​Functional Evening Gong Fu Cha

Tea, in its earliest form, was a type of medicine. Over the centuries, it became more of a leisure activity. Every once in a while, it is the medicine that I need. Last night, we had dinner later than usual. With dinner was wine. Tea is a great way to shift gears. So at about 8pm I started boiling some water for some tea to share with my family. I really enjoy having tea with my kids. Both of them love oolong tea and puer tea. Even though there is some caffeine, it doesn’t seem to affect any of us too much. Last night, we started with a very fine cooked puer. It wasn’t brewed particularly strong. Not much leaf was added and not much was needed for me and my oldest son to have a few thimble size servings. It was his birthday yesterday and I mentioned to him that the tea we were drinking was from 2007. He did the math and let me know that he was six years younger than the tea. I suggested that we buy a bunch of it, because then when he is my age, he will have a bunch of super amazing tea. At my age, it is far and few between that I get to drink tea that is older than I.

Next after the kids were in bed, Katie and I had some amazing raw puer from 2012. This one we brewed stronger. Sipping from the thimble sized cups, we gathered the energy needed to share our day’s with each other. As we caught each other up with the happenings of the day, the tea helped us to relax while lifting us up. I could feel it hydrating my body. I felt the energy shifting and my body, mind, and spirit coming into balance. This was the break we needed.

On an experimental note, I was recently brewing and drinking tea in the evening as an alternative to beer, wine, or spirits. It was relaxing and cleansing. It was also stimulating and pleasurable. I appreciated it because it left me feeling much better than having consumed an alcoholic beverage. I’m not a teetotaler, nor do I intend to be, but it is interesting to substitute tea for alcohol. As I brewed and sipped the tea, I found myself thinking along the lines of an experiment. What would it be like to do this every night for a couple of weeks? What would it be like to do this in a social setting? But more than anything, it was a great reminder that I can substitute alcohol for tea and it is very nice. And in this way, it is kind of a preventive medicine because the very next day, I felt great!