Living Tea embraces the aesthetic and harmony between nature and culture. By relating to tea as a Way or a Tao, we find principles derived from nature by which we guide our lives. In the high mountains and valleys of Yunnan, China and Taiwan, sunlight and shadow mark the circular passage of time amidst old-growth tea forests. Deep roots have anchored many of these ancient tea trees to their homes for hundreds of years. Living Tea speaks to the profound healing and medicinal power of these ancient trees. We seek out leaves from old-growth trees that are seed-grown in their native environments free of any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or weed- killers. We seek leaves that lend their quiet power to the craft and ritual of the tea ceremony. Within any tea ceremony, whether it be comprised of simple leaves in a bowl or antique teaware and formal practice, we find a space to commune with ourselves, one another and nature. Within this space of presence, the lines between the three become hazy and we return to the simple joy of living.
Owner and founder Colin Hudon developed Living Tea through his lifelong immersion in Tea and Tao. As an herbalist, acupuncturist, and practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, he discovered through the Tea ceremony a means of sharing the extraordinary depth of these Oriental Traditions in the West. In Taoist herbalism, Tea is considered a "shen" or spirit tonic through its ability to calm the mind, open the heart, remove energetic stagnation and connect us with Nature. However, the western world has learned of Tea only as a beverage grown from small bushes on plantations, rather than large, old-growth trees in wild forests containing such powerful properties. With a strong wish to learn more about formal Tea ceremony and the traditions from which the Tea ceremony emerged, Colin travelled to Asia in 2010 in "search of Tea." After many months of travel, he discovered a living tradition in Taiwan. Following the cultivation and craft of Cha Tao, he sought to offer Tea to others as a form of moving meditation and living art. Thousands of tea ceremonies later, Living Tea continues to share this way, these old-growth trees and this ancient tradition with you.
Qualities That Define a Living Tea:
- Room to Grow
- Chemical Free
- No Irrigation
- Healthy Relationships Between All Involved
We are overjoyed to share the Way of Tea through Mountain Gate Teahouse and Art Gallery at the base of the cloud-hidden mountains of Telluride, Colorado. At Mountain Gate, we offer tea ceremonies, classes and workshops to explore every facet of tea from the linear, biological, and practical aspects to the artistic, meditative and ceremonial. At Mountain Gate, guest "tea folk" will be sharing their knowledge and experience, and we intend to host longer immersive retreats in Telluride in the coming years. We will also be integrating aspects of Chinese medicine and herbalism, Taoist philosophy and outdoor tea ceremonies during the warmer months. Further, we have friends (AYAM) hosting regular ceremonies, workshops and classes in Santa Fe and Los Angeles, where Living Tea found its roots in 2010. We make trips to Taiwan and China throughout the year to source the best tea and teaware we can find. We also work closely with a dear friend and teamaster (Wu De and Global Tea Hut) in Taiwan who helps guide the evolving collective of our tradition. May we share a steaming bowl together soon in this Life of Tea.