tea memories (and stocks exploration)
Greetings, Hivers! I am a coffee aficionado, but I tend to protect this heaven-sent pleasure from over-usage. We drink tea massively during the day -- unlike coffee, which goes max once a day, usually in the morning... not every day.
Tea topic is immense as China's millenial history; it is much more versatile subject (unlike coffee, which I simply grind & brew in a jezzwa same way every time, following verified route...)
I have never shared my tea experience on the blockchain: I rather afraid to approach this immense field, don’t know where to start and scared of the distance to go, lol. Should I describe evolution of my tea likes & habits? show my collection of teapots? tell unusual natural recipes? Discuss the real tea / tea-bags opposition, and on and on.
I really cant decide. I opened one of our tea stock boxes to explore and find find the inspiration. Hmmm..... let me make a cup of tea, grab the camera and will see where it goes 😇
...A few hours and sixty shutter clicks later...
It turned out into a time journey. Cool! My sort of things. My first teapot, bought around 2000. Appealing design! time has left its marks.. cap have cracked, so it went into honorable retirement - but how can I throw it away?
But first things come first. Until I grew up and started living a separate household, I did not pay much attention to tea. As a kid I'd rather prefer hot cocoa and milkshakes :P See, I was born and raised in late USSR, a lot of ordinary things were in short supply (production could never catch up with demand...), including the tea. Especially tea. USSR had tea plantations it Georgia - but that sort of tea was of poor quality; most valued sorts of black tea were the ones imported from India and Ceylon; older people remember this design. #img #src
Memories! I DO remember the taste of strong black tea (and 'Bird's Milk' soufflé cake that adorned our family NewYear's dinner, in rare cases when mom was lucky to buy it...). Few things I remember from my childhood, this precious gem is one of them.
Later, in 2000-es I developed a habit for green tea - namely, Ahmad Jasmine Green tea. I used to get 250g carton packs, several at once, and shared the pleasure with my wife. In few years our user experience deteriorated - you may assume I got tired of its taste; more probably manufacturer have changed the technology on the sly, replacing natural jasmine buds with chemical flavour, good long-leaf base tea with a cheaper sort, etc. #src: ozon.ru
So. Our taste / consuming level developed, we were ready for something better, and by the late 2000s, my wife started 'DYOR' and ventured into direct purchases in China and India through intermediaries. Due to her efforts, we tried a lot of elite and pricey stuff.
Soon she was granted this glossy wholesale buyers catalog, which greatly educated us about Chinese tea.
We've got plenty different sorts in those handy aluminium cans from RealChinaTea; in the photo above: DahunPao, Bilochun, DyanHun, Shen-Puer, Golden Eyebrows, Black Gold... and there were much more others. These cans turned empty a long ago, but they're so adorable we didn't throw them away, but use to store stuff, spices, etc.
Another brand we dealt with, 'Tea Express' - provided us with Indian tea; mostly Darjeeling.
I keep photo of their weighty parcel, all sealed with dozen wax seals, imagine that! totally unexpected, surprising and joyful. Our toddler babygirl's explorational hand is in the frame :P
Tea moment with a friend. Actually, it was 1st time I tried 'blooming tea' - I was impressed, and fell in love momentarily!
My further tea evolution no way fits into 1000 words. Schematically: Jasmine Green tea > Milk Oolong > various Oolong sorts, Tie Guan Yin > Puer > Green (Shen) Puer > Darjeeling (sorts). Now, lets dig into said box...
Lapsang Souchong is very, very unusual and special black tea, no sense to explain its taste or smell. Sausages? Turpentine? Ski wax? try it and decide for yourself.
Ginseng Oolong; not among my faves.
'Blooming tea' is an intresting specie; it has a flower(s) inside the tea leaves that perform a cool action in front of your eyes while the tea is brewing... I don't have a suitable photo to show you.
In the dry state, it certainly does not look too spectacular :)
Next time I will dont forget to take pic xD
But the package does look nice. The carton box uses a magnetic lock and closes-opens by itself, smoothly. Chinese Magic!
You have probably already guessed that we keep a lot of old, used up tea packaging: tins, cardboards... and you might ask reasonably: why, what for?! Uh... well, it's used and useless indeed! (Although, now it came in handy for this blog :) but... it's so beautiful! I simply can't part with it. And some were the gifts and memory of old good friends from China (Lily and David! Hello!!!)
Small pot we reserved especially for Pu Er tea.
You can't embrace the unembraceable - and fortunately for me, I didn't try to do that (at least not this time ;). Now its time to wrap up my story. Tell in comments if you are interested in the topic, I will be happy to continue with this.