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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tea always surprises

Seigan Ao SO 8

I am sure nearly all of us tea drinkers have these teas, teas that we always go back to and enjoy. Not only do we enjoy these teas, we keep finding new things about them, that surprise us and let us enjoy them even more. It is often times when I get surprised from a tea I thought I was already rather well acquainted with that I wonder if I should become a bit more scientific in my tea drinking.

By scientific, I mean keep track of temperature, humidity levels, both inside and outside, also including the weather outside that day. Things people talk about most notably is whether or not is it raining that day, when considering how certain tea tastes, and the consensus is most teas taste best on rainy days, especially roasted and aged teas.

Though the idea of keeping a tea notebook, in which those things were kept track of, comes from me witnessing it first hand when I visited the Tea Gallery a few years back. When we did a bit of a tea experiment between two identical Nannou Cakes stored in two different locations one graciously provided from the collection of The Mandarin, while the other I believe was stored in Vancouver. When they started the experiment they took out a notebook and read the temp, and humidity and I believe they even took notes regarding the weather.

While I feel I face too much "rigor" in my mathematical studies, I rather like tea because it gives me a chance to sort of wing it and deal exactly with how I feel in terms of my mood. I mean I do own a scale for measuring tea, and I used to have a thermometer to measure water temp. When I used those while I could get consistent results, I was rarely surprised. I learned that while being somewhat spontaneous with the tea we can learn new things about it that we did not quite expect.

I love it when I get completely surprised by a tea, so I am torn between trying to keep track of why the tea tastes different that day, or just taking it in step and rolling with the surprise to possibly try and recreate it later.
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