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The joy of sitting in the garden an april morning like this… I brought the Ales Dancak shibo set with me and a light ‘Bio Nepal Guranse White Curls first flush’. Smelling the wet leaves is like diving into a forest I’ve never been to, undergrowth mixed with a light scent of flowers, and some textile cloth, carpet smell but in a good way…

Taking a photo
of gong fu cha tea –
shadow of cruches

Hoshino Koucha

Meditative morning with my tea taken to and merged with my more ceremonial space. Tea was japanese black Hoshino Koucha from simplytea.dk. Strong but not astringent, and warming. Incense was white sage and some cedar picked up outside. Crystals were mainly fluorites, bracelets black shungite and dragon jaspis. Under the bracelets was one quarts like crystal, a friend of mine picked up on the Camino in Spain. He told me the whole path was made out of these transparent white stones, resulting in the path being called The Milky Way… Happy weekend to you!

Best regards, Ulla Conrad

THOUGHTS ON HAIKU AND TEA XXI

– winter poetry
 
Winter has been, and still is. But one morning, the days being half an hour longer already, suddenly the sun beams into the rooms while I am waking up. There is a special feeling in the air. Still a little crispyness of frost on the grass outside. But there it is, the difference: The family of sparrows, living under the roof, close to the rainpipes, where they have been hiding all winter, quitely – they have caught the light, and chatter wildly. They chatter and talk, excited, all together. Spring is in the air!

The morning time for tea and reading has come. A japanese sencha, so fresh and green. For mornings like these I carefully choose writing, that lets me “breath in” the atmosphere, the room, around me. Poetry, haiku, is good for that, with its pauses and space in between poetical pictures shown in words. Space to feel and become aware. Another book perfect for that is “Chado. The Way of Tea. A Tea Masters Almanac” by Sasaki Sanmi. In the Chapter about January he writes about the New Year rites, and about items to choose for a January tea ceremony. Examples of written scrolls sound like this, perfectly matching the light and feeling here in the room (no author of these is mentioned)

‘Shinkô tenchi o terasu’
Divine rays shed light on the universe.

‘Hi idete kenkon kagayaku’
When the sun rises it brightens the whole wide world.

‘Buji kire kijin’
Doing nothing is respectable of tea.

Looking up from these words, the room around me kind of responds, its light kind of soaking into my mind, weaving together mind and body, mixing molecules, vibrating, inside and outside being one.

The author recommends “any fragments of old writing”, like ‘Wakan rôeishu’ or ‘Kokin-shu’, a collection of Chinese and Japanese poems for singing compiled by Fujiwara no Kinto ca. 1013 (!) and a collection of ancient and then-contemporary Japanese poems, commissioned by Emperor Daigo ca. 905. In awe, I realise for how long these cultures have been writing and celebration the poetry of nature, and humans in nature. A thousand years training and education in pure sensitivity for and recognition of beauty.

The sparrows chatter –
a cup of chinese Pu Erh
warms every cell
 
Best regards, Ulla
(22. jan. 2022)

A little late here on the blog – the pictures here were posted in the facebook group ‘Gong fu cha’ on new year. Happy new year 🌟

Love from Ulla

I have fallen in love with czech tea ware… After my new shibo by Ales Dancak, I was one of the lucky ones to be able to order three items from the last kiln from Petr Sklenička / Pskeramika – a 140 ml teapot, a 120 ml pitcher and 130 ml cup. They all arrived safely, and I am so happy. The outer surface is not glazed, but the inner is off white with a special depth in the glazing. The outer colours change all the way around because of the firing in the kiln. The teapot is SO cute 💕 It looks small compated to the other items, but with tealeaves, it holds exactly what the cup can hold. I had my first tea in it yesterday, a Da Xue Shan sheng pu erh 2010 or 11. Lovely 4th advent to you all.

Best regards, Ulla Conrad

Tea pictures from November last year…

Finally weekend and time to drink tea. Happy to find a sample of tea from Tea Four You from Elton Powell, he was so generous to send with the teas I ordered, and which I havn’t tried. And there… from the gaiwan, from the perfect small leaves, a scent of vanilla and honey arises… I am transported to a place high up in the alps, sitting outside a summers day, surrounded by the nectar of wild flowers, eating a piece of homemade bread with honey… ! Enjoy your day! 🌟🍵
Ps. The name of the tea is ‘Organic Huangshan Hou Ya’.

Best regards, Ulla Conrad

Wild Rosy Lapsang

Wild Rosy Lapsang, a sample that came with my new shibo from teewald.de. Not smoky at all, but light and flowery and soft. Then a walk to a nearby forrest, meeting this amazing old beech tree…

Find beauty
be still – and from there
effortlessly create

The tree does talk –
galaxies unravel for
my inner eye

Have a great sunday,
Ulla 🍁💕

Teatime this lovely golden october morning, with a White Nepal. 🍁🌟 I was sure I only wanted this new Shibo for sheng pu erh only, because I only had a gaiwan for those, not a teapot – but now have been tempted to see how the different teas look in it’s inside! Funny.

The White Nepal leaves smelled amazing, a bit like darjeeling, full, 1st brew was light and ephemeral, 2nd darker, soft and vanilla creamy, 3rd golden yellow, sweet, stronger, but still round…

Nature picture from a lake near by, this afternoon, next to the premises of a park, where I had brought hokkaidosquash soup to eat on a bench, and collected fallen apples… for an apply pie… 🎃🍎

Best regards, Ulla Conrad

New shibo, sencha

New shibo used with my usual morning sencha, must say, that works fine, too. It kept a fine strength and the cloudyness, I like : )

Reading a haiku photo book, ‘Breath of Haiku’, by Bill Mann. Combining haiku and photos is challanging, but he does a good job. Reading a good haiku is a bit like taking a sip of a good tea – tasting, swallowing, then waiting for, or kind of ‘listening to’ the aftertaste, the after-feeling, the image and mood forming inside after reading…

The old oak trees
grown into a tunnel –
fingertips touching

best regards, Ulla

A foggy morning, the sun making it lift little by little. Not a single leave moving. Magic.

Spider webs in the grass
a small green larva –
shouldn’t you hibernate?

My new shiboridashi set by Ales Dancak, bought on teewald.de has arrived yesterday, a wonderful rustic outside, but white glased inside. The same with the cup. 120 ml plus what the tea leaves take up of the space. Bigger and heavier than my gaiwan. Very happy about it. I celebrated by opening a new bing from Elton Powell, Tea for You. It is a ‘China Lincang Da Xue Mountain Raw Pu Erh 2007’. Fruity with just the right amount of sweetness and astringency in one.

I was lacking a teapot for sheng pu erh and plan using it for that. What is your opinion, shibo originally being a japanese invention – do you use it for all kinds of tea, or only japanese? ☺🙏

Best regards, Ulla