Today a friend from school came to my home to taste some tea. Not many of my friends are very interested when I start talking about tea but he started to show some interest so we decided to have some tea together. Ofcourse I was excited that finaly one of my friends started to show interest. The goal for today was letting him taste a bit of everything. I wanted him to experience the variety of tea as well how complex it can be. Because he arrived in the morning I wanted to start with a red tea, more specific the 'Red Da Yeh' from Stéphane.
At first he was already surprised how sweet and fruity tea could smell. I explained him the oxidation proces and told him about different regions in Taiwan.
Because I wanted to show him the extreem differences of oolong tea I served him a very light and floral high mountain tea so he could experience how elegant and subtle it can be. To go into extremes I brewed a traditional roasted Dong Ding after the high mountain tea. He was surprised how different these two teas were eventhough they almost look the same. He told me he liked this tea more because it was more full bodied, heavier and strong. I think for people new to tea it is difficult to appreciate the subtilities to be found in high mountain teas. After this we had some food because these big quantities of tea might be harsh for the stomach. After the meal I served him a Dian Hong and I think this one was his favourite because of the fruity flavors and the thick liquer it produces. In the meanwhile we talked a lot about philosophy, physics ( we were discussing the influence mass has on time) and ofcourse about school. In only 4 days we will have to start studying again.
Because of all the school talk we were getting a little bit stressed again so I brewed some Puerh to relax us a little bit and to my surprise he really liked this kind of tea. Maybe because he also likes the occasional whisky and cigar he is more open to tastes that deviate from the 'normale palate'. Before he left I made him some gyokuro but it couldn't really convince him. We did a little taste experiment with the 'unami'. I told him to put a little bit of MSG on his tongue and he also confirmed that it gives the same mouth feel as the green tea.
All in all it was an excellent day and I hope he learned something about tea and that I perhaps sparked his interests. It's always fun to share a cup of tea with someone which I did 3x this week. It helps to bring people together and gives you new perspectives.
Soon I'll write some more tea reviews. I've still got a few interesting samples to test. Next time I'll try to put some more effort in writing but right now I just want to enjoy these last couple of spare days I have left.