Basking in the Magic of Moonlight

It had not started out as a ‘good day.’ He knew that when the wife began the usual early morning harangue about drinking too much coffee . . . about caffeine . . . about his doctor’s warning . . . about all of the stuff he should and should not do. It was 8:05. He was already late and getting more and more frustrated with the driver of the car with Indiana plates in front of him who seemed not to understand that many times in Michigan to turn left you first must turn right. He muttered, “Dumb, dumb Hoosier,” and continued to creep in traffic, glancing at his watch as it chewed off minutes far too quickly.

He was late. It was the fourth time in three weeks and he knew this time he would hear about it the minute he walked into the outer office. His secretary glanced up with a slight smirk and said, “You’re late again.”

“I know,” he said a little too loudly. “It’s the coffee.”

Just as he slammed his office door, another door over 9,000 miles to the West slowly creaked open in the mist of early night to solve his problem. The Zhu family of three was about to go to work under a bright moon in the Zhenhe district of Fujian province China. Zhu Hui, the father, Zhu Yi, the mother and their twelve year old daughter, Zhu Ya easily can see the path trod by at least ten generations of the Zhu family three or four times each year in the months of April and May. It is more than a path; it is a long winding depression going up a very big hill. The dew, already formed on the hillside is like dew nowhere else in the world. It glistens like mini mirrors on the silver-down covered leaves of the hundreds of bushes on and near the top of the hill. No one knows the ages of the plants. It is said in the village that they were first created from wild tea bushes a thousand years ago. The Zhu family will pick the leaves of the tea bushes—the Yin Zhen—right before they blossom for so doing creates a white tea with almost no caffeine and a guaranteed sweet, delicate taste.

Sometimes it is called “Silver Needle,” “Bai Hao,” and/or “Yin Zhen.” It is extremely rare, amazingly delicious and the perfect solution to caffeine addiction.


Jim Hiller

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