Studying Tea with a Taoist Tea Master

Studying Tea with a Taoist Tea Master

One of the greatest aspects of being a tea hunter is that I have had the privilege of studying tea with masters – many of them! One of the most powerful human beings in met in the Taoist tea world was Master Yu.  He taught me how each tea has it’s own spirit, and that when you drink a tea you are not just drinking a liquid, you are drinking the spirit of that plant and surrounding forest.

Wisdom from Studying Tea with a Tea Master

This actually sounds similar to the Native American saying of how when you take Peyote you are drinking a spirit.  Master Yu went on to say that, “You must be careful what tea you consume because you could be drinking bad spirits.”

Now, I am a “seeing is believing” kind of guy, but very open minded. I asked him to show me a tea that I could really feel it’s spirit.  With a sly smile he pulled out a ceramic jar and opened the lid and gave to me to smell. The scent filled my nose immediately with roasted cocoa bean smells mixed with roasted pine and honey. Overwhelmed by the smell I asked, “What is this?”

“Ye sheng Jin Jun Mei”, he said – a type of Wild Lapsong Souchong.

Now, have seen many Lapsong Souchongs, but never one that was wild. He went on, “Tea is an extremely absorbent plant that was constantly taking in energy from everywhere on a multi-dimensional level.  If a tea is next to fragrant flowers it will take that fragrance on. If it is next to pine trees it will have some characteristics of the pine. This is on one dimension, but it goes deeper than this,” he said.

“Tea is absorbing not only smells, but also absorbs energy from the human beings it comes into contact with.”

This reminded me of the stories I have read about in books of how plants respond to people talking to them. I remember reading that they grow better when the caretaker speaks to it. “Tea is also absorbing the energy of the universe. It even absorbs constellation energy.”

Intrigued, I asked him to explain. “This tea that we are about to drink is has absorbed energy from the constellation of Pleiades. When the tea is just about ready, I wait until the tree is aligned with Pleiades and right at that moment, I pluck it.” This is the work of a true master I thought. Master Yu was trained since childhood to pick teas. Combining his knowledge of tea harvesting with his Taoist practices he became a tea artisan like no other I had met.

Getting Taoist Tea Drunk

Now it was time to drink that Wild Lapsong Souchong – I couldn’t wait!

When he steeped it the sweet smell permeated the room. I looked at my small cup, took a whiff of that amazing smell and took one small sip. Following it through my mouth, it was almost orgasmic for my tongue. I swallowed it and followed it down my throat. It felt like a more thick liquid than a regular tea. It had an almost sticky like quality to it. Master Yu confirmed this to me as he said this is because the spirit of this tea is stronger. Almost as soon as I could feel the warm liquid fill my stomach, I felt an energy rising all the way up to my head. Pretty soon my whole body had a vibrating feeling to it. It wasn’t like a caffeine rush; it was something deeper, something more powerful. After several more cups, I felt like I was in a different dimension. I felt like I was getting high off this tea and it was incredible.




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