I sometimes wonder what non-tea drinkers must think when they stumble upon my (and others') tea blog. Here, in Taiwan, there are so many tea fans (short for fanatics!) that my pursuit is very well accepted and respected. I guess many Chinese/Taiwanese feel some national pride to see foreigners embrace gongfu cha. Water, beer and coffee drinkers, on the other hand, must think that I am a little cookoo to devote so much of my time and energy in the pursuit of tea leaves. Different cultures have different sets of standards to judge people's behavior. So, is my condition serious doctor? ('c'est grave docteur?')
No at all. I find that tea adapts to many different life styles. Western and Eastern:
- Hedonist: you're looking to enjoy life to the fullest. Even what you drink should bring your joy and excitment: drink tea! (a prize winning Oolong, for instance)
- Spiritual: you need intimacy and harmony to meditate about life: drink tea! (an old puerh or old Baozhong)
- Health conscious: you want to beef up your immune system: drink tea!
- Traveler: how to you go to Taiwan and Yunnan within minutes? You prepare a cup of tea!
- Cold in winter: a warm cup of roasted oolong or cooked puerh will warm up your body and mind.
- Hot in summer: a warm cup of green tea (or 'green Oolong') will cool you down too!
and there is one more occasion I can think of right now:
- Cure for modern (stressful) life: you're juggling work with raising your children. At the same time you are preparing to move to a new apartment in 10 days (that needs decoration and furniture), while preparing your vacation from mid June to beginning of July (a passport needs to be established, hotels and airport pickups must be arranged...) and to top it all a film maker will come next weekend to learn about Taiwan's top teas! For such (not so hypothetical) circumstances, a few rounds of gently roasted Oolong are really helping (me) to remain sane and find the energy and motivation to overcome all these challenges.