Upon graduating from university with a degree in anthropology and philosophy, he moved to India, where he lived and worked in a meditation center for some years. During this time, he prepared tea daily as fuel for his intensive meditation practice, and he laid the groundwork for his later work with tea as a spiritual vehicle. Wu De then left India to study meditation in Burma, Thailand and eventually Japan. Working closely with a Zen teacher who often used tea ceremonies as a way of conveying Zen wisdom, his insights into The Way of Tea and the ability of tea to convey deep peace were strengthened. After being ordained in the Soto Zen tradition, he began studying gongfu tea under Master Lin Ping Xiang in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. MasterLin taught Wu De about how to serve tea with more skill and focus.
For the last decade, Wu De has been teaching the ancient practice of serving tea from a Zen and tea center in Taiwan, known as Tea Sage Hut. In the last three years, his monthly magazine and organic tea mailing, Global Tea Hut, has swelled to connect hundreds of tea lovers and spiritual seekers in over 30 countries. Meanwhile, Tea Sage Hut now houses five long-term students and hosts over 200 guests per year, sharing The Way of Tea and a more connected way of living and being with each person who joins a tea session there. In addition to running Tea Sage Hut in Taiwan, Wu De leads tea workshops and seminars around the world. His writings have appeared in The Art of Tea Magazine (of which he is the Senior Editor), The Leaf Magazine (a free, online magazine which he founded), Fresh Cup Magazine (a U.S. beverage industry publication) and elsewhere. He has also authored four books, including Tea Wisdom (Tuttle Publications, 2009), The Way of Tea (Tuttle Publications, 2010), Zen & Tea One Flavor (2013) and Tea Medicine (2014).
Interviews with Wu De have been featured on “Rich Roll Podcast”, Estonia’s Raadio 2 radio station, Malaysian TV and newspapers and elsewhere. Features on Global Tea Hut have been featured in The Huffington Post, Tea: A Magazine and in numerous tea blogs.