Recently my husband and I took a little getaway hiking vacation and rented a cabin in the woods. We love these kinds of vacations and tend to do them about once a year. They are great because we can take things as fast or slow paced as we like and it is wonderful to spend some time going on beautiful scenic hikes and connecting with nature.
One thing I really wanted to do on this trip was spend some time enjoying tea outside. Our cabin had a massive deck with multiple levels and various seating, so I thought I would find some really great little spots to sit and have tea. Unfortunately it did rain off and on while we were there and one day was brutally hot and humid. We did not let this get us down and went with the flow and perfectly timed getting out of the way of a massive downpour rain shower. This did however mean my opportunities for the outdoor tea were a bit limited, but did manage one fantastic session.
One of the afternoons we had decided we were done hiking for the day and were relaxing in the cabin and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to go out and have a calming and beautiful tea session outside. I gathered up my supplies, my travel gong fu set from Tea Thoughts, my thermos from Den’s Tea, a blanket, and a sample pack of sencha from Pugs and Pigs. (Click on the names to go to the websites)
I arranged a little tea area on the deck where I could overlook the lush grassy yard and trees. Birds were singing and some squirrels and chipmunks were around and I sat down to have tea. Using the slats in the decking as my tea tray, I steeped up my first round of Chants Sencha from Pugs and Pigs. The weather was beautiful, the scenery so calming, and when I took that first sip it was magic. Never have I had a moment of tea and setting blend so seamlessly. The sencha was fresh and light, full of green grassy flavors so it was as if I was drinking in the landscape before me. It was delightful and the further I went through my gong fu rounds the more relaxed and transported I was to this amazing tranquility. I lost track of time, I was soaking it all in, but eventually my tea did run out of flavor.
Having tea outdoors can really take your experience to a new level, especially with something like a great quality sencha that blends so well with grass and nature. I think the biggest thing with setting up an outdoor tea session is to not make it too complicated. Brewing vessel, water, tea, cup, and go. This is why I really like bowl brewing for outside, it is simple and all you need is water, bowl, tea. Nothing to time, just pour, drink, refill. This gong fu session I had with my travel gaiwan though was delightful. (For more info on bowl brewing, check out this blog post I did: https://teafueledwriter.com/2021/03/29/lets-talk-bowl-brewing/ )
Connect with tea, connect with nature, and feel how the two play off each other. Tea is nature, remember where it comes from as you drink it and all the hard work that went into making that one handful of tea leaves. Taking the time and small bit of extra effort to fully embrace a tea session and allowing it to recharge you can be a taste of everyday brilliance.
Thanks for reading and taking this journey with me!