When we seal tea, we are making history. Looking forward, we are creating aged tea. The tea, as it ages, becomes something else. This is not unlike our own experience as so often the beginning, middle, and end of one’s life are three connected, yet separate adventures.
This year's seal features some made up Chinese word play. Because Chinese can be read left to right and right to left, we've intentionally created a saying that has meaning when read either way. It's safe to say, that this saying cannot be understood by either native speakers of English and Chinese. So as one customer put it, I'm two for two.
“Ma3 Shang4 Cha2 Lao3”
From this can be inferred, 馬上茶變老 “Ma3 Shang4 Cha2 Bian4 Lao3”
Tea immediately becomes old.
For Year of the Horse, we chose the word “immediately” because pictographically translated from Chinese into English it means “by way of horse, or horse driven,” which is so fast that it might as well be immediate. It’s another way of saying time goes by so fast, with the blink of an eye. The act of sealing tea is most enjoyable when there is some special purpose of commemoration. Sealing tea at such a time confers the sense that the ever-changing future is at hand, and our hope is that we will be here to enjoy this tea in 20 years. In this way, we create antiquity at the moment the seal is adhered. Thus, tea immediately becomes old.
“Lao3 Cha2 Shang4 Ma3”
Aged tea is placed upon the horse.
Many people are still not aware that J-TEA is a great place for aged tea. Currently, we still have great aged tea available, though the availability of old tea is never certain. Aged tea placed upon the horse indicates that tea is on a journey. This tea travels over oceans, across continents, and around the world – and as soon as you order aged tea from J-TEA, we send it via horse directly to you. Actually, we send it with the next best thing, the U.S. Postal Service. In other words, when you order aged tea from us, it will be arriving shortly.