cliff Tea that will educate you on the history and wonder of this most precious of oolongs. And you can also expect some great videos soon. You were there with us in spirit as well; we often spoke of the Global Tea Hut community and our connection to all of you through this amazing place and tea. If all of that wasn't enough, we've also brought back this amazing Cliff Tea to share with you as your Tea of the Month, so that all of us - around the world in more than thirty countries - can have a bit of Wuyi coursing through our bodies, heart and soul.