• Jeff Fuchs

Leaf Journeys, Leaf Ageing, and the Heights


It was upon the months' long journeys along the Tea Horse Road that the big-leafed 'assamica' material and eternal panacea, tea, would transform and morph from a simple green tea into an almost compost-like blend that many Tibetans began to prefer for their famed churned butter tea, bo-ja.

Wrapped in skins, bamboo cylinders, bark, and formed into squares and mushroom shaped compressed bodies, teas that began their journeys as simple 'green' teas would emerge months later in the Himalayan markets significantly altered. Proximity to the body heat of pack animals, rises and drops in altitude and temperatures, and time itself all contributed to a vegetal transformation.

Leaves gained in value as they gained in pungency along the trails, with the journeys and efforts only adding to their lustre. The transporters too, the precious and rugged beings to ushered the leaves through the spires and along the pathways, would rise to become revered.