What do you get when you cross a monkey and a heart?

Ans: A huge 25% off all tea on our webpage for the celebration of the Chinese New Year (The Year of the Monkey) and Valentines Day

Use the code monkeylove  at checkout for your discount.  Someone is calling to be your Valentine.  Answer if you dare and if you like natural hot springs.

Love from the Dragon

The Vicissitudes of Travel

It is always confidence building to know where you are going. With travel that might end up being “where you think you are going” rather than where you are actually going.  Denver snowed in.  Durango sketchy.  We rerouted our trip through Phoenix.  I spoke with two different ladies in India to do this.  The first one disconnected me as we were about to reschedule.  The second one sent a receipt that she had charged us $13oo for the change which on the third telephone call, this time with a supervisor, was ‘just the way the did the receipt’ .  It didn’t actually mean what it said.

In Phoenix we had thirty minutes to connect with the Durango flight.  The stewardess asked the folk on the plane to sit tight as there were a handful of us that had to make connecting flights.  Everybody got up and it took ten minutes to deplane.  Other logistics took five minutes.  We had to go from terminal 1 in Phoenix to terminal 4 which included taking the skyway and going through security again.  Security busy, wife lost her sweater we were in such a rush.  Got two rides from men on carts and ended at the wrong gate knocking on the door because I could see the plane was still there even though the door was secured.  The correct gate was across the terminal and the plane had left.

Jasmine of American Airlines got us a billet for lodging.  Matt head of security found the sweater, Eric picked us up for the Residence Inn, Marriott, and we just had free breakfast.  Luckily, the morning of our departure I had packed my cpap to carry along so slept nicely after a hot shower, Downton Abbey and a salad.  This morning  soon another trip to the airport and home.

I don’t know when I travel and that mystery is very good for my spirit to find the way and be celebrated by the kindness of strangers as Tennessee Williams used to say.  The enormous safety net and all the jeweled beings that make it up keep us safe and offer adventure.

I miss my tea hoard in Durango.  Longing for a wonderful cup of Dreaming Awake, Be Well or a luscious pu-erh.


Look at that face!  Do you notice anything peculiar about Bodhidharma?  Let me tell you the story as I sip my Heavenly Blue Peak to keep me alert or perhaps some herbal Focused Mind.  So here we go.

Bodhidharma was born in Southern India and was on fire to take Buddhism to China, a very long trip in those days. He went to China only to somehow offend the emperor who took a disliking to him and would not aid him in his mission.  He decided to meditate in a cave facing the wall for twelve years.  In the eleventh year he fell asleep.  When he awakened, having failed in his intent, he was furious.  He took his knife out, cut off his eyelids and cast them out of the cave. Ah hah he thought, I’ll never fall asleep during meditation again.  Where the eyelids landed the first two tea bushes sprung up and ever since the monks can use the tea to stay awake and alert in their meditation practices.



Tsubo…tea storage jars

Tea storage has required vessels over the centuries.  Because tea was so valuable to the growers and other users, it created the culture and beauty of the vessel to store and protect it.  Tsubo is the Japanese word for pot and chatsubo is the specific term for tea storage jars.  I like thinking about sencha stowed away from the spring harvest until fall and then blissfully opened like New Beaujolais and savored by the town folk.  They even have costumes to go the river and a wooden bucket to pull the water up onto the bridge for steeping the aged tea.

Tsubo is also the word for the points on the meridians which Shiatsu addresses and would define  acupuncture points in some systems of Asian Medecine.  The row of tea boxes by Lisa Pedolsky are and will be filled with my treasured teas for the beauty and the joy of using them.  The vessel in the background is a perfect Japanese tea jar.


In China, the tea growers in Pu-erh store their cakes of tea and loose leaf  for several years.  A really fine brick of Pu-erh, considered medicine, can sell  anywhere from $3000 to $10,000.  I think I need a attentively steeped cup or two of Mountain Spring Sencha (aka Uji Kabuse) to settle me down after all this thinking about tea and its preservation and revered care and the glorious vessels that came from that inspiration.

Still in the presence of water.

I am very interested in what the water has done as represented in these photographs.  How did it know where to go?  How did it get there through thick ice?  Did the water know where it was going before it started or did the water take one step at a time?  Why didn’t it go in a straight line like humans do?  You can slip of ice and fall down.  You can’t slip on water nor can you walk on it unless you have the prerequisites like you know who.  You can board or ski on snow.  How does that work.  I think I need a cup of Old Leaf Pu-erh to get a bit of refreshment for all this wondering.


White Dragon Tea


We live in snow country.  Water right now has all forms.  Water flowing  in the Animas River. Ice on the edges of the river and all around.  Snow piled high in the streets of the city.  Water is coming and going and it has its way if you will watch. It makes little rivers here and there imposing its persistent will.  Birds eat snow at the top of pine trees and Fox has a drink.  I watch and sip sencha, pour after pour,  the first steep is celestial.  Okumidori from pleases.  Just add heated water to leaves and there you go.  A lovely pot and a favorite yunomi(small cup) and you are set. A salute to the element of water then.  Thunder







Dragon Loose in San Francisco


Chinese dissident artist Ai Wei Wei has an installation on Alcatraz Island.  Our  friend Bonewoman sent along this image.  We also want to share a wonderful article from our local Durango Herald which considers the dangers of tea bags, problem with tea  balls, the value of loose leaf tea which we purvey as you know.

And here is a link to an article Casey wrote on Drum Mt Cloud and Mist

Good season’s celebraton to all of you. Come see us if you can. Weare sending out a gift through our newsletter for you to enjoy as you contemplate your tea cabinet (pantry) over the holidays.

The crew at the White Dragon loves you,