The movie is one of my Christmas favorites. I had the opportunity to watch it again a few weeks ago. And, during this (pre) Holiday season, I have the feeling the happy end is happening to me!
I have received excellent, well written comments/e-mails from my readers. One even sent me a handwritten letter (from England). Several readers sent me samples of their best teas. I'm very touched by all this feedback. It really lets me realize that far from being a solitary act, my tea blog has connected me to passionate, sensitive, generous people around the world. I want to thank you all very much.
2 days ago, an overseas reader even came to my small apartment to visit me! He decided to travel to Taiwan to learn more about Chinese tea. His backpack was filled with gifts for me. Imagine, he brought me the one food I crave since I traveled to his country 12 years ago: hummus (a chickpea spread).He also brought 4 different excellent olive oils (behind the box of hummus). The taste of each is very pure. Like excellent teas, the fragrance is rather low. It slips easily down the throat. But then there is a powerful and yet well balanced aftertaste. I compared with the olive oil (first cold pressed extra virgin Spanish olive oil) from my kitchen. This one has a strong fragrance that says OLIVE and a strong, but very rough aftertaste. This made me then realize that these olive oils don't smell like olives, but more like flowers. Like good wine doesn't smell like grape or tea doesn't smell like grass.
The gifts didn't stop here. This reader also brought pita bread, Turkish coffee and mineral water from Israel. I wonder how my best tea will taste when I use water from the 'Holy Land'... I want to put it aside for a special, mystical moment. Maybe on Christmas night...
He then asked me if the way you pour water to brew tea is really that important. Does it really make a difference? Let's try, I said! I took 2 same gaiwan, preheated them. We used my semi-wild Wenshan Baozhong. He chose to use fewer leaves than me. I went first with the brew. He followed right after me with the same water from the same tetsubin. The result spoke for itself. He obtained a weak, watery tasting tea. Mine was full of fragrances, full body and mellow with a beautiful aftertaste.
"Hey, it's not fair! You had more leaves." So we switched gaiwans for the 2nd brew. Bis repetita: I was again able to get a better result! This was also verified by the leaves that had opened symmetrically in the gaiwan.
That experience was really interesting. It showed me the road I had traveled since I had started learning about tea. And I was now in a position to perform this little 'magic' and get my tea friend to believe that even the way you pour water in the gaiwan will affect the taste of a wonderful tea.