The Wildness of Tea

Photo by Becca A. Lewis

Photo by Becca A. Lewis

Happy mid-holidays my friends.  This past week was a whirlwind for me, and part of that whirlwind was visiting a tea house in Burlington, VT named Dobra.  This was my first experience at a tea house, and I must say I pretty much just want to curl up and live in it.  The environment was so soothing and beautiful and grounded, the colors, textures, smells, tastes, catches of other people’s conversations…  everything about the experience turned me on and calmed me down simultaneously.  I was able to be in a state that I find very infrequently in public – a place where I was intimately aware of my body’s reactions to all the things surrounding and entering it.  I felt sublimely centered and alive.  The experience was completely sensual.

In this space you can sit on a platform, which we did, which is a little raised area with rugs and low tables, and cushions to sit on.  You leave your shoes outside the platform before entering.  After ordering tea and food the barista serves you your first infusion of tea before disappearing.  And then you’re just left there for as long as you like to drink at your own pace as many infusions of tea as you like from each pot you order, and there’s always more hot water for the asking.  The list of teas is impressive , pages and pages organized by type:  Green, Red, Black, Matcha, Puer, Oolongs, White, Herbal…  Each with it’s own musk, temperature, cup size and shape, and feel in the mouth down the back of the throat into the body.

I was surprised specifically by two of the many teas I tried.  The first was a Matcha prepared thick.  The smell was musky, dank, and rich, almost unsettling in it’s power, and the first taste was like getting slapped in the face with tree and mushroom medicine.  I felt like I’d swallowed a mouthful of perfectly blended forest tree and moss paste.  It flushed through my chest and into my stomach and instantly grounded me hard to the space I was sitting.  I felt perfect and alone and at peace and powerful.  I didn’t want to put anything else in my mouth for a while after that tea, I needed it to sit with me, and to feel that aloneness until we were both ready to move on.

The second was a black tea.  It was not a Western style black (think Irish Breakfast or Earl Grey) as this type of tea is called Red Tea in China, but a China Black tea.  It was not Puer, though I have recently learned my relationship with Puer is a beautiful and tempestuous one…  Just off from a Puer, this Puer style black tea was a bit on the light side but had a similar taste and feel as I drank it.  With a proper Puer I usually get to a point where my body is done, full; this tea was different when I got to that place though.  When I got to the point where I would usually be done drinking a Puer (about 3 infusions+ in), I realized I was not feeling overly full, instead I was feeling extremely turned on.  I still had the full feeling of being satisfied and a little on edge as I realized this, but instead of feeling like I needed to stop (lest I encourage a caffeine induced heart attack), I felt as though I had been drinking a powerful aphrodisiac, and I was ready to roll around and pounce on my partner, who was very amused by this reaction and continued to pour me more infusions with a teasing glint in his eye…  It was extremely unfortunate that we were in public and that I was leaving Vermont to go to a conference in DC after that last pour, so we made out like bandits in the car before I said goodbye, and I look forward to drinking more with my partner in an environment where pounce I may.

So, kink interested readers, the reason I am sharing these stories with you today is this: I challenge you to take some time to listen to your body this holiday season.  Whether you are with family, out eating, running errands, cleaning the house, or at the local tea house in your own neighborhood, take 20 minutes (or more) to check in with all of the sensations you are processing.  What feelings is your environment inspiring in you?  Take a deep breath and settle in your body: what speed is your energy vibrating at?  Touch the things around you slowly and intentionally.  Look into the eyes of your partners, friends and family members, and remember to be as present as you can with them in this moment that is only going to happen once – right now.  Enjoy yourself.  Allow yourself to feel full and stimulated by your surroundings, your conversations, your physical sensations, your thoughts and queries, and share your observations with someone you’re close with.  Notice the difference in how your body reacts to that type of cookie, or this perfect salad, the type of tea you choose to drink, or the amount of sugar you add to your coffee.  Let your body be alive.  This is kink at its most naked and basic.  The moment your let all of yourself just BE…

To Breath and Being,
~ Karin

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~Thank you.

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