Who knew anyone grew tea in Hawaii? Sugar? Yes. Pineapple? Of course. Vanilla? Wow, yes. Tea? Really? Really! The Experience Tea afternoon soiree, on Front St, in Issaquah, was another tasting in the World of Tea Series, sponsored by the NW Tea Festival
I have this friend Sam. We have lunch together every month or so. The talk is big business, small business, no business, and neuroscience. While conversing, we drink a lot of tea.
Recently, we began having our own tea tastings, just the two of us. We gather teas with which we are not overly familiar, and try three or four, as an experiment. We try to keep an open mind. I have a little trouble when he shows up with pu’er tea. Most of them taste like dirt, although a few of the white pu’er’s are passable. I am still working on my drinking-dirt-is-yummy attitude.
Usually Sam and I like at least one of the teas. This month, it was an oolong, a green, and that white pu’er. None were great, but all were drinkable. Having a buddy helps with tea tasting. It gives you another perspective, and that person bring teas that you might not buy on your own. And, it continues the conversation.
In addition to the usual topics, we talk about tea, changing tea culture, tea businesses, and tea people. This has become so interesting that I have started having tea tastings with other friends as well. Instead of having a lunch date, we have a tea date, and we meet at a tea shop. Animated and snappy conversation ensues with adventures in tea.
Most folks learn better with the buddy system. We bring our own perspective, and we honor the perspective that someone else brings as well. It opens possibilities for new choices, in tea and conversation.
Several tea shops in the area sponsor tea tastings. It’s a great way to learn about tea from people who actually know something. But tea tastings with your pals aren’t bad, either. If you experiment with different kinds of tea, you discover your likes and dislikes. And you may not end up talking about your in-laws. There’s merit in that.