Take a Moment for Yourself This Holiday Season

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by Danielle Beaudette

Holidays can be stressful. We work hard to find the perfect gift, the proper greeting card, the best recipe for our holiday dinner. Stress can bring on so many emotions that we’ve all experienced. On a trip to China with the U.S. Tea Association members, I had a wonderful experience that I’d like to share with you.

I was part of a U.S. Tea Delegation traveling through China for almost two weeks. On my last day there, I had the most amazing experience. I had asked my interpreter, Song Ran (Max) to take me to a wholesale tea store so I could make some last minute purchases before I left the country. He agreed to take me, but to my surprise, when he arrived with a taxi, his mother was with him. She wanted me to taste some teas from her favorite store. The store looked like many I’d seen on the trip. The owner greeted us and guided us to a back room where a tea tray and all the Gongfu tea utensils were perfectly arranged on the tray. The owner, Mr. Hong Zhi, began to talk about his tea estate and his workers and how much he appreciated them. We talked about China teas and the different varietals of tea. Then he mentioned a tea poem that I’d never heard of, the seven cups of tea, written in the Tang Dynasty by Mr. Lu Tong, 1700 years ago. For the next two hours he recited each verse from the poem and described his experience of drinking tea. In his words, with a loose translation from my interpreter . . .