Well, I haven't been posting here regularly, because I've been in China for 2 months now. And I'm still here. You can't view blogs in China. So I have no way to see my own blog. But I can still log into blogger and edit things. Blogspot.com is totally blocked.
Anyway, enough of that and on to tea.
Mostly, I have focused on meeting tea people, and making friends. And I have met quite a few people already. I've had a lot of fun tea experiences here. One time, I had the chance to make friends with a woman buying a zisha teapot. She really bargained hard on the price. But I saw from the way she handled the pot that she really understood tea. So I asked her if we could be friends. A week after, she invited me to a teahouse. When I arrived, I then found out that she was the manager. Chinese are so humble.
After that, I visited on occasion, and had long discussions with her staff who would pour me tea. Some were in training and needed the practice. And some said, they just drink tea all day by themselves when there are no guests around.
Every time I go there, they ask me: "how is this tea"? I say: "It's ok". After awhile, they caught on, and said: "you always just say it's ok. What does that mean"? Then I was forced to explain, the tea is ok, but not the best I have tasted. It's only a middle quality tea. But I'm too polite to say the tea doesn't taste very good. And they know I would never say that anyway, because, to enjoy tea, it's not just about the tea, it's about the people around you, and the atmosphere of the place, of the moment.
Another time, another woman brewed tea. Then, suddenly she noticed me not drinking so much. Something that even I did not notice. So she asked me: "how come you're not drinking your tea? Is there something wrong?" I said: "no, nothing wrong". Then she just had a big smile, and said: "I know you're not drinking because I did something wrong. Maybe I let the tea steep too long, and now it's too strong. Or maybe I made it too weak. I know when you don't drink, you don't like my tea."
Man, they know everything. You can't hide anything from them. Next time, I will bring my own teas, the teas I like to drink, and what I think are good quality. Then, they can try them, and I will see if they like to drink them or not.
Immortal's Palm Tea - by STEVEN D. OWYOUNG AUTHOR'S NOTE: *This essay is dedicated to Frank Hadley Murphy, author of The Spirit of Tea, for his kind introduction to the poet Li B...
5 years ago