It's nice to be back in summer! Taiwan is so hot that my A/C is almost working non-stop from July to September. But in Alsace, the temperature is just right so far: fresh in the morning and comfortably warm in the afternoon.
This makes it ideal to brew tea outdoors, in the garden. Here, I chose my Jinshan Oolong from Lushan. The open leaves have opened up nicely, fitting exactly in the gaiwan. This is how this Oolong is supposed to be brewed. To obtain this result, I only used the pour of the boiling water. (If I used a stick to move the leaves, their balance would be disturbed.)
Tea brings me close to nature when I make it in my apartment. This feeling becomes overwhelming in the garden. It isn't just coming from the cup. It's all around! This is a very nice feeling that is easier to experience here.
I often here that summer isn't a season for drinking gongfu cha. In the case of Taiwan, I'd agree. (That's when I drink a lot of cold tea). But now in Alsace, I couldn't think of better conditions to enjoy it!
Mosquitoes can be a problem in the evening, but, so far, no insect has bugged me! On the contrary, it's nice to see nature so alive. Especially with a young fresh Oolong that also feels this way!
This comes as a pleasant surprise for me. My last visit here (almost 5 years ago), I was put off balance by the hard tap water. A filter didn't help much, and I spent a long time finding a good mineral water. Tea felt very different than in Taiwan.
This time, I started with cleaning the kettle and purchasing different mineral waters with little mineral content. I think I already found one that I like (Mont Roucous) and will perform more tests with it. This was the biggest hurdle to clear. Now I can already 'play' the pairing of ustensils with tea and finding nice setting to drink.
There's a vast choice of endless possibilities! Even protective statues from Bali provide inspiration and calm.
Asia is never far away... even in a French garden!