|Wu De welcomes guests to his table|
It was evident that we shared like-mindedness concerning the spirit of tea. It was both a beverage and lifestyle that changed our lives. Plus, I felt a connection because he grew up in Ohio, just a few hours north of my home in Kentucky.
|Wu De prepares for tea mediation at Global Tea Hut|
Sitting at his tea table fashioned from an ancient tree and surrounded by an incredible collection of Yixing teapots, antique tea jars, tea bowls, and tea wares, we enjoyed two 45-minute silent tea meditations.
The second meditation included tea from a thousand-year-old tree served in thousand-year-old teacups. Because I was a musician for many years and his wife is a classical pianist, our session was accompanied by Dvorak’s New World Symphony, which ended on cue as we finished the last sip of our 11th steeping.
|“At our center, don’t learn how to make tea, we learn how to serve tea.” Wu De|
His “hut” is actually a two-story building with multiple tea stages, a kitchen, sleeping quarters for guests and a much-too-small office/recording studio. The compound was walled-off from the noise of the city and dotted with water features and plantings which made the urban setting feel more like an oasis from the hot and humid late spring Taiwan heat.
|Bruce Richardson and Wu De at Global Tea Hut|
“We have to find ways and means of connecting that don’t upset, exclude or isolate others—things we can all agree upon. Tea is an important part of us coming together. It is a medicine for this. If you put a Christian, Hindu and Buddhist in a room and they discuss their worldviews, they will argue. But if they go into that same room and drink tea, they come out brothers. I’ve seen it. The Chinese say, ‘Through tea make friends.'” – Wu De
|1000-year-old tea bowls.|
production and Asian tea culture. I’ve placed several back issues on my web store so you may start your collection.