Friday, October 22, 2010

Lousy day, great tea

Taipei is under a cloud of rain since Monday. This cold and gray autumn week could harm my mood if it weren't for a good tea. My spirits need a treat. My body needs warmth. My eyes want familiar beauty. My nose longs for summer fragrances.

This is not the time to experiment with an unknown or low quality tea. There are lots of things we don't control in life: bad weather, the current financial crisis... but at least we can control which tea we choose and how we brew it. Today, my relief is coming with a roasted 2008 top grade Oriental Beauty.
Happiness comes from within. Even a great tea won't bring to you if you're not ready. But if you take some time and make an effort to create such a wonderful Cha Xi, then you're almost there. You can probably already imagine how good that tea felt without drinking it. Tea brings us Happiness even before the first sip!

9 comments:

jay said...

Stephane, I was having a horrible day earlier this week, and then brewed a sample of lightly roasted Fall 2009 Dong Ding that you sent me a while back and it completely turned my day around. Tea truly can bring light to dark days!

Stephane said...

Thanks for sharing this experience, Jay. I hope we can inspire more to brew a good cup of tea today!

Wojciech Bońkowski (aka Nerval) said...

"Roasted OB" - any different from normal Oriental Beauty? Roasted by teamaker or later? My normal assumption with OB is that they are highly oxidised but see minimal if any roast?

Stephane said...

Nerval,
This OB was roasted by the farmer. As with rolled Oolong, there are all kinds of roasting levels for Oriental Beauty as well. You are correct that nowadays, the roasting is usually minimal. But once the fresh fragrances disappear after a while, such open leaves with lots of air contact don't age very well. So, if you want to keep an OB over a long period, it's best to get one with a medium roast. It may not taste as fresh when it's just roasted, but 1-2 years later, it will have better balance and more strength than one without roast (all other things being equal).

claire said...

Bonjour Stéphane,

La seule lecture de ton post me fait du bien. J'en profite pour partager aussi avec toi un très agréable moment de dégustation avec mon mari à qui je fais découvrir tes thés. Nous avons déguster les 2 Jin Xuan de Zhu Shan en comparant la récolte d'hiver et de printemps (en zhong). Nous avons trouvé et un peu plus d'attaque - le côté fleuri ressortait mieux - et davantage de longueur en bouche pour celui de printemps (je dis ça avec mes mots...!). Mais au delà de ce moment de dégustation, nous nous sommes retrouvés autour d'un thé. Un moment de bon, de beau tout simplement.

Steph said...

Thank you for this post! I've recently moved to the Pacific NW and will keep this in mind through the next several months. ;-)

Stephane said...

Merci pour ton témoignage, Claire. Je pense que tu as su saisir la particularité 'fleurie' de la saison du printemps.

Steph, Good luck adjusting to your new home.

dimitris said...

"Tea brings us Happiness even before the first sip". I totally agree with this statement. Thank you so much...

Stephane said...

You're welcome, Dimitris. Thanks for leaving your comment.