most tea plants, camellia sinensis, are bushes. gao cong(gow tsong) means tall tree and is called that because the cultivar that it comes from, shui xian, has the distinction of being a tree. this imparts a woody flavor not found in other cultivars. look at an old dark wood table, add spices of christmas cooking: cherry, ginger, cranberry, raisins, green beans, and smoke. then mellow it out and you’ve found a gao cong.
you can’t go wrong with most wuyi oolongs starting in the range of 90C for 1 minute, gongfu style. this time, i’ll point out the chaxi or tea stage that is the mini universe created to set the tone and energy of making, sharing and drinking tea. like the stage of your own calm theater, the chaxi is setup mindfully with a tea runner, pot, tea presentation vessel, cups and a place to put waste water. flowers or greenery add to the elemental nature of this practice. if your interest is piqued, like any other practice, just get started.