Entering the world of tea
A few things in life can perplex or overwhelm us, and at the same time they can elevate and delight us. A few things possess that rarity and exquisiteness, like love, a perfect scent, the sun, the ocean, tea.
I used to write about coffee, but when I write about tea I feel like I have to surrender. Like a quote from Shantaram, when you come before India, you have to surrender, only then you can understand, only then you can love. Tea comes to you the same way. You surrender when you drink.
Like the sun, one has to acknowledge the sun before one learns to love it or hate it. The sun rises not because a person loves it, and it doesn’t stop rising because someone shields away from it. The sun is just there. Tea makes me feel like that. No matter how much you like it, it is still tea. Some things are made to be terribly simple and terribly powerful, like the sun, tea, the ocean, a perfect scent, love and beauty.
Usually, a cup of black tea welcomes you to the world of tea. There upon entrance you will find yourself facing from the most ordinary bags to the most exquisite long leaves or dry twists and curls. I like a cup of black tea in the morning, before the flavours and tastes of other foods cloud my judgment. Green, on the other hand, with its smokey and astringent qualities, can be enjoyed alongside with food, or even with strong desserts. But the queen of tea must be rooibos, I call it queen because it yields a sexy red colour and a fruity yet slightly musky smell. Like a beautiful woman, knowing full well her good qualities.
White teas, highly sought after and prized by ancient Chinese and modern counterparts alike, not to mention many tea connoisseurs worldwide, taste almost like spring, or fresh rainwater, or innocence. Delicate and flowery with just a touch of teaness, it is almost as if you are tasting a lover’s lips for the first time.
There are only a few things in life that can overwhelm or consume a person wholly. Tea, as fragile and ethereal as it may seem, possesses that rare power.