Keeping tea fresh and exciting? Tips / advice

Post Reply
InDeNiall
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:46 am

Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:42 am

Hi guys this is my first real post here.
I hope this does not seem a stupid thing to ask to a forum full of tea lovers... but

After drinking tea for a few years now and doing lots of exploration and making lots of exciting teaware purchases I can't help but feeling as if it is something that is slowly loosing its magic. I know that it would be naive to think that the law of diminishing returns would not apply to tea. For example trying puerh for the 500th time is probably not going to be as exciting as the very first time. I also feel that although buying more and more teaware while it is exciting is ultimately just trying to fill my life with things (even if they are linked with experiences). So what I really want to ask is how do you make drinking tea exciting and fresh. It could be as simple as being more mindful or not consuming it at work (where it develops negative associations). I also know that passions and interests can oscillate between dripping tap and Niagara falls so I am not expecting ultimate wisdom just maybe a few things to try to relight that fire.

Thanks
Looking forward to any responses.

Niall
Ethan Kurland
Vendor
Posts: 213
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:01 am
Contact:

Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:16 pm

InDeNiall wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:42 am
I hope this does not seem a stupid thing to ask to a forum full of tea lovers... but

know that passions and interests can oscillate between dripping tap and Niagara falls so I am not expecting ultimate wisdom just maybe a few things to try to relight that fire.

Niall
Perhaps it is the best ? that can be asked here. New, more & more: teas, water, teaware, variations in preparation = disappointment, frustration, interest, great discoveries, pleasure, expense, exhaustion, knowledge....

I offer this meagre comment: Our great involvement in the drinking of tea does not define us as people, but if we incorporate the benefits of our practice of drinking tea it can definitely help us lead a better life (perhaps one might say, "to be better people"). Once we have found a few teas that we love or that comfort us etc. & have a couple vessels or so to prepare tea & a favorite water filter (or source of water) & have a few ways to prepare for ideal preparation & for a bit of variety, we have advanced enough to move from improving ourselves as tea-drinkers to improving how we live our lives because we have the comfort & pleasure of drinking tea.

Now & for about 5 more weeks, I am staying with my youngest sister who had surgery that will keep her fairly needy. I help her dress, I do the cooking & cleaning etc. It is easier for me to do this now, when I know that I can enjoy a 5 - 25 minute break for tea or a tea session 2 - 3 times a day, than it would have been 10 years ago even though I was younger & stronger then.

Besides you main ?, I believe, for almost all of us, if one has more teaware than he can keep in view (that is, some is being hidden away in cupboards or boxes) he probably has too much. $ is better spent on teas & water filters, or spring water. Cheers
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 1045
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am

Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:44 pm

For me personally, I am over the phase where I thought I needed excitement in tea. And for freshness, I store my greener teas in the fridge :)

There were always times, when I thought I might be missing some exceptional tea I did not yet try, or when curiosity got the better of me when reading about some teas others talked about. But when I followed this impulses, it mostly confirmed my established selection of vendors and teas. One got added here and there to the rotation, but overall, I still drink and enjoy the same teas I settled on a long time ago.

I found that there is something to be said to stick to one's guns and explore a limited selection of teas in depth. Chances of really getting to know that tea's essence are increasing. Kind of mastering it, if you want. Although I do not really like the expression of mastering, no better word comes to mind at the moment.

As it is holiday season, an example: Kind of a staying in one city for 1 month holiday, as opposed to a Europe in a week trip. One allows for in depth experience, the other can easily lead to a superficial knowledge of a lot, but nothing really.

One can still get excited about when the fresh harvest comes out as the same teas will change a bit each season. Also consistently staying with a vendor/farmer also opens up other possibilities over time, which are not available for the one who shops left and right.
InDeNiall
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:46 am

Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:37 pm

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. Your statement reminded me almost of JKF "ask not what your 'tea' can do for you—ask what you can do for your 'tea'.” I agree with you that it can make us to some extent better people and it certainly helps to propagate moments of stillness, silence and meditative beauty. I am going to concentrate as you say to focus more on the teas that I most love and feel a connection with rather than the only goal being to try as many teas as possible. Sometimes the mind boggling and never ending variety available in the tea world does sometimes make me a little distracted and although it is obviously important to try new things and explore you've made me think I should go back to some beloved favourites I haven't had for a while, reacquaint my self with them and remember what it is I first fell in love with. Also to truly master ones ideal preparation for a certain tea as you say. Partly the reason I wanted to join this community was to speak to like minded people who share a passion in hopes that it would get me excited again. After two weeks away from home I am back and desperate to spend time with some great tea. I hope your sister makes a swift recovery and you have many great tea sessions while being with her and helping her through everyday life. Really appreciate you taking the time to reply Ethan.

Thanks,
Niall.
InDeNiall
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:46 am

Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:52 pm

Bok wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:44 pm
For me personally, I am over the phase where I thought I needed excitement in tea. And for freshness, I store my greener teas in the fridge :)

There were always times, when I thought I might be missing some exceptional tea I did not yet try, or when curiosity got the better of me when reading about some teas others talked about. But when I followed this impulses, it mostly confirmed my established selection of vendors and teas. One got added here and there to the rotation, but overall, I still drink and enjoy the same teas I settled on a long time ago.

I found that there is something to be said to stick to one's guns and explore a limited selection of teas in depth. Chances of really getting to know that tea's essence are increasing. Kind of mastering it, if you want. Although I do not really like the expression of mastering, no better word comes to mind at the moment.

As it is holiday season, an example: Kind of a staying in one city for 1 month holiday, as opposed to a Europe in a week trip. One allows for in depth experience, the other can easily lead to a superficial knowledge of a lot, but nothing really.

One can still get excited about when the fresh harvest comes out as the same teas will change a bit each season. Also consistently staying with a vendor/farmer also opens up other possibilities over time, which are not available for the one who shops left and right.
I see where your coming from, maybe I am still a little young in my tea life at the moment and still finding my legs a little, your description of your thoughts in the past sound alot like me haha. I do aswell find that there are some teas I always come back to without fail. Love the metaphor of the holiday, I completely agree, a true deep understanding of a specific area (or mastery) is something I value the idea of alot more than a superficial kind of general pub quiz knowledge of tea. It is similar with vendors, I tend to trust vendors more with a limited and specialised knowledge of what they sell rather than some of the websites that are like tea department stores selling everything and anything. I will make an effort to try and get some of my very favourite teas every harvest and maybe even start keeping a diary, I've never really thought much about the variations that occur each year between teas from the same farm but it sounds very interesting and would be a great narrative to be apart of and definitely enhance understanding of differences in terroir and weather ect. What tea do you tend to drink most of and who are your favourite vendors?
Thanks for the reply.

Niall
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 1045
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am

Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:47 pm

I live in Taiwan, so what I drink most are Oolongs from here. Some China Oolongs but more rarely, due to the comparatively exorbitant prices.

My vendors are all local (without international presence I’m afraid).
User avatar
Bok
Posts: 1045
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am

Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:07 pm

InDeNiall wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:52 pm
It is similar with vendors, I tend to trust vendors more with a limited and specialised knowledge of what they sell rather than some of the websites that are like tea department stores selling everything and anything.
That is a good strategy. Chances are if a vendor sticks to one thing, they are passionate about it!

I buy all my tea in person(it's a privilege, I know), so the interaction with the vendor is important. For online shops it matters less I guess. Special deals or tea from private stashes won't materialise. Some of the most amazing teas I tried came to be by sitting in the shop around the tea table with more experienced customers with deeper pockets :)
User avatar
Archer
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:18 pm

Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:58 am

I'm a little late to the party, but here is my take on the matter.
Although I'm not very experienced in tea yet, I've already often found myself falling in this trap: subconsciously running to tea for comfort, running to tea to forget my troubles for a while...

And because of this, I started searching for more types of tea, each more expensive and exotic that the last, to keep feeling as excited about tea as I did in the beginning...
(Which is troublingly similar to what alcoholics and addicts do; although, not as dramatic.)

So I decided to start consciously drinking tea for the joy of drinking tea itself, independently of what circumstances I would find myself in at that point in time.

And although it doesn't work 100%, I've found that I'm re-enjoying tea more and more when drinking it with a thankful attitude, not expecting it to help me run from problems, but just being happy that I have a good cup of tea to drink.
Post Reply