25 February 2009

The same teas, every...single...day...

"Do you ever get tired of drinking the same kind of tea every day?" I asked my oolong teacher.  "You only drink one or two varietals, and it's usually your own tea.  It's been more than 40 years, don't you wanna have a bubble tea sometimes?"

               tea set  

The last part was supposed to be funny and elicit laughter from him.  He smiles at me a lot, as if he's trying to read my brain like mystics read tea leaves.

"My tea makes me feel comfortable.  I can drink it all day for my entire life and I will not feel sick.  It is like medicine to me.  Don't you think it makes you feel good?"

"Yes, that's true."  My teacher touched upon a subject that I had wanted to discuss with him anyway.  "I don't like lightly-oxidized or lightly-roasted teas precisely because they hurt my stomach after many pots.  That is one major reason why I like roasted teas so much.  Puerh is ok too, but I don't prefer it."

My teacher knows how I feel about puerh, so there is no need to explain to him again.  He nods, reclines in his chair and clasps his hands behind his head.  Sometimes he will begin to sing a song that sounds like a lullaby.

"Yes, I know what you like."  He nods at me again and closes his eyes for a few moments.

We sat there for the rest of the afternoon, drinking his precious teas as we waited for the batch of oolongs that we were roasting to finish.  Unfortunately, I ended up over-roasting the tea a bit.  It will need several months of rest in order for the fire to dissipate.  My teacher is forgiving, just like my best teas.  He says that we can learn more from our mistakes than from our triumphs.

"Everyone makes mistakes.  We accept them, learn from them, and try not to do it again.  And if we do make the same mistake again, we will learn the lessons again and again until we truly understand them." 

"It's just like life," I added.  "As long as we have the opportunity to wake up again tomorrow, we have another chance to improve ourselves and correct our mistakes.  Right?"

My teacher pours out another infusion of dark brew from his pot.  He fills my cup and grunts in agreement. 

Drink good tea and enrich your life.

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