Tea Ceremony! Sounds ancient to me and a bit serious. For years, I have heard this buzz word in London but never got hooked up on it. I have been buying high quality tea for over 5 years now (once you try it, all tea bags are out of the window) but I never went any further, until I met San Bao.
One of the reasons I went to Kamalaya last year and this year is to meet San Bao, the Tea Master. He is a huge German guy who describes himself as a “Chinese in a Bavarian body”. I immediately liked his non-serious approach to tea ceremonies and fell in love with drinking tea in the ancient way. San Bao’s style is cleared from all spiritual nonsense that pollute some circles; he makes it simple, flowing, friendly and meditative. That resonates with me and it’s in the spirit of Osho’s teachings. In fact, San Bao has practised Osho meditations for many years in Germany and his long term beloved is an Osho sannyasin. The heart connection was immediate with both of them.
San Bao offers tea ceremonies in Koh Samui and also runs a beautiful online community where he shares his stories, his trips to Taiwan where he meets local tea masters and also sells high quality tea via his FB Page. I am one of his regular, loyal very happy customer. You can learn more about him and his teas in this video.
Why am I now drinking tea in the ceremonial way? Someone once said to me that it’s like an infection – once you catch it, you cannot leave it. I have discovered a totally new dimension in drinking tea from a beautiful dedicated pot, pouring the brew into lovely small cups and executing the whole process in a very slow and meditative manner. The whole procedure is a sort of tantric experience: first activate the senses by smelling the tea leaves’ sweet fragrance, then tasting its delicacy with fully awaken tactile sensations in the mouth and very slowly sipping it by enjoying every minute movement. The aroma and gentle flavour start dancing inside and I feel pleasure and utter presence.
I love particularly Oolong teas, which are superior quality and picked up in high altitude mountains. The flavour of the leaves connects me to the element of nature: the trees, the wind, the sun and the earth from where they originate. I enjoy a strong and deep union with nature though the small cup containing the magic potion. I genuinely feel as if it has a healing effect on me.
In addition, tea ceremonies have become my exotic play to share with friends. We chat, we laugh and quieten naturally to feel, smell and drink this beautiful tea. I am very grateful to San Bao for introducing me to tea in this way.
My journey with tea has just begun as I have booked my flight to Taiwan next spring. I can’t wait to set foot in the land where the ancient Chinese Tea Ceremony has been preserved to this very day.
Perhaps you fancy joining me?