Over the last few years I've been obsessed with tea. Don't get me wrong, I still need my cup of coffee in the morning to jumpstart my day but my afternoons are spent consuming tea. My love and appreciation for tea started after a visit to a little tea shop in Sanxia District which is a few hours outside of Taipei. The tea leaves are delivered to the shop fresh from the tea mountain regions several times a week and in this little shop is where I did my very first tea tasting.
The kind woman pouring us tea had so much knowledge about all of the different types of tea and their differences in taste. She spent her entire life learning about tea and perfecting the way to care for it, brew, and serve it which made me feel ridiculous at my need for perfection on my third try at every thing new I attempt. However since then, every time I try something new that may be challenging I am reminded of this kind woman and I give myself some grace.
It was such a disappointment I didn't speak any Mandarin because I couldn't understand a thing this woman was sharing with us. Thankfully I was with my beau and his family and had his dad to translated but it wasn't the same as hearing her exact use of words to describe the art of brewing tea as we were experiencing it. After we picked our choice of tea; me: Jasmine, my beau: Oolong she taught us how to prepare tea. First, place your tea leaves in a pot and pour boiled water over the tea leaves just enough to get them all wet. Then lightly swirl it around for about 10 seconds and dump the water. Finally, pour boiling water to fill the tea pot and then you're ready to pour for drinking.
This shoot was done using Oolong tea and a ceramic tea set from Taiwan.