Thursday, April 07, 2016

Lekker lekker

 As a German speaker, I easily recognized this Flemish word pronounced by my Belgian guests. "Lekker" means delicious, yummy and described the teas we were tasting yesterday. Jozefien (and her brother) have arrived in Taiwan for a 2 week long tea trip and I was glad that they came to have a tea lesson/conversation with me on their first day!
Josefien would like to share her love of tea with her friends and fellow citizens back home. This love is a powerful motivator to learn more on the the subject of tea, because it's not enough to just share nice feelings. Tea involves a lot of knowledge and skills. These are not just useful when facing customers, but they are also very important when you are facing a tea farmer or a tea merchant. You want to gain his respect so that he gives you access to his best leaves.
I explained the many pitfalls one has to avoid when trying to source tea from a farmer directly. We did this while brewing 3 similar light oxidized qingxin Oolong in porcelain competition sets:
1. My spring 2015 Alishan Oolong (35% off),
2. My winter 2015 Feng Huang Oolong, (sold out)
3. My late winter 2014 Zhushan Dong Pian (gifted for any order above 60 USD).

I showed that the white buds are not visible on the dry spring leaves, but that you can spot them for the winter harvests. This is one way to distinguish the seasons.
We also tasted a 'lekker' Taiwan red tea! Then we finished with a hands-on lesson on how to perfect the brewing of a Dong Ding Hung Shui Oolong with a gaiwan. Style and elegance should always be part of the experience of high quality tea!

2 comments:

Simply in Bliss said...

Hey stephane! Nice article, in the Netherlands "lekker" is also all you want to hear when someone drinks a cup of your tea :) I'am currently in Japan and looking to source some teas from Tsuen tea company in Uji! Could you tell me some of these pitfalls before i see them tommorow, 16th of April.

Warm regards,
Pieter-Bas Prins

TeaMasters said...

I'm not very familiar with Japanese teas. I recommend Florent Weugue's blog: https://japaneseteasommelier.wordpress.com/ to learn more about Japanese teas.