30 November 2011

You Always Remember Your First

The older you get, the less firsts there are to experience- or so it seems. This is a sad state.

What astounded me on my trip to the home of tea was experiencing so many new things, every single day, that I'd never even imagined I would. I'd dreamed about it, of course, but I also dream about waking up in a pile of money and Steve McQueen bringing me breakfast in bed (and neither of those have happened yet).

I didn't believe that I would ever be pulled into a room that was full of tea leaves quietly oxidizing. I could never have conjured the aroma of this process, both floral and green, complex and comforting as the scent of a beloved person, or even pictured the fading glossiness of the leaves as their moisture almost visibly evaporates.

As happens to me almost daily, I simply wasn't prepared. My initial peek at a little tea processing in an small, sparse room, just that first sniff of freshly picked Tieguanyin- it absolutely knocked me out.

I floated through the subsequent walk through the tea fields, the conversations of the farmers and buyers around me, even the sitting down and tea tasting itself.

I can't ever forget it.


Anonymous said...

I live in Oregon and have three ten-year old tea plants that I grew from seed. Each year I make two batches of tea, one in spring and one in fall. I dry the leaves on a clean cotton sheet in the spare bedroom, closing the door to keep the cats away. You are right; the smell when I enter the room is absolutely wonderful. I really don't know what I'm doing, but the tea is not half bad.

Lynn D.

ana dane said...

ah, i so wish i could grow a few tea plants here- you're very lucky. that scent is ethereal, isn't it?

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