The Cha Xi contest hasn't been recognized as an Olympic event in Beijing. Too bad! But the Olympic spirit is there: bringing the world together, around a cup of tea. It's also a contest where participation is more important than winning. And if this contest goes well, there is still a (remote) chance that it can become a demonstration event at the London 2012 Games. Just expect it to be more about english brewing then!
So, today I'm glad to present the first formal entry from the USA in this contest:
"The tea was a Bi Luo Chun. My friend brought it back from Wuxi. It is a very interesting tea, because the leaves are longer than other BLC I have had, and they also have "hairs" or trichtomes like a white tea. I am brewing in the Duan ni pot, because I find this tea to be a little harsh when brewed in a gaiwan. This pot is very good at producing a mellow cup with a long aftertaste. The two porcelain tulip cups show the tea's color, and are filled nicely by the slightly-large pot. I find that this set also lends itself well to a rolled oolong.
The blue mat is inspired by your navy blue square mat, and it does the job for now. I can't put the feeling into words, but I no longer enjoy the aesthetics of using a large bamboo tea table. This has inspired me to start trying different things.
Thanks for the fun contest!"
Thanks for this first entry: I particularly liked the fact that you would choose the brewing vessel (duanni pot) to improve the taste of an imperfect tea. A good pairing of tea and brewing vessel is one of the most important (gongfu) Cha Xi skill.
I also received the following picture from Florida (true!):
Here is my submission! The tea ware was missed in the shot because the rainbow took center stage. Wanted to take a picture outside with the tea ware but the mosquitoes are really bad. Not easy to work delicately when you are constantly swatting the troublesome creatures
Disqualified! (A judge has to be fair and just, even if it's tough!)
Advice: Wu si Cha, tea with five colors, would have been a great pairing with this beautiful double rainbow. (It's one of the many names of Oriental Beauty).