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Issue #2 October/November 2007


Issue #2   October/November 2007

by Daniel Reid    danreid.org

Brought to you by Oolong-Tea.Org

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Welcome to Issue Two!

daniel reid tibet mount kailash        Welcome to Issue #2 of Tea Tidings.  I just got back from a pilgrimage journey to Mount Kailash in Tibet, where I drank enormous quantities of High Mountain Oolong Tea, each and every day, particularly at the higher altitides around Mount Kailash.

High Mountain Hydrator

        At the altitudes we trekked in Tibet, you need to drink at least 3-4 liters of water a day to keep hydrated, and I took about half that amount first thing every morning with our best grade  High Mountain Oolong  Tea, long before dawn, while the rest of the group was still snoozing in their sleeping bags.  As soon as I saw that our Sherpa cooks had lit the stove in the kitchen tent, I stumbled through the darkness with my favorite lava clay pot (more about this excellent new type of tea pot from Taiwan below), and sat there with the cooks drinking my morning tea from a large mug, eight infusions per pot, totalling about two liters.

daniel reid mt kailash lava clay teapot        What I found is that the tea hydrated my blood and tissues much faster than plain water, while also completely clearing my nervous system. Somehow it also helped my body adjust to and function well at those high altitudes (14,000-19,000 feet),  perhaps by increasing respiratory efficiency and enhancing gas exchange between the blood and lungs.   I also noticed that drinking a liter or two of strongly steeped High Mountain Oolong immediately after a long hard ten-hour trek in the high mountains quickly restored my energy and metabolic balance, and dissolved that heavy, foggy feeling caused by excess lactic acid in the blood and tissues after strenuous physical exertion.

        By the end of our journey, I had our  Tibetan guide and
driver, the Sherpa cooks, as well as my fellow trekkers, all hooked on High Mountain Oolong Tea!

"Good Tidings of Great Joy..."

       Our online tea and teaware shop offesr the very finest quality, Organically grown High Mountain Oolong Tea from Taiwan, as well as high grade tea pots, cups, trays, and related tools of the Chinese art of tea.   Our selection of teas are most probably more expensive than what you'll find on offer from other sites and shops, but the quality of our selection is far better than other sources, standing out from the rest of the crowd like "a crane among chickens," as the Chinese saying goes.  That's because we deal only in organically grown, hand-processed tea, which is extremely difficult to source these days and is produced only by very small family-run plantations in the central highlands of Taiwan.   In light of how toxic most oolong and green teas are today (see report below), we suggest that connoisseurs of High Mountain Oolong either pay the price to buy the best grade organic leaf, or else drink plain water, or switch to coffee.

        In addition to tea, we also offer a selection of excellent Chinese Tea Pots, all made in Taiwan from pure, uncontaminated clays, by renowned Chinese potters.   Here again, you'll find these pots more expensive than those made in China, which look similar but contain hidden hazards in the clay.  The reason our pots are more expensive is because they are made from pure unadulerated clay, which is almost as difficult to find today as pure unadulterated tea.  The ground water in mainland China has now become so completely saturated with lead, mercury, cadmium, and other deadly  industrial pollutants that the clay supply there is severely contaminated with heavy metals and toxic chemicals.  When tea is prepared in such pots, the pollutants leach out into the tea and pose serious health hazards to the tea drinker.  There are people in Hong Kong who have been hospitalized for this reason.   So here again, our advice is to get  top quality, uncontaminated tea pots, or none at all.  It makes no sense to buy pure organically grown tea, then prepare it in a chemically contaminated tea pot.

        > Visit our Tea and Teaware Shop Here

Tea Scams and Tea Scandals

        A few months ago, the Taiwan government announced that 11 tons of green tea grown in Vietnam and imported to Taiwan had been rejected and returned to Vietnam, because it contained an extremely toxic pesticide that is only supposed to be used on citrus fruits.  Shortly before that, a shipment of High Mountain Oolong tea from Vietnam was also rejected and returned for the same reason.

        High Mountain Oolong tea is now being grown in Vietnam, Thailand, and a few other places, from plants brought from Taiwan, by Chinese growers from Taiwan, because the cost of land and labor is much lower than in Taiwan.  However, the quality of the tea is not nearly up to par with Taiwan, and due to the presence of tropical plant pests as well as lax enforcement of laws governing use of pesticides in those countries, the growers in Vietnam and Thailand have been spraying their tea with extremely toxic pesticides that are not supposed to be used on leaf crops.

        Meanwhile, so-called "free trade" regulations imposed on members of the WTO (World  Trade Organization) allow
tea growers in countries such as Vietnam and Thailand to export their Oolong Tea to Taiwan, and only when the tea is tested and found to contain pesticides banned from use on tea can the shipments be rejected.  Therefore, tons of High Mountain Oolong grown outside of Taiwan is brought into Taiwan each year by unscrupulous tea suppliers and mixed with the tea grown in Taiwan, in order to cut down the cost. All of the imported tea is produced with pesticides.  As a result, it is estimated that within Taiwan today, over 80% of the High Mountain Tea purchased by tea drinkers there is actually a blend of Taiwan and foreign grown harvests, but since it's packaged in packets labeled "grown in Taiwan," consumers are not even aware of this fraudulent marketing ploy.   Even without the pesticide problem, this means that 80% of the High Mountain Tea sold in Taiwan is not the best  qualilty tea traditionally produced in Taiwan, and it's likely that 99.9% of the High Mountain Tea exported from Taiwan is not only a blend of Taiwan and foreign-grown tea, but also contains hazardous pesticides.

        We guarantee that all the teas which we offer for sale on our onliine shopping service is 100% grown in Taiwan, and that it's  also completely free of toxic chemicals.   Therefore, from the aesthetic standpoint of taste and quality, as well as in  health terms of organic purity and safety, we provide our customers with the best tea and tea equipment available.    In addition to our basic selection of top quality organically grown High Mountain Oolong classic teas, we will sometimes offer a few other varietals which are also produced from High Mountain Oolong leaf, such as a very fine Jasmine and the legendary Oriental Beauty, as they become available from our sources.

"Ancient Cliff Clay"

daniel reid mt kailash lava clay teapot        The tea pot you see me using in this photo at Mount Kailash is made from a new material known in Chinese as lao yen ni,  literally "ancient cliff clay."  This is the name chosen by  the master potter who developed this recent innovation in tea pots, as a brand name for his new line of pots, pitchers, and cups. We refer to it
as "lava clay."

        About ten years ago, a major earthquake in central Taiwan, which laid waste to several old tea plantations,  split open some ancient mountain cliffs there, exposing deposits of soft clay mixed with old lava and  impregnated with crystalized deposits of about a dozen different minerals.   The lava, from an ancient volcano that erupted in Taiwan millions of years ago, had mixed deep underground with ordinary clay, and millions of years of tectonic pressure and earthquake activity had compressed a variety of minerals  into crystals within the clay.

lava clay ancient cliff clay tea pot at mt kailash tibet        When master potter Gu Chuan-dze discovered this clay, he realized that he'd found a treasure trove for a new line of tea ware, for he knew that mineral crystals embedded in ceramic ware have energetic properties on water and other liquids, microstructuring the water into finer molecular clusters commonly known as "microwater" or "restructured water."   But it took him nearly ten years to figure out how to properly mix and prepare the lava clay with other  clays in order  to make pots and cups suitable for the Chinese art of tea.  I'm certain that the microstructuring qualities of this crystal clay on the tea in my lava pot accounts for the highly hydrating effects I noticed when drinking my tea from one of Master Gu's pots in Tibet.

        We're pleased to inform you that we will offer a variety of this new lava clay ware on our shop menu.  The supply is very limited, because only Master Gu and his top students know the process, and they only produce a limited quantity each year.  If you buy one and end up breaking it by mistake, don't throw away the pieces. Instead, place the broken shards in your water kettle, and they will help microstructure your tea water while it's boiling on the stove and simmering on the hot plate.

        > Visit our Tea and Teaware Shop Here

"Yankee Doodle Dandy"

wang jian ming yankees oolong tea        Wang Jian-ming, the star pitcher from Taiwan for the New York Yankees baseball team in New York,  credits much of his prowess to the High Mountain Oolong  Tea from Taiwan which he brought with him to America and drinks each and every day, and you can be sure that his family is sending him only the best quality, which he can well afford.

        Just like the cooks and drivers and guides in the kitchen tent with me at Mount Kailash in Tibet, Wang's Yankee team mates got curious and started trying his tea, loved its taste and clearly felt its benefits, and before long many of them had stopped drinking coffee and soft drinks and switched to High Mountain Oolong!

        With its potent alkalizing properties, there's no question that High Mountain Oolong improves athletic performance by enhancing the body's ability to neutralize the lactic acid produced as a waste product of muscular exertion.   This makes it a much better choice as a true sports drink than the sweet fizzy bottled beverages touted by the soft drink industry, chock full of artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, and other chemicals.


daniel reid shigatse palace tibet panchen lama

Daniel Reid (me at Shigatse Palace, Tibet)


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