Our Tea Ceremony – Bamboo and Yixing

Tea ceremony
This tea ceremony has been enjoyed by my wife Kristen and I. The kids are sleeping peacefully. The ceremony is dedicated to peace and harmony.

It starts off by creating an atmosphere of calm and peace. The sun has gone down and I am lighting a green tea incense and a tea candle held by a Buddha. The wonderful smell of the tea incense fills the air and the candle light reveals the stage: a large bamboo tray.

The actors are already here: my new Yixing tea pot, a smelling cup and a few drinking cups to serve the tea. As with all of my tea ceremonies, they are happy to be out of their Chinese silk boxes and participate in this ceremony.

The star of this gathering is waiting patiently next to the stage, a wonderful 2015 Jungpana Spring Oolong, ready to be enjoyed. The bamboo utensils and the tea towels are on standby to be ready when needed.

For the tea ceremony I am using my favorite water, Cottorella spring water. The water has reached the right temperature and is ready to be used. I am pouring water into the tea pot to warm and rinse it. The water then flows over the tea cups and also my “tea pets” are happy to receive a warm cleaning rinse. I am taking the tea leaves and admire them together with my wife. The leaves are twisted and small with a forest ground array of colors. They release the intoxicating aroma of citrus and honey.

With slow circular moves I am taking the bamboo scoop and the Darjeeling Oolong and put it into the tea pot. I cover the tea with the water, wait for a few moments and rinse the tea cups and tea pets with this initial rinsing infusion. I am taking the smelling cup, rolling it in my hands and taking in this initial fragrant burst.  A wonderful aroma of citrus, honey and melon fills my nose.

Now it is time for the first drinking infusion. I pour fresh water into the tea pot, wait for a bit and pour the liquor into the drinking cups using slow, peaceful circular motions. I am extending an open hand to my wife as an inviting gesture to taste this first infusion.

The flavor of the first infusion was dominated by intense citrus tones with an undertone of honey and orange. The tea pot is still young and very hungry to absorb the flavor of this tea into its pores.

The water in this ceremony is flowing constantly from the water pot to the tea pot to the cups and the tea pets into the bamboo tray. This flow of water is one of the deep meanings of a Chinese tea ceremony for me.

ceremony 2The journey continues. Each infusion provides a new chapter in this tea ceremony and a new flavour profile of this wonderful Darjeeling Oolong.  In further infusions the honey and orange tones would come more into the foreground providing a softer and smoother flavour profile. We enjoyed 5 infusions. My wife liked the 3rd to 5th infusion as the tea became more mellow and in sync with the energy in the room. The temperature of the tea and the body temperature are in sync and create a harmonious field of energy.

The ceremony comes to a close. The energy in the room is peaceful and harmonious and our new Yixing tea pot is happy to have made it through its first tea ceremony. We hope that this positive, harmonious and peaceful energy extends into the universal energy.

 

 

tea course

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