ChaQi

One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.


Oct 31st, '08, 12:39
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ChaQi

by Ti » Oct 31st, '08, 12:39

Babelcarp:
ChaQi = (茶气 or 茶氣) in Chinese medicine and Taoism, the vital energy in tea.

I hear about it and tea drinkers seem to like this quality and mention it often. But what is it?

The other day while first trying my new 2007 Jingmai Mountain Spring tea I began to notice a sensation of being very relaxed. It was so profound that I felt as though I took a muscle relaxer or something but yet I was very alert. This was not like any caffeine buzz I ever had and I was confused as can be for a while as to why I felt so good, as feeling good and relaxed is not my regular state of being or even common for that mater. I didn't take any pills or eat anything other than tea. Then it occurred to me that this might be the ChaQi I read about. Was I high on ChaQi or was it something else?

The next day the first thing I did was brew some more of this tea but there was no relaxing feeling or ChaQi, or what ever it was like the day before nor has it happened since.

I did some searches on it, read about it some, but reading about ChaQi is about as effective as reading about what chocolate tastes like. Eating chocolate is the only way to find out. Likewise, experiencing ChaQi is the only way to understand what it is. If I eat chocolate it will taste like chocolate every time. So what I want to know is if ChaQi is evident every time you drink a tea that supposedly has this quality or does it depend on varying conditions?

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Oct 31st, '08, 12:48
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by thanks » Oct 31st, '08, 12:48

This is a pretty interesting topic. A lot of people are very skeptical of this concept, but only as a spiritual one. They experience it as well most of the time. Personally I think it's an interesting caffeine interaction with certain chemicals present in tea. I've felt chaqi in other tea besides pu'er, mainly some oolongs. I didn't believe in the concept at all until I had that 05 Guoyan Banzhang and it just couldn't be ignored. It was the most intense feeling of being super alert and awake, without being jittery or any of the normal negative side effects of too much caffeine. My back started sweating, and so did the back of my neck, and my face flushed. I think after you experience a few times with some teas where it is very strong, you become a little more sensitive to the sensations. There are some teas where within the first sip of the first infusion I feel it, and I can tell it's going to affect me. Different teas affect me different ways though, and not all of them make me feel awake. Some make me feel like I'm going to pass out standing up.

To specifically answer your question, in my experience yes it affects me every time when it's strong in a certain tea. It affects me more if I'm drinking on a stomach that isn't completely full, as well.

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Oct 31st, '08, 13:59
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by Jeremy » Oct 31st, '08, 13:59

Although I am no expert on this, I also agree. In my experience, the "better" teas seem to get this feeling. I get it from really good young sheng, and I get it a little less from aged. I actually get a different kind of Cha qi from the aged, I actually feel sleepier from aged sheng, where with young I get a little more wired.

Very interesting, I just discovered this a week ago!

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Oct 31st, '08, 14:40
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by taitea » Oct 31st, '08, 14:40

Given that we agree and can identify this sensation, I'm cursious as to why it's so much more blatant in a young sheng than in, say, a young oolong or a fresh green teas. What is it about the puerh process that could lead to such a sensation?

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Oct 31st, '08, 15:31
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by orguz » Oct 31st, '08, 15:31

I only noticed cha qi in aged sheng pu erh, I had some 1985 wild tuo and I started to sweat and felt warm and flushed, but felt drowsy in need of sleep, perhaps it made one really relaxed, also noticed lightheadedness.

Can cha qi be noticed only in teas prepared from higher quality leafs, so far this experience was with this one tea only.

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Oct 31st, '08, 15:35
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by Jeremy » Oct 31st, '08, 15:35

I have had a discussion with Michael at Tea Gallery about this. He used the phrase "tea drunk". Apparently in china this is widely known about puerh. He claimed it has nothing to do with the caffeine in the drink, but how it affects your blood sugar! Very interesting indeed.

I am feeling tea drunk right now, its my fifth cup of some yiwu! :shock: :shock:

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Oct 31st, '08, 15:39
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by hop_goblin » Oct 31st, '08, 15:39

orguz wrote:I only noticed cha qi in aged sheng pu erh, I had some 1985 wild tuo and I started to sweat and felt warm and flushed, but felt drowsy in need of sleep, perhaps it made one really relaxed, also noticed lightheadedness.

Can cha qi be noticed only in teas prepared from higher quality leafs, so far this experience was with this one tea only.

Chaqi can be a bad feeling as well. Depends whether it is a good qi or a bad qi

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Oct 31st, '08, 16:01
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by silverneedles » Oct 31st, '08, 16:01

how does it affect blood sugar? ...i have a sample glucose monitor here but i'd rather not stick my finger... thing hurts like heck for a couple days (if you're not a regular finger sticker)
i havent experienced anything weird from any tea so far (except some reminding me i'm hungry)
whatever it was it was mostly me being excited about the tea, how hot i drank it, how hot it was in the room, if i had had caffeine previous days

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Oct 31st, '08, 16:48
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Re: ChaQi

by tenuki » Oct 31st, '08, 16:48

Ti wrote:The other day while first trying my new 2007 Jingmai Mountain Spring tea I began to notice a sensation of being very relaxed. It was so profound that I felt as though I took a muscle relaxer or something but yet I was very alert. This was not like any caffeine buzz I ever had and I was confused as can be for a while as to why I felt so good, as feeling good and relaxed is not my regular state of being or even common for that mater. Then it occurred to me that this might be the ChaQi I read about. Was I high on ChaQi?
Yes, exactly.

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Oct 31st, '08, 21:39
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Re: ChaQi

by augie » Oct 31st, '08, 21:39

Ti wrote:Babelcarp:
ChaQi = (茶气 or 茶氣) in Chinese medicine and Taoism, the vital energy in tea.

I hear about it and tea drinkers seem to like this quality and mention it often. But what is it?

Was I high on ChaQi or was it something else?

So what I want to know is if ChaQi is evident every time you drink a tea that supposedly has this quality or does it depend on varying conditions?
From my experience, I think that ChaQi is the stimulation of dopamine in the brain. I don't think it's from the caffeine because I don't get the crash like you get from Mt Dew or Diet Dew.

I only feel the qi with cooked pu, oxidized oolongs or houjicha. . . what does everyone else think?

You can get this same experience meditating, too.

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Oct 31st, '08, 22:47
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by Salsero » Oct 31st, '08, 22:47

Sencha can give me a sort of high, not sure if it is cha qi, but similar, more ethereal, less sweating.

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Jul 17th, '10, 19:54
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Re: ChaQi

by TwoPynts » Jul 17th, '10, 19:54

So is it an instant effect with certain teas or does it require drinking a certain amount?

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Jul 17th, '10, 21:38
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Re:

by TokyoB » Jul 17th, '10, 21:38

Salsero wrote:Sencha can give me a sort of high, not sure if it is cha qi, but similar, more ethereal, less sweating.
+1

Jul 18th, '10, 20:24
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Re: ChaQi

by zeusmta » Jul 18th, '10, 20:24

In addition to caffeine, tea also contains:

Theanine, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theanine, which is reported to have pyschoacive properties.

Theobromine, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine, which is a compound similar in structure to caffeine.

Theophylline, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophylline, which is also a compound similar to caffeine.

Although present in small amounts, I can't help but think these compounds have something to do with the way tea can make one feel. It's also quite reasonable that these compounds could be present in varying amounts in different tea plants, which could help explain the variation in Qi from one tea to another.

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