Large Leaf from Old Trees, Simao District
- This tea is of David Lee Hoffman's -- The Phoenix Collection.
- Large Leaf from Old Trees, this tea originates from the Yunnan Province in China. The leaves of this tea grow in the wild, on ancient trees, some rumored to be around 1700 years old! These trees are wild, so tea pluckers must forage for the leaves. This Large Leaf from Old Tree's Pu-erh tea has a wonderful mineral taste with an earthy aroma. Large Leaf is low in caffeine and easy to brew. This tea will not disappoint Pu-erh lovers.
The Simao District in the Yunnan province has played a major role in the historic tea horse trades between China, Tibet and India. With this area acting as a southern starting point for the transport of tea by mule caravan north to Dali, Lijiang and Lhasa. This Large Leaf from Old Trees has a long lineage along with lots of history behind it -- which makes for a rare treat.
- Ceremonial drinking of tea is meant to focus one's attention, relax the mind and lift the spirit while sharing in the experience. Paying close attention to the evolving taste and aroma of the tea, slowing to observe the dance of its leaves against beautiful ceramic cups enhances one's appreciation of both the tea and the moment.
Using a Gaiwan
Using a 4 ounce Gaiwan, I recommend filling the Gaiwan a third of the way with tea, at 205/215 temperature. First a quick wash of the tea leaves, then brew for 45 seconds. On the second infusion, try brewing for 2 to 3 minutes. Brewed this way, the tea would yield several rounds.
- I find these Pu-erhs to be ideal for meditating with on cold or rainy days. Actually, on any day that I feel like I need more grounding, and to get out of my head. Once you decide what type of tea you'd like to sit with, that's when the meditation begins.
In full awareness pull the tea done from the shelf and measure it into your Gaiwan. Next, start to heat your water and just be aware of how active your mind is, is it wanting to multi-task or go over the to-do list for the day? Just be aware, how it's wanting to pull you away from being in the moment.
Once the water is ready. Do a quick wash of the leaves, drain out the water and then lift the lid of the Gaiwan to smell the warm, moistened leaves. This Pu-erh will bring forth of the scents of the earth, to some it can seem very grounding. Notice what arises for you, and what images come to mind. Perhaps, lift the lid of the Gaiwan and take in the aroma again. Take your time, there's no rushing, it's a morning ritual.
Now, is the time to steep. Pour in the water and let it sit in the Gaiwan for 30, 45, 60 seconds -- you decide on the length of time for it to steep. If you prefer stronger brews let it steep longer otherwise 45 seconds is plenty long enough to capture the flavors.
Pouring the tea into your little sipping cup. Notice the sensations from having poured the Gaiwan into the cup. The sensations of holding the cup in your hands, feeling the texture and warmth of the cup. Notice how it feels to bring the cup to your lips, the color of the tea and the aroma.
Taking the first sip, let it sit in your mouth for a bit before swallowing. What comes up for you? Take your time to stay in awareness with the tea as you swallow. Even after you swallow this tea lingers in your mouth. Take your time and stay present with all of the sensations as you slowly move through your first infusion. You'll have at least two more infusions to go and on each infusion the tea continues to change and evolve.
This meditation helps awaken all of the senses in becoming alert in the present moment and helping one move from the mind into body awareness.
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