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Archive for the ‘Green tea + Oolong + Puerh’ Category

Some pictures I found, I THINK I was drinking the Fragrant Jade Oolong, I have reviewed before. Reading Hölderlin, german romantic, born 1770 or 72…

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Another morning, with left over chestnut sweets from the tea ceremony:

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The sea outside is greenish blue, with a silver shimmer of dim sunlight. I light an incense stick from Auroville, India, “Musk”. Put a few drops of pinetree and rosemary essential oil in the diffuser.

Then I start making my morning green tea, japanese ‘Sencha Midori’ from ‘Sing Tehus’, Copenhagen, from Kagoshima, southern part of Japan. I choose a black laquer tray and put a black ceramic teapot, Kyusu, on it, a white teacup and the japanese paperclad teacontainer. Brew my usual tea in this way. Though beautiful – it is actually better the usual way, just a metal filter in a bigger teacup. This pot somehow filters too much cloudiness or “stuff” away, so it becomes too clear for me…. I get too brews out of it, that’s it. (The pictures are from a ‘nirmal’ brewing, with a chestnut sweet, left over from a tea-ceremony.)

While sipping tea, I start reading William Blake, an ongoing project of mine, getting to know english poets from the romantic period, and right before and after.  Big favourites are Wordsworth and Coleridge, whom I have read intensively, and whose hiuses or museums I have visited in the UK. Then Keats and his museum on Hampstead Heath (not too far from Mei Leaf : ) Spring 2018 I visited three teashops in London, met such welcoming people and beautiful places, with professional gong fu tea: Postcard Tea, Mei Leaf, Camden, and The Chinese Tea Company, Portobello Road. They are doing great work, and it’s tempting to order more tea. Still some “Duckshit” tea left from tge last mentioned.

William Blake (1757-1827) seems to have been quite poor during his lifetime in London, working with doing etchings for others, of ancient sites and stone monuments in the UK. His genial drawings/paintings were only exhibited once, and were quite badly received. They ARE different, but today he has been recognized as a great visionist and poet. Quite religious, having done motivs from the christian Bible, and also from the big inspuration for him, Milton (16th c.). He was just about 20 years older than Wordsworth and Coleridge – which reminds me of Goethe, who was just about that much older than the rest of the GERMAN romantic movement. There always comes a younger generation, who breaks free and regards the older as too stiff and not revolutionary enough. Blake and Goethe have nearly the same year of birth and death.

More birth and death in poetry: Blakes ‘Songs of Innocense and Experience’ (1789). The first part is light, easy, nearly naive. The second something completely different. Magic, shamanistic, an evolution of the earth: “Hear the voice of the Bard! / Who present, Past and Future sees / Whoose ears have heard / The Holy Word / That walked along the ancient trees.”

Part of this is also ‘The Garden of Love’, arguing that religion should be about LOVE – childhood, flowers, the garden – and not about RESTRICTION.  A newly built chapel with the words “thou shalt NOT” written over the door. The priest in black robes, and tombstones of death.

“I went to the Garden if Love / And I saw what I never had seen: / A chapel was built in the midst, / Where I used to play in the green.”

I wonder if that is one of the main forces in New Age and the more global awakening and spirituality, that sweeps the world: to not FORBID, restrict, exclude – but to include, love, see things happening as possibilities, not punishment. Open – not closed. All inclusive – not exclusive. Insight for everyone – not only the few.

Have a good weekend, Ulla

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Good morning, and enjoy some amazing sencha with me. Look at the colour… it’s “Tsuyuhikari”, or “Light dew”, from Copenhagens “Sing Tehus”. The new sencha of the year, socalled shincha. If I remember right, I took part in writing the text for the danish translation on the label in the back of the bag a few years ago, when I worked there. The leaves are sweet and grassy, the tea itself deep green, nearly thick and creamy, sweet, and extreamely refreshing… Morning reading: a book about plants, and german romantic Novalis.

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I was longing for something other than dark oolongs and sheng pu erh, even if I love those. Many if my teapots sit unused, though, and I decided to buy some “green” oolong from Cooenhagens oldest teashop, A.C. Perch. My tastebuds have changed since I bought it years ago, and got used to something else, high mountain oolongs from teamasters.com from Taiwan, hojo.com or wanglingteahouse.com. I was a bit sceptic about the scent from the big metal box they keep teas in, and bought the smallest amout, 50 g, and trying to get the best out of it.

Choosing the utensils is always nice. I wanted this light green feeling, the closest which chinese/taiwanese teas come to my lovely japanese sencha drinking (totally different of course). So I complemented that GREENESS with a green teacup, white inside, handmade in Prague and bought in a teahouse there, then my green oolong terracotta teapot and a wooden plate underneath, and the green-white paperbag from Perchs. With that, chosen reading was a poetry collection by danish poet Rolf Gjedsted, with a green-white photo on the front.

1. brew. Probably too warm water right from the termos, even if I cooled it in the teacup for 10-15 seconds. 30 seconds brew, pour. Some of the astringent smell from the teabox still in the smell of the liquor, but smoother. Taste mild, light, green, with quite a sweet aftertaste, honeydew like (honey DEW, what is that, really…?)

After all these decisions, calmness falls upon me (can you say that in english?). Again I am baffled by the peace that comes over me, after drinking one cup, and lifting my head up from the tasting, the reading, writing. The foggy white sea and skies outside are so everlasting calm. They hit my gaze without a blink and keep me locked right there. Boom. Everything falls like the so-much-talked-about settling mud in a glass of water, in taoist classic Tao Te Ching. Boom. Back to yourself. Face it. Be there. Stay there. And everything is GOOD.

2. brew. How long did it take to write the last paragraph? That was the brewing time of Green Fragrant Jade, second brew… Darker yellow colour of liquor with a greenish touch. Looks pleasant in the teacup, green outside, but white inside. I prefer teacups white inside. Tastes more bitter already. Whike I continue drinking, here onf of the poems:

“TRAPPER (Rolf Gjedsted)

Ingen forlader / i virkeligheden nogen / eller bliver forladt. / Nogen hører op / på samme måde, / som det begyndte engang. / … / I det uendeluge mørke, / der altid har været her, / hvor vi ikke længere er, / og hvor hver ting kalder på / sin egen skygge.”

Best, Ulla

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September sunday morning, and I have been looking foreward to drinking tea. Drinking tea properly. This morning was beautiful golden and sunny, when I woke up, and I remember from a walk yesterday, that the chestnuts have started to change leaf colour from green to yellow. Kids start looking for chestnuts on the ground. So – I was kind of surprised, when I, a bit later, went to my study and tea drinking room, which opens up to the sea and a view of the Swedish coast. There WAS no coast. There was even no water. A thick white fog covered it all. Only a few big trees showed through the white, but only in light green douched silhuets. I lighted my favorite frankincense incense, and soon the room indoors also was covered in a light, nice smelling fog… and I put on another japanese flute music, as I did yesterday, but from a japanese man, who seemed to have invented the ‘kyotaku’: Kokū Nishamura. Watching the smoke rise and play in the air was amazingly meditative, together with the flute tones.

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A bit earlier I had gone to my teastoring place and wondered what tea to match the day, the chestnut AND foggy sunday morning. And I was exhilarated to discover, that I still had a sample left from my visit to MEI LEAF in London last spring. “Monocle Boss”, raw pu erh, 5 gr. White porcelain gaiwan, white teacup from a potter in Sweden, underneath a ceramic plate, I found yesterday in a thrift store, probably for candles originally. The potter mark is “PM”, in a yellow clay with a light gray glaze. Underneath the teacup I put a wooden plate, which I also found six of at the same store. They all have a very unusual inlay of bronce metal pattern, marked in the back with “Frantz Hingelberg, Aarhus”. Which turned out to be a goldsmith, kind of wellknown on the antique dealer websites I found. Ready for the big “Monocle Boss”.

The dry leaves are beautifully big, dark, with a single white leave. 1. brew about 30 seconds (probably way too long, I forgot to check their recommandations), and the smell of the lid! Sweet and pleasant, deep and expressive. The leaves in the gaiwan, omg… deep and pure HONEY, sweetness, complex fruityness, and when I look at their own description on the lavel again, YES, “a syrupy texture, sweet grapefruit zest” and “leather bind library books”. That last one I couldn’t have expressed… ; ) I am amazed. These leaves, revealing THIS after being revived by water. I feel lucky. There seems more scent in the leaves than in the liquor itself. The liquor golden, light, but intenser taste than smell.

2. brew. Leaves unfold completely, but the honeysweetness from the leaves has diminished. But the liquor now has taken more of it with it, and smells stronger than 1. time. Darker golden orange colour.

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I lift my head from the notes for a second, and my eyes hit the view of the white greyish fog outside. And it throws me into peaceful awareness, total being right here and now. The flute tones align with my breathing – or the other way round – and there I am. I. AM. No more writing, or reading, is necessary, when I can get THIS, be HERE, blown away, arrived i  the Now.

“The original kyotaku flutes are played y BREATHING, rather than blowing, to get the desired sound.” (From the CD cover)

Breathing. Yes. The tea, or the listening, or both, blows everything superflouse away, peals it down to the essentials, cleanse, ground the body, fokuses the mind, the being.

“Seagus drifting / incense playing in the air – / shakuhachi dream”

“Havgusen driver / røgelsen leger i luften  – / shakuhachi drøm”

Have a nice day, Ulla

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This weekend has beautiful weather in Denmark, the chestnut trees slowly turn golden and the air is crisp and clear. Friday I had another get-together for my poetry book release, and switched books with the most known haiku writer here, Hanne Hansen. She had a chestnut on her cover : ) I decided to drink from an older sheng pu erh disk, Heng Fu Qi Zi Bing Cha, Meng Hai Tea Factory, 2007. I found it long ago in a chinese shop, it was put up as a decoration on top of some shelves, and the owner thought it no good. I got it for nearly nothing – and now it’s been a delight to drink it so many times, and it is some of the best aged raw pu erh I have had… lucky me? Listening to a CD I was given by Denmarks best shakuhachi player, Torsten Olafsson himself.

Tea greetings from Ulla C.

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