I am sure you have heard other people say/ write this, but it is always a good thing to see how other people brew tea. Granted Kalamazoo Michigan is a rather small town, in an area that is not known for its tea drinking, let alone the style of tea drinking I write about on this blog. Through Teachat I found another avid tea drinker in the Kalamazoo area, and we are trying to put together a somewhat regular meeting.
This was our second meeting, though first in quite some time, and due to the season, we figured it was a very good idea to go with Shincha, and the odd one out a Winter Taiwanese Gaoshan. All teas came out quite good, the line up included Hokoniwando 88 nights, Maiko Kinari, O-Cha Miyabi, and Tea masters Gaoshan Luanze (Winter 2011) from Shan Lin Shi.
Seth brewed the 88 nights and Miyabi, and it was certainly an experience, while I do not mind strong flavors, I often drink sencha in larger quantities, as such several 5 oz ( or more) yunomi full of Shincha with the flavors Seth got out of the teas might have had me on the floor convulsing ( not really but it was quite a shock to the system). I treated the kinari with my usual lighter hand when it comes to Shincha and Sencha, though it was oddly marine like, both Seth and I got interesting seaweed and seawater notes. Ending the day on the Gaoshan was both a good idea and a mistake. While it definitely offered a wonderful change of pace, after some stronger Shincha I worry that the full effect of the gaoshan was lost on out already juiced up bodies.
We hope to have another meeting in mid to late July, and please do not hesitate to contact me through a blog comment if you are a reader that is also in the Kalamazoo area.