From the date of the original post you already know- the cake was finished few months ago. I had a plan to write about it right ahead but somehow could not find a time to do it. And maybe it is for good. Sometime it is better to talk about a journey when dust is settled. Anyway, if you want to share a story better to do it late then never, right?
|Before the cake has desapeared, I took few pictures on early spring sun|
When I was in the middle of that cake, I realized how much the brew change depending how I prepare it. I thought I will make some conclusions and write about tea ware, steeping time, amount of leaves and how all that physics work. What is the best what one should be aware of, what to avoid. I was also going to talk about tastes, fragrances and delicacy which this "experiment" help me to perceive. Yes, tongue can be trained. But later on I drop it. For me, there are more important things to be focus on right now.
I experienced what is quite obvious. But as in many cases - to experience is a different level then to thought -think about it. I experienced how important I am, as the one who prepare and drink that tea, for perception, assessment and judging it. How I feel at that moment, how I slept last night. Who are you at that moment, when you swallow your tea? Have you ever find out how your (momentary) condition affect your opinion on what you have in your cup? I realized that even hour after heavy meal the same tea taste different then in quiet morning on an empty stomach. I realized that when someone describe and judge a tea, it is more about that person in that moment than about that tea. Or at least it is about conversation between those leaves and drinker. If I am in well-being, at the present, I naturaly choose the right leaves for that moment and make the best of it. Tea will then make my well-being deeper and relaxed. For me it means, that to make good tea, I have to stop to set apart "tea" at one side and "me" at another. The experience is more genuine when there is "just" the tea session. After all, when we empty our cup, the tea becomes part of us.
This understanding leads me to some thoughts on kung fu cha and the way of tea generally. It is way of self-improvement by doing it- talking, reading, writting just make it more juicy. In ceramic analogy: I try to explain to our ceramic studends that to study ceramic means to do it. Reading books, talking and studying art of others is important but without doing it, it is empty. Do it as well as you can, then it is perfect. You will always know that there is way how to do it better. But you can not be focus on making better clay (tea) - you might want to be focus to make you (to become) better potter (tea maker).
At the end, back to my 7542-from-2003 months. Aside of those experiences I wrote above, I would like to mention discovered mouth-feel. I started to feel it after few weeks, the tea was probably make just right. It was like new window in old room. New view, new light. From that moment I can find it there almost anytime. It also help me to distinguish mouth performance of other teas I drink since that. So conclusion- if you are thinking about similar experiment on yourself, be careful. It can change you.
Thank you for reading!