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Entries in tea (9)


Another Tea Break

On one of my numerous trips from Hanoi to the Truong Son Mountains - and back, this young man prepared us a pot of hot tea in some roadside stop whose name I have forgotten. [NOTE: Love the red curtain in the background and the polka-dot glasses].  


Go Drink Tea

Gaiwan, cups, tea tools, bamboo tea tray, and assorted oolong teas, e.g. dóngdǐng, Ālǐshān chá, Bāozhŏng chá, in my outer office. I make a lot of gung fu tea here. 

A monk once asked Chinese Zen Master Zhaozhou, "What is Buddha?" Zhaozhou answered "Go drink tea!". The monk then asked, "What is Dharma?" Zhaozhou answered, "Go drink tea!" The monk persisted, "What is Sangha?" Zhaozhou again said, "Go drink tea!" 

[NOTE: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, are the Three Treasures of Buddhism in which practicitioners take refuge].

There are lot of other things worth pointing out in this image. There's an air sickness bag from Lao Aviation. A plastic, extremely realistic green iguana ( Iguana iguana L. ), a carved wooden mask from Papua New Guinea, a photo of my sister and I standing next to a totem pole in the Great Smokey Mountains during a family vacation, an old calendar with nice calligraphy and quotations from Shunryu Suzuki, and postcards of young monks from Sri Lanka standing with a baby elephant, a guy living in a crashed B-52 bomber in the jungles of PNG, and Astro Boy.  Go drink tea!

[NOTE: A lot of the tea, and the lovely gaiwan, were gifts from Meng Hsueh Yu, a doctoral student  of mine from Taiwan. She successfully defended her thesis at the end of last year, so I guess I really should call her Dr. Meng Hsueh Yu. (thx, Meng Hsueh)].



Never seen this before. I am currently in Chilapa, Guerrero doing some work with my friends at GEA (Grupo de Estudios Ambientales, A.C.), and this morning one of the young researchers from Columbia (thx, Bibiana) offered me an interesting tea bag containing the leaves of Erythroxylum coca Lam. Apparently, you can buy this product in several health food stores in Bogota and other big cities in Columbia).  [NOTE: Go here for a nice article about coca tea].


Tea Lady

This nice lady had a tea stall in the Central Market of Hue, Vietnam (see Hue Market and Commerce). Delicious green tea and very reasonably priced. I wanted to buy the large economy size shown in the foreground, but it wouldn't fit in my pack.


Tea Flowers...Finally

So, I got these three tea (Camellia sinensis L. Kuntz.) seeds from my friend Sebastian Beckwith.  I planted them in a pot and faithfully kept them moist - for several months. It seemed like nothing was happening, and then, one day, a little shoot poked its head up out of the soil. I carefully re-potted the seedling and put it out in the backyard to get some sun. The squirrels dug it up and I later found it, out of the pot and with the roots exposed, laying out on the ground. 

I carefully picked it up and re-potted it and moved it to the front porch where it would still get lots of sun. The cat knocked it over trying to squeeze itself into the window.

For the third time, I carefully re-potted my battered little tea plant and moved it to a protected spot inside the house where it has continued to slowly grow - in spite of perioidic cat nibbles - for two years.

This morning, the flower bud that I had been observing for several weeks finally opened (shown above).  I am ecstatic.  A bit of germplasm from a tea garden in Yunnan, China has opted to reproduce itself in the stairwell of my house. And there are eight other floral buds waiting to open.  [NOTE: Tea is apparently self-incompatible, so I doubt I will get any seed]. 


Picking Tea in Kotagiri

Manicured tea estates outside of Kotagiri (see Kotagiri Tea Estates and Kotagiri Landscape) in Tamil Nadu, India being harvested by teams of local women. Their yellow bags are full of hundreds and hundreds of Camellia sinensis assamica terminal leaf pairs and associated leaf buds. Click here for a nice video clip of women picking tea in Assam, India.


Kotagiri Landscape

The view from the balcony of the guesthouse where I stayed in Kotagiri on my recent trip to Tamil Nadu (see Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and Biodiversity Festival).  A patchwork of tea plantations in different stages of development. Kotagiri has some of the oldest tea plantations in this part of India. The first one was started in 1863 by the daughter of M.D. Cockburn, a Scottish planter and the district collector.  Wonder what was growing here before the Camellia sinensis took over?


Kotagiri Tea Estates

Drove through some beautiful old tea estates yesterday outside of Kotagiri in Tamil Nadu, India. Kotagiri is the home of the Keystone Foundation, the local NGO that invited me here to participate in a workshop on indigenous cultures, biodiversity, and the adaptive management of non-timber forest resources. Kotagiri is also the gateway to the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.


Tea Bricks

An assortment of different tea bricks displayed in the window of a tea shop in Kunming, China. The round ones are made from pu-erh tea; the square embossed one on the bottom is made from powered black tea.  The window display got me to go into the shop, but I spent most of my time inside tasting different delicious oolong teas. I was quite awake when I finally left. [NOTE: The student that took me to this shop purchased a large quantity of tea that she said was for stuffing in your pillow to give you sweet dreams. Nice idea.]