Floating Leaves Tea Home ---Shiuwen's Blog!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Tea Documentary Filming: Love

These past few days of filming has been very full and rich for me. From a tea brewing master I met for the first time to some tea vendors I work with for 11 years, everyone showed me how they love tea. Even though they all have a busy schedule, they have given me so much of their time.

I feel they are loving me through their love of tea, through their open heart and through their kindness. And I love them back with my gratitude. Every day I live in this beautiful space called Affinity.

With all this love and gratitude, we are going to Dong Ding Mountain to capture the beauty of the mountain and the work of the farmers. Stay tuned.
*photography by Jake Knapp.

Tea Documentary Filming: Heart

The first two day of tea documentary filming has been incredible. My body is jet-lagged, loaded with pots of tea, and my heart is filled with gratitude.

I cannot describe fully how beautiful the tea and the tea people are. People showered us with their generosity and their love of tea. Just like what a tea master told us, "the depth, the experience, and the beauty of this tea session will be hard to find words for it." 
He used his heart to brew tea, and his tea touched my heart. I was in awed with the experience. 

Here are a few photos for you to see how beautiful they are. I am looking forward to sharing the experience with you soon!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

A Good Traditional Dong Ding, Brew It 30 Times?

Our Dong Ding farmer told me that I could brew his Dong Ding 30 times. To be honest, I never have patience to brew any tea past 15 times. My friend, Oolong Owl, attempted it with our Charcoal Roast Dong Ding. She did 24 infusions with this Charcoal Roast Dong Ding! You can check out her writing here on her blog Oolong Owl. She has great descriptions of her process and the notes of this tea. Enjoy!

*photography by Lee Damon.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Dong Ding Documentary Project Sponsored By Embrace The Moon

Embrace The Moon, School for Taijiquan and Qigong is the first sponsor for our Dong Ding Tea Documentary! 

The founder and owner of Embrace The Moon Kim Ivy and I have known each other for 11 years now. I am honored to call her my friend and teacher. Two years ago I went back to take Taichi again, and our friendship grew. 

She teaches hard and really cares about what she does. I have learned so much about taichi and I love it! I see a lot of similarities between tea and taichi. There is so much detail and endless levels to explore. 

Then she started to come in to Floating Leaves Tea on Wednesday afternoon for tea. We tell jokes, gossip; sometimes talk about philosophy, politics and dreams. I show her what a good tea can do beyond just tasting good. We expirement with different styles of tea energy and see how they impact our Taichi practices. That has been extremely fun!

Since the first time I mentioned this Dong Ding Tea Documentary project to Kim, she has been supporting the project with money, encouragement and ideas. It's because of people like her and many of you who have believed in me that helps to push this project forward. Thank you!

We will continue to raise funds for editing and post production. To support this project, please visit our tea documentary fundraiser page here

*photography by Jake Knapp of Cloud 9 Photography & Design. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

An Excellent Charcoal Roast Dong Ding: Expansion

In my previous post about my experience with charcoal roast master Mr. Zhan I mentioned a Four Roast Dong Ding. That tea taught me about what a good tea can do 10 months after I first had it.  I purchased that tea in April 2016 and have been loving it to this day.

About two months ago, my tea friends Char of Oolong Owl and Andrew of The Happy Tea Man came to have a Dong Ding session with  me. I tried to show them how a good Traditional Dong Ding not only has good, solid broth and great aftertaste, but also that it has the most amazing "expansion". I normally experience expansion with Cha Qi (tea energy). That day, the Four Roast gave me a wonderful surprise. The expansion this Dong Ding has takes two routes: one is the tea energy, which is super strong, and the other one is texture expansion. I felt it for the first time. Its texture was pushed into my body while the cha qi was happening at the same time. I can't really express how excited I was when that happened! Our friend, Jake of Cloud 9 Photography & Design shot a short video of us. I don't think I completely understood what was happening at the time. I only knew how AWESOME the tea was afterwards.

Two things happened in this Dong Ding Tea session that I absolutely love: friendship and expansion. I love it that tea is very communal. Tea brings people together. Tea allows us to enjoy not only its goodness but also the company that is there. Tea is expansive. Throughout these years learning about tea, I noticed that the right people with the right mind in tea sessions can open and hold a precious space for the tea drinkers. Char, Andrew and Jake are very open-minded people with great taste in tea. They helped to create and hold that precious space with me.

And a good tea is a great teacher! I am still AMAZED at how this Charcoal Roast Dong Ding still teaches me after so many months. When I realized the tea broth in my mouth was expanding into my body, the beauty of it was beyond description and it has deeply touched me. I thought of Mr. Zhan and how he could possibly craft a tea like this. He inspires me! His tea inspires me!

I am grateful and thrilled Mr. Zhan agreed to be interviewed for our Dong Ding Documentary. I look forward to learning more from him and to sharing with you some of his tea stories. We are scheduled to film the documentary in the first two weeks of July. We reached Phase 1 of our fundraising goal, and that is to shoot footage. Thank you all who have supported this project! We are now working on Phase 2 fundraising and we are half way there! We just need a couple of thousand dollars to hire people in our places so that each of our businesses can stay open while we are gone filming. Please consider donating and supporting this Dong Ding Documentary Project. Thank you!