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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Happy Year of the Monkey, For Online Customers

Some of you might have already seen that the Floating Leaves website has a new look. I hope you like what you see! There will be more to improve upon and I am super excited to launch this new look with the help of my dear friend Todd. I am very grateful for all of the work he has done to make this happen!

I hope you find this new site to be easier to navigate. With time, I will be adding more and more tea pictures and information.

I am thankful to you for supporting Floating Leaves Tea for such a long time. I would like to celebrate the launch of this new site and the new year with you:

January 27th to February 14th
Free Shipping with the purchase of $30 or more. Please choose "pick up in the store" at checkout and the shipping cost will be zero for you.

Also, any purchase placed during this time frame will receive one of following teas (half ounce) for free:
-2015 Spring First Place Baozhong from Pinglin township
-2015 Spring Second Place Baozhong from Pinglin
-2015 Spring First Place Baozhong from Nangang
-2015 Spring First Place Alishan (lightly roasted)
-2015 Winter Second Place Baozhong.

Offer is valid while supplies last. Please leave in the comment box at checkout which tea you would like to receive. If you don't like any of the above teas, you can choose half ounce of any tea listed on my website.

This coming year of the Monkey is going to be full of energy and surprises. I hope that with good tea in our lives, we will be calmer and more grounded to face the year and to turn the crazy energy into positive energy. Cheers!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Happy Year Of the Monkey!

The year of the monkey is coming and I am already feeling its energy! Monkeys are known for being smart, versatile and mischievous. This monkey year is also combined with the fire element. There will be a lot of surprises and adventures for sure!

Even with so much energy and so many unknowns for the upcoming year, I have never felt so ready to tackle the year ahead of me. With this being said, I would love to welcome and celebrate the new year with you, with good tea and good energy.

If you are in Seattle, please come join me for: 

Chinese New Year Celebration, Saturday February 6th, 1-3pm
Please join Kimberly Ivy of Embrace The Moon Taichi and Qigong School and me for a series of great activities to set up the right practice and energy for this coming new year. Two years ago, I went back to my Taichi/Qigong practice. I can't talk enough about how many benefits I am getting from these practices!

Activities will include:

-What is Chinese New Year? I will share fun stories about Chinese New Year, what food to eat, specific activities and preparations we all can easily do to welcome the coming new year!

-Qigong Exercises: What can we do for our health and spirit? Kimberly will teach you some simple, effective techniques to clean out the old, invite the new, strengthen and nourish your immune system for the dynamic changes at hand!

-Chinese Astrology: What does the Year of The Monkey have in store for us? Participants will learn about their animal signs and how their own sign relates to the monkey year.

-Chinese Gong Fu Tea: What kind of New Year's celebration doesn't include good tea?! I will serve traditional Chinese Gong Fu tea. It's a great way to bring relaxation to your body, mind and home. 

Everyone will receive red envelopes and some lucky Chinese calligraphy words for the New Year and access to a youtube link of the Qigong techniques for practices and review!
Location: Embrace The Moon 1716 NW Market St. Seattle WA 98107

$36/person. To register, please go to www.embracethemoon.com. Only 5 spots left!

Chinese New Year Celebration, Saturday February 6th, 3:15 to 5pm:
Making Chinese Dumplings: Chinese dumplings are one of the food items we eat for the new year. We believe it will bring us prosperity. They are delicious and fun to make! I plan to make pork/cabbage dumplings, and shrimp/chinese celery dumplings with you. We will cook some up and enjoy the dumplings we make together!

$30/person including ingredients. For those who sign up for the 1-3pm program, the discounted fee is $22. You have to register for this so that I know how many cooking materials to prepare. To register, please go to www.embracethemoon.com. Only 3 spots left!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Dong Ding, Farmer and Tea: This Is What I Did For Tea

When the farmer dumped the leaves into his water kettle, I thought he was very rude, but I followed him to his car anyway. He took us to see a small waterfall and there was a pond of clear water with lush greenery around us. It was beautiful! My son had fun playing in the water and it felt good to stretch after the long car journey to get to Dong Ding mountain. We all seemed to be in a better mood. Nature is magical!

Then Farmer told us to follow him. He wanted to show us one more place. We walked around and started to climb up a hill with very narrow steps. I walked behind the farmer and saw he was just wearing broken plastic slippers, but he made it look so easy. We stopped at a place where we couldn't go any further, with just a steep hill in front of us. Suddenly my friend's voice appeared in my head:  "Shiuwen, when you go visit the Farmer, he will take you to a special place he thinks you should see. It's a very steep hill and I almost died there!" "Oh sh**! THIS IS THAT PLACE," I thought. Farmer turned to us and said, "We will go up there. It's beautiful." I asked, "What's up there?" He said, "Let's go. You will see." My mother said, "I am not climbing up there" and then whispered to me," You shouldn't go. You have a son." I don't blame her. I looked in front of me and all I could see were a very steep dirt hill, a dead tree trunk, and an old rope tied to the trunk. I whispered back to my mother, "Mom, I will be fine. I have tea to buy. Stay here with your grandson."

I turned to the Farmer and said, "My mother and son will wait for us down here. I will go up with you." He seemed to be fine with that. I looked at that dead tree and rope, took a deep breath, and prayed in my mind that the dead tree and the rope would stay exactly where they should.

There was a waterfall and a pond up there. Farmer turned to me and said, "beautiful right? Nobody can see them unless he/she climbes up here." I thanked him and chatted for a bit.  Then we proceeded to climb down. Getting down was much more difficult for me than going up. When my feet touched solid ground again, I was thankful, thinking of my friend and wondering if he had thought, "thank God I didn't die on Dong Ding Mountain!"

Farmer led the way and said, "Let's go back. It's time for tea."

*I wish I could share some photos from this trip. Many of my photos are in a computer that I don't use right now. Some day I will get them out and share them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dong Ding, Farmer, and Tea

I have recently wanted to write about Dong Ding tea. I have forgotten if I have ever written about my experiences from visiting Dong Ding mountain. I like to write about my encounters with different farmers. In a way, I feel that if you drink a certain farmer's/tea person's tea and can read about that person's stories, it will bring you closer to the farm and help you gain a deeper appreciation for the tea.

Through a tea friend's introduction, I got my first taste of a very good traditional style Dong Ding Oolong in 2008. I fell in love with that tea. In 2009, I made my first trip to Dong Ding Mountain.

Before I went there, I was a bit nervous. The tea friend who introduced me to the tea and the farmer told me that he can be a difficult person, and that if he didn't think I had good "tastes" in tea, he wouldn't sell me tea. I was worried:  what if he didn't want to sell me tea?!

In May 2009, I went to Dong Ding mountain with my mother and son. Farmer and his wife were waiting for us at their house. He heated up some water and brewed us some tea. I was very happy when I tasted his tea. Prior to that, I had visited my family for three days and there was no good tea at their house, so you can imagine how happy I was when I finally had a taste of a good tea!

After three infusions, Farmer suddenly said, "Let's go. I want to show you a place." I was enjoying the tea so much that it felt like I was woken up from a dream. I said, "Where are we going? We should finish this tea. I know your tea can last for at least 8 infusions!" He looked at me very intensely and said, "8 infusions? It should be 30." I said, " Great! Let's do it!" He said, "No, we can drink tea later. I want to show you around." "No! I don't like sightseeing. In fact, I don't have any hobbies besides tea drinking (I made this up. I LOVE traveling)." He stood up, opened his water kettle with all the hot water in it, dumped the brewed tea leaves from his gaiwan, and said, "Here you go. You like to drink tea? You will have plenty to drink. Let's go!"

This is the beginning of a long series of stories and adventures about my time with Farmer on Dong Ding mountain. I'll talk more about this in upcoming posts.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy Year of 2016!

2015 was a good year. Thank you all for being a part of it!

 I have seen an increase in interest in my tea classes this past year. I feel like people are really wanting to learn more about tea lately. I love sharing tea with people in this way. I love seeing the sparkles in participants' eyes when tea starts to make more sense or make a new sense to them!

In 2015, I had the opportunity to go to Yunnan. It was a very special trip. Even today, I still have that pleasant feeling and lovely memories when I think of the trip. Tea and travel are my passions. When these two combine together, it equals exitement and happiness. Looking into the new year, I know I will be traveling to Portland, Vancouver BC and Taiwan to see tea friends! I look forward to being back in Taiwan in 2016. I miss being on the tea fields and hanging out with the farmers.

Today is one of the rare days in the year when I don't have my son and/or work in the tea shop. I love both of them! But I really treasure thess rare moments of alone time. Time to relax! I have one of my favorite bottles of scotch, some lovely pipe tobbaco that I love, and a pot of aged Anxi Tieguanyin is ready to be brewed. Life is good, isn't it?

Thank you all for a great year! I am ready to have a good year with you in 2016.