I’m awakened by the sunlight barging in through the somewhat flimsy curtains, as well as the cacophony produced by a motley assortment of squawking and buzzing birds and insects.
Glancing at the clock I decide that this is simply too early for a holiday tea session, and doze off again.
About an hour later the dull thumping bass notes of a passing boat together with a perfectly timed gurgle from the fridge give me the push I need to unstick my back from the mattress.
I hop out of my pit, don shorts, t-shirt, and Crocks, and grab the kettle. I fill it up at our tap, which is located outside on the side of the house facing the forest. My still sleepy eyes are assaulted by every shade of green known to man with a topping of deepest, brilliant, faultless blue high above. The sun has already been up for hours, and its rays, filtering through the emerald spread of the treetops, bathe everything in an almost hyperneon off-yellow glow.
I go back indoors, and fire up our old faithful three burner propane stove. While my water is coming up to the boil, I get some bits and bobs from my tea-travel kit box, and plane off and measure out 9 grams of Huang Pian.
Once the water has boiled, I drop the leaves into my Kamjove pot, and engage tea autopilot, completing the rinse and first 10 second long steeping without batting an eyelid.
Taking a small coffee cup that I like to press-gang into my teaware crew along for the ride, I go back outside, but this time head for the front of the house, towards the cliff and the sea-view.
I sit in one of our deckchairs, pour myself a cup, and after savouring the aroma for a second or two take my first sip of the day.
The Qi hits almost instantaneously, and I sit there, cup in hand, letting everything wash through and over me. The sea tenderly slaps the rocks below, cormorants guffaw, and seagulls shriek. The ants scurry over to see what I’m up to.
For once the wonderful scent of the tea has some serious competition for its nasal action. Pines, oaks, and a trillion other types of grass and flower smash together with the crisp nip of sea-salt and real-deal “forest floor“. The world outside the cup and pot also smells like Pu-erh, and drinking the very same acts like a sensory overload catalyst.
In the sky a plane heads toward Stockholm, and out to sea in the middle distance a small motorboat skims off on some unknown errand, both vehicles strange interlopers from the outside world into our little kingdom.
I drain the last few drops from the first infusion, and head back into the kitchen to re-heat the water, and begin again. It’s rather like a normal tea session at heart, really, just with a quite extraordinary backdrop.
As so often happens during the length of a session time warps, melts, and distorts, and I have only the leaves themselves to inform me roughly where the hands of the clock might be pointing to.
They whisper to me that our time together is almost up, but I gently encourage them into giving me one last fare-thee-well round, and then call time on the session.
I take the leaves from Yunnan, and place them on the Scandinavian forest floor, hoping they will break down and be absorbed, become a permanent part of our home here.
I hear the unmistakable sounds of my womenfolk beginning their own day, so I go back into the house, and start breakfast…