Tea Stories for the Soul (1)

The engraving says something like this: “Tea skills. At cold winter nights, tea is like wine”.
Taipei is getting colder. At these cold nights there is mainly one tea I like to drink – A 24 hours brewed top quality old (approx 10 years) “Da Hong Pao” of which I received just a few grams from a tea master. Of course I taste it hot as well, but I leave it to brew over night after three or four brews. I find that to get the most of the "old tea" effect, I better leave it 0ver night to brew (no there was no astringency to this tea - it is modestly said "perfect" - wish he would give me more, offered him way more money than I can afford to borrow but to no avail).

Sickly enough I think he enjoyed me begging for 3 more grams.
A cold tea that truly warms the body and soul.

There are many tales as to the origin of the name of this tea. Here is just one

Da Hong Pao (translation: bright red robe)
Long time ago... monks who lived in the remote mountains wanted to pick up some really scarce tea leaves. These are usually found on very old and therefore high tea trees. To do this, they raised and trained monkeys. In order to keep the 'educated' monkeys from the well ... ordinary monkeys, they made the trained monkeys wear big red vests.

I believe there are only four original trees left – if anyone has any pictures I would appreciate if you could send me. A very limited amount of tea is produced each year from these trees and auctioned at prices above most people ability to pay and/or according with the best Chinese tradition given to the top politicians.

Fortunately enough I was able to get a glimpse at the only original monkey still alive!

(Photo: Lin ; Monkey: Bubula)

Change of Fortune
A tea master I know (different one), recently came back from the Yunnan province and was happy to tell us that some farmers are changing their crop from opium to tea (mainly for the Pu-erh market, as this market is booming - is it a bubble?).
I thought this is wonderful. Just think of it, every time you purchase Pu-erh you fight drugs.

As for me I can’t wait to taste some excellent Afghan tea and Colombian coffee.

Did you come across heart warming stories? If so please let me know.

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