tea, tea review

Anniversi-Tea Days 4 & 5: The Divine Interventions of Tea

Day 4: The Divine Interventions of Tea

8/22/11 – (Princess at the keypad…) This morning we were woken up by a friend we were staying with. She made us a delicious breakfast of berry pancakes and an omelet. Once we were out of the house we were glad that we had been woken up early, so we could get to Point Reyes Station in time for lunch.
When we got into the car Klee checked his messages and found that David Hoffman had returned our call and confirmed an appointment for a tea tasting. We were so excited and happy that we were going to get a chance to taste and acquire delectable teas for our anniversary.
When we got to Point Reyes Station it was noon-ish and some other friends of ours met us for lunch at a place called, Pinecone Diner, it was a great little diner-style spot. It was nice to catch up with friends and have some delicious food. Before we knew it time had flown by and it was time for tea with David Hoffman.

(Klee picking up the pen…) Why were we so excited to visit this person in strange depths of Northern, CA on our anniversary?
Flash back to March 2011 – Day after playing a show in Point Reyes, my friend Cheyenne remarks on me preparing tea in a gaiwan (Pu-er right after breakfast is the best way to start the day while on tour!). He told me of a mysterious “tea sanctuary” and of the tea master who lived there that was featured in a documentary. My eyes lit up. The choice was, go with the rest of the crew to enjoy the beach, or explore this place of tea and mystery. My mind was made up, yet I didn’t know how I would get there and where exactly there was. As tea adventures usually unfold, this one did so elegantly. Myself and comrade in tea, MT, through a series of fortunate events, spent the afternoon at Hoffman’s private tea house wondering how we got there and who would ever believe us. When we returned to Arizona with shining silver bags bearing the Phoenix Collection’s emblem,  the legend quickly spread. We located the documentary “All in This Tea” on Netflix and realized how fortuitous we had truly been.

From www.thephoenixcollection.com: “David Lee Hoffman has been traveling the remote backcountry of Asia for more than forty years seeking out the world’s finest rare, organic, and wild pure leaf teas.” Also view the trailer for the documentary, “All in this Tea.


At Hoffman's Tea House

Initially we had just planned to taste and purchase some teas but our adventure unfolded in a wondrous fashion that we can attribute only to the divine interventions of tea.
David’s place is truly a tea sanctuary. The intention and care of the place exudes the calm and grace that facilitate moments we generally seek through tea. Even the compost worms seem to revel in their humble yet lavish environment.
David and his partner remembered me from my previous visit. They initially seemed surprised that two young

Klee, Princess, David, and Bea

folks would want to spend their 2nd anniversary enjoying tea but we made it clear that our anniversi-tea adventure would be complete with this opportunity.
We got right to tea tasting and conversing on a range of topics from Dine’ (Navajo) culture,  wedding customs, to what it takes to open minds to understand why it is critical to protect our environment.
We started with a wonderful and highly praised competition “Monkey-Picked” Tieguanyin (review). We continued with white teas including a White Peony and moved quickly to Oolongs.

Through the tasting it became apparent that David was teasing us with his “private reserve,” certainly pricey but definitely affordable compared to Vital Tea Leaf and Red Blossom offerings.
Tea and conversation flowed and before we knew it time had eluded us. So we were invited to continue our tasting of teas in the morning, an offer we surely couldn’t refuse.

A haiku interlude:

Moon steeps quietly
This summer’s night lovers sleep
Dreams of tea flowing

Day 5: The Return & Realizing of Grandiose Plans

We started the morning with some incredible black teas and finished with a Pu-er tasting that none can rival.
If it hasn’t been clear, Pu-er is my favorite. I was first introduced to Pu-er while on tour in the Czech Republic at a music festival. After our performance I was invited to a tea tent where I was eagerly offered a cup of “Kiss from the Grave,” as Pu-er is referred to in Czech. The deep earthy warmth I can still clearly taste some 14 years later. From that point I was hooked.

We finished our tea experience with some modest purchases and expression of our deep gratitude for the generosity and graciousness of David and his partner.
As we had roughly 14 hours of asphalt between us and our home in Flagstaff we took every step to leave the Hoffman’s private tea house at a slow pace.
We had time on the drive to discuss our grandiose plans for our tea blog (and here we are!) and possibly opening a tea house in Flagstaff (we shall see…).
Through the whole experience, Princess and I laughed and played with the notion that this was all a tea induced dream, maybe we had sipped just a little too much from the cups of teadom? Certainly we were awake in these moment of moments that somehow kept assuring us how our love and commitment to each other would continue to overflow. All of this indeed is all in this tea, and all in these moments that we offer and share with each other. In these moments we grow together in wonder and amazement of those mysterious forces that connect us.

In this, a moment for tea is a moment for love.




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