maandag 12 maart 2012

Introduction

Welcome all on this new tea blog,

It wouldn't be polite to start this blog without a proper introduction of myself.
My name is Rist Van de Weyer and I'm a young man aged 19 from the Flemish part of Belgium.We don't exactly have a tea culture, we prefer to drink beer and luckily we have lots of great beers. I,ofcourse, love good beer aswell- mainly imperial stouts and lambics. My dad had his cellar packed with ols gueuzes and lambics and that's how my journey in the world of taste started. After beer I started to get interested in whisky's and if there is one thing in the whole world that gives me complete satisfaction it's drinking a nice dram of whisky on a nice evening. Till now, it's the most complex drink I know even great wines cannot match its complexity.




George and me
Recently (summer of 2011) I went to Taiwan and that's where I came in contact with oolong tea for the first time. It was an experience I will never forget. I entered this workshop together with the father of my now ex-girlfriend. Suddenly we came into this room dedicated to tea. There was a glass counter filled with different pots and cups. The owner of  those beautiful pots was George's (ex-girlfriend's father) best friend and he was a real tea expert. Both of them barely spoke English but sometimes you don't need words to understand eachother. He showed me the rituals, how to appreciate the tea etc... After some time his granddaughter, who was around 7 years old, came in and even she possessed the art of tea making already. She assisted her grandfather through the whole ceremony, it was nice to see how this skill gets passed on to the next generation. In the end he made this really old puerh tea (I never heard of it before back then) in a special bowl. It was an overwhelming experience- like drinking an old Islay single malt. It doesn't taste good in a way a strawberry tastes delicious and juicy but its taste is just so complex you have to respect it and admire it.
Isn't it beautiful?

A few days later George called me and I went to see him. He said he had a present for me and gave me this wooden box. I opened it and what I found was a beautiful cup made by his friend, he told me it was "leopard cup" and when I opened it I could understand why he named it like that.
After I received my cup we went to the teafields a few times together and I learned so much from him. If there is 1 person I have to thank for changing my life so drastically it would be him.






A pair of cups
Before I went back to Belgium he gave me another package: cups, sniff cups, a pitcher and a teapot! I couldn't believe my eyes! He told me I had to practise every single day  making tea. I gave him my word I would practise as much as possible so when I will ever meet him again I will  to serve him a perfect cup of tea to show my respect and gratitude. He also gave me a big pack of Li Shan tea. A part of this tea I will age for many more years.





My passion for tea is growing bigger and bigger every single day and hopefully you will be able to feel the energy when you're reading my blog. I'm stil a beginner and I'm no-where compareable to real teaconnoiseurs and teamasters but I'm doing my best to make some beautiful pictures, give objective taste descriptions of  teas -in the degree it's possible to do this objective- and just do my best to write nice, enjoyable blogs.

To end this first blog I want to thank you all and I hope we'll have an amazing journey together.I hope we'll be able to discover  many more things about tea every single day.

Cheers!

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