I remember the first time I discovered Gong Fu Cha and its style of brewing. I was astounded in giddy happiness and awe! Though I had been working within tea for five years prior, my exploration caused me to rethink the tea education I had learned. My role within the tea industry was training and education, so I felt strongly compelled to alter my curriculum based on this expanding journey. Gong Fu Cha was also the catalyst for creating the blog and social media channels as each day brought new experiences and a deepened relationship with tea.
I explain this only because it was through Rui’s Living Tea course this summer with Grass People Tree that I found another surge of giddiness. Copious note-taking and hours of reflections challenged my perspectives once more and asked me to take a critical look at my personal experience with tea. Joined by good friends such as Mafalda of Casa De Cha, I also met so many new individuals – some seasoned tea drinkers, others brand new, and those outside the tea industry. I was humbled and honored to have learned from each participant inside and outside class. In addition to getting together weekly for a month, we also had assignment tea sessions as we partnered up and spent time drinking and reflecting with others.
I won’t outline the course here but encourage you to take a look at Grass People Tree’s Living Tea Course on their site. I hadn’t planned this post but noticed they’re opening up enrollment for another round and figured it would be nice to share my brief thoughts here, as it’s been pivotal to my tea journey. If you also want to talk more about it with me, I’m more than happy to get together virtually over a cup and chat.
I leave my final thoughts below, as this was my thought process that summed up my experience in the course.
Rui’s course on the Living Tea asks us to gaze inward in an invitation to unlearn all that we may know about tea, in hopes of gaining a new perspective. I arrived at the Tea House open and humbled with a beginner’s mind, and found a group collective that shared insight and authentic experiences as a family. Rui’s guidance opened my eyes to a deeper understanding of a culture’s practice in tea craftsmanship, in addition to experiencing tea with a heightened sense of intuition.
Whether you are new to the vast world of tea or have been a practitioner for decades, this course merely requests that you arrive with an open heart, challenge and participate in group discourse, and step into the messy unknown that seeks to preserve a tradition and attunement to the natural world. You’ll never look at tea the same way again and will have gained powerful allies in embracing all of the tea’s complicated history and beauty.