Our very first chat, with beautiful Casi Polgar. I met Casi a few years ago now with a close friend Meg (who will be featured very soon...). Since, I have regularly kept up to date with her socials and feel very inspired by. Casi is one of those people who you meet and instantly feel calm with. We share interests and I feel her knowledge should be shared. I'm very excited Cas said yes and here is our chat!
This chat is raw, without editing and exactly what we sent each other. Enjoy!
Casi Polgar x Ohti
Since meeting you, I am always feeling inspired by your posts, particularly your tea ceremonial posts. Would love you to share your experience? When did you become passionate about tea? or is it the feeling it brings?
Thank you, that’s such an honour to hear. Inspiring others by just doing what you love is one of the best achievements I feel as a human we can do. So thank you.
It’s funny to think about when I became passionate about tea, as it’s something that has been apart of my life for so long without even realising it.
When I think back to my child hood I used to drink tea with my Nanna and whenever we would go away as a family. It wasn’t always because I liked the taste, it was more about being able to dunk a biscuit into it.
When I was young I was given a little ceramic blue and white teapot from Aunty which I kept all my love notes from my parents which they used to leave for me before exams, etc, saying “goodluck”, “we love you”, etc. And now fast forward almost 3 decades later and I own over a dozen teapots (including the little Blue and White one), and have cupboards full of tea and tea ware.
I got more seriously into the
practice after stumbling over Global Tea Hut about 5 years ago through an expander, who is still my main expander in the tea world Baelyn Elspeth. She practices under Wu De who is the teacher at Global Tea Hut and I found them through her. So I am eternally grateful to her for deepening my practice and love with tea.
I have since gone on to become a subscriber with them, which means I get a magazine every month filled with Tea knowledge, Tea practice, Zen and Daoism, along with a tea which is discussed in detail in the articles that fill the magazine. And then all the profits from the magazine, tea and tea ware that they sell online goes to building their “light meets life” centre, which will be able to hold and facilitate many students on their Tea journey. They plan to grow their own food and potentially have a Tea plantation their as well. It will truly be magical.
They did have a place in Taiwan called the “Teas Sage Hut” where you could for (for free) and do a 10 day course in Tea, Tea Ceremonies, Mediation and learn about Zen and Daoism. However unfortunately around the time of Covid they had to leave that place, so they are now in the process of hopefully finding land to build their dream centre. It was such a shame as I never had the chance to visit them there, but I have had the opportunity of meeting Wu De himself, along with his students, so for that I feel blessed.
Tea does also bring a feeling with it. She is a medicine and holds energy (Qi). After all she is produced from the land, the sun, the rain, the soil, so therefore she holds so much wisdom. Depending on what tea you are drinking, she will bring through you a certain energy. I feel majority of the time when I consume her, it brings me back to my core, grounded with an expanded heart and an open mind.
All the Tea they offer through Global Tea Hut is sustainable, agrochemical free and helps local farmers, not mass produced plantations. It really is so beautiful to be apart of such a supportive community.
For more information please see: https://globalteahut.org
Compared to you, I feel like a novice in the tea world? What knowledge can you share?
I still feel like I am only scraping the surface of what this world of Tea is really all about. I will be a student for life that’s for sure.
It goes so deep, so much deeper than I could have ever imagined.
It’s a vast and wide world which goes into the Tea and the type of Tea to serve and what kind of energy (Qi) it holds. This in turn leads to what time of the day / season to serve the tea, which type of vessel to brew the tea in to bring out the finest and highest quality in it and also what temperature the tea should be heated to.
Then there is the ceremony itself and which type of ceremony to hold for which type of tea you are serving along with what kind of guests you are serving to.
There is so many facets that go into Tea, Tea Ceremonies and preparing the tea it’s wild. But that is also why ceremonies are so potent and special. Especially when it is coming from a lineage which is steeped in many many years of wisdom and practice.
However I don’t want to discourage people from just purely enjoying tea. Because really at the end of the day it’s all about hot water, tea leaves and a bowl. That’s it.
I'd love to give Gede a plug and the Indonesian community. I hold such a special place in my heart as I know you do. How could someone help the current situation their community is in?
Absolutely. Gede truly is such a divine human. The work he does for the Indonesian community just astounds me. Everything he earns from being a healer and working with the westerners allows him to then give back to the many poor villages that surround him to build facilities like toilets,
kitchens and provide food for people. Basic living standards that we take for granted everyday these people don’t even have. It blows my mind.
Even clean drinking water is hard to come by.
Himself along with Debbra Schembri, an Australian woman who has dedicated many decades of her life supporting Indonesia, have a registered charity in Bali called “Yayasan Sinar Nurani Light of the Soul”, here is the link: http://healerbali.com/suraberata-bali-turtle-farm
Any donation big or small will help them so incredibly much to feed, shelter and support the local Indonesians.
All the money goes to them. None is filtered off for administration costs, etc. So that is huge in itself. You know that the money is going directly to the people.
What is your favourite blend? / location to enjoy it in.
I really love mixing 2 different teas together which are called Mandala and cosmos. Both are Purple Shou Puerh’s. They are so delicious and creamy but still hold an earthy taste.
I love brewing them in my sidehandle whilst being surrounded by Nature. Being in nature is best.
Finally, and thank you so much again. Ohti is all about having that 'Soul of fire feeling' - Feeling alive and passionate. What sets your soul on fire?
Well I think there are so many things that set my soul on fire, but the most important one’s that stands out to the me the most is being surrounded by loved ones, drinking tea and having a belly full of nourishing and wholesome foods, whilst balancing this out with time spent alone, reflecting, journaling, drawing, and of course drinking Tea.