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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tea as an Art

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Gong fu cha has been translated in the past as "tea with skill."  We can view tea as either a science or an art, but for those of us that have spent time dealing with sciences, know once you go beyond just the standard calculations, the distinction between science and art are quite obscured.  Just like trying to become proficient in any area, practice is key to mastering anything.   With that in mind I often hope to practice brewing each type of tea at least once a week, and when trying to become proficient in a type of tea much more than that.

I learned when I rarely touched Yancha for nearly a year, that even though I had once been able to almost absentmindedly brew a very drinkable series of infusions of Yancha, and when I really gave the tea my full attention it was often wonderful.  Since then I switched to Sencha, which for some reason seems slightly more like an enigma, possibly because patience comes much more into play when trying to get the right water temperature for each infusion, and not just keeping track of somewhat short steep times.  

While my tastes are shifting back towards Yancha, and other roasted oolongs these days, my goal is to try not to let any my sencha chops fade into the abyss.  While I honestly hope to stay on top of my brewing skills for the types of tea I brew regularly, I always want to keep on exploring new teas.  It honestly seems like walking a thin line trying to brew Sencha, Yancha, High fire TGY, and Hong Cha at least once a week, and that is when I do not have some Korean greens to fit into the fold too, or in the winter when I want to have Gyokuro regularly.  I am honestly trying to figure out how I could fit Taiwanese Gaoshan oolongs into my routine, or try to recover my ability to brew a cup of puerh that I honestly would rather dump. 
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