Monday, March 23, 2020

Making Sense of Drinking Tea in “My New Normal”

Everything we know has changed forever and so has my tea drinking!

The first thing to change about 2 weeks ago is my when I stopped using my gong fu set up at work.  With the coronavirus starting to emerge, I determined that there was some level of risk with the gong fu set up because the little cups don’t have handles and they are small enough that your fingers are going to come in close contact with the lip.  And with it being in the open office others could easily sneeze or cough on it.  And with the amount of times I go back and forth from the table in a daily session, what if I forgot to wash my hands?  So much risk assessment over something so not risky… So I just started one cupping and grandpa brewing puerh instead.  Maybe this is why Marshal’N seems to do this while social distancing as well? Or maybe he just really loves the grandpa brewing?  Either way, I missed my gong fu at work… but at least I had work… now the government has ordered that I stop working this week…

In a way it’s nice because my only real chance of a proper daily gong fu session is the one I share with my family.  We load up the big pot or maybe the other not as big pot too.  These days the good stuff is being drank up because you only live once as they say.  The last few days we have been drinking lots of gushu type puerh especially the ones that profoundly relax, gently harmonize, or string you out into a relaxing contemplative high.  Gone is the need for the strong puerhs, the “energizer bunnies”, the rough stuff, and the factory puerh.  These are not the days for such energies in our house.  I find it funny that I recently stocked up on Bulang… hahahah…. How things change quickly… about a month ago I was busier than ever at both work and with family life and needed the big boost of a Bulang, especially in the laziness of winter, I required such things, craved such energies.  Now, its all about keeping calm, introspection, taking it slow…

My wife and I joked over tea this morning that it doesn’t count as minimalism if you have no money… hahahah… tea minimalism just the same.  As we joked toddlers and babies got a hold of a somewhat cool cup of 2006 Yang Qing Hao Qixiang and managed to chug down a whole mug… they were actually pretty good after imbibing that calming qi.... hahaha

Check out this 2018 post where I lay out how I’ve made sense of my tea drinking:

For me, even a few years ago, my tea drinking was very very different but for the last year or two it has been pretty consistent mainly due to stable life circumstances.  My tea drinking falls into (1) morning gongfu I drink/ make for wife and family. (2) Stored productions that I bring out of storage to drink with my family on a rare occasion. (3) Teas I drink with other people. (4) Everyday drinkers I one cup steep at work. (5) better teas I gong fu at work.

It was pretty much like this up until the last few weeks now I mainly indulge in (2) & (1).  Numbers (3)-(5) are out of the question there is none of that happening anytime soon.  How things change so quickly!  So much in life often depends on how stable life circumstances are… everything is now in a state of flux but I’m not concerned…

I have a happy family and good tea.  What else is better than that?

Here is a list of other puerh bloggers take on COVID 19:

It’s first mentioned in a puerh blog by Wilson of traveling teapot when he wishes us a “Happy Chinese New Year”.  He mentions resuming travel to China later this year.

Then Nicole Martin of Tea for Me Please as the question, “Can You Get Coronavirus from Chinese Tea?”

Cwyn makes us smile about how it is affecting her “No Buy Anxiety”.

I predict lower prices in 2020 and a possible puerh bubble pop in “Coronavirus (COVID 19) Pandemic & Puerh Consumer Confidence”.

Marshal’N gives us some hope and encouragement and reminds us to enjoy the little things in this time of social distancing by “Staying Home”.

Cwyn reminds us that “We’re Really Lucky” to be able to be surrounded by so much good tea and teawear in this time of uncertainty and anxiety.



  1. Stay safe.

    Liu Bao has a central place in my Ballardian life at the moment.


    1. Anonymous,

      Have tried Liu Biao before but never got into it. It was never a poplar thing 15 years ago like it is now.

      Cheers to Liu Bao!

  2. It is wild how quickly things can change.

    I've been home from work for a while now, and every morning starts with a long, lazy solo gong fu session. It's really nice to be able to focus on tea for an hour or two every day with zero time constraints. Certainly been a perk of this whole mess for me.

    Could you possibly recommend any specific teas that are available that have relaxing/harmonizing cha chi? I have a decent stash for now, but I have been trying to find some affordable teas to order that are mellowing rather than face melting.

    Glad you and the fam are happy and safe.

    1. anj,

      I think you are not alone in appreciating the extra time spent towards tea. Thanks for sharing that.

      I am also getting excited every morning to have tea with my kids. We have been drinking the 2001 Naked Yiwu from Teas We Like, as well as some other more expensive aged and semi aged stuff. It’s a great stronger slowing down and enjoying the simple things qi in there. It has the ability to really slow the “what if’s” down and get you in the moment these days. I think it’s very good value for its age and quality and they just added it to their site again.