+Global Tea Hut experiences with you guys! Better late than never I suppose. I was excited about this one as soon as I saw envelopes popping up on my Instagram feed. Dian Hong is one of my absolutely favorite types of tea and every one that I have tried from Global Tea Hut has been awesome. 2014's Golden Vajra and Daughter of the Forest are still the penultimate in my book but Mountain Rain was still a very nice tea. The dry leaves were beautifully curled with lots of golden tips. There was plenty of leaf for experimentation so I brewed this tea in a gaiwan, kyusu and in a bowl. Although I usually prefer bowl brewing I found that I most enjoyed the kyusu brewed version. Go figure. The taste was earthy and malty. Slight astringency was balanced by a sweet lingering aftertaste. A lighter than usual degree of oxidation made it bit lighter bodied than what I am used to. It was a very warming tea, perfect for enjoying after a long and chilly commute.
The gift that was included in this month's envelope was a very handy little bamboo coaster. It worked perfectly for my side handled teapot. These little doodads that they send are great for setting up cha xi, basically a stage for your tea. The environment that we drink our tea in can add a lot to the enjoyment of it. Tea & Tao magazine's theme this time around focused on tea and the feminine. It's an interesting topic in part because I find a lot of people here in the U.S. consider tea to be a feminine past time. Reading about Tien Wu's experiences of serving tea to women's circles really hit home for me. Although there's plenty of fellas that I nerd out and enjoy tea with, I definitely have many more ladies with whom I have deeply connected with because of tea. Being a fan of Petr Novak's work, I was really intrigued by his article. Rather than being about his own work, he tells the story of his partner Mirka.