~ Hibernation ~
During the winter months I tend to sort of hibernate. By this I mean that when I get home from work, I often choose to take a nap, even though there is always something I could be doing,
I’m someone who has difficulty sleeping soundly. Always have. I enjoy napping, but taking naps in the middle of the day only worsens my already restless night’s sleep. In addition to that, I become far less productive than I would like to be.
I’ve found that experimenting with tea when I get home is something I can do to prevent me from napping, and give me more energy to do things that need doing. In addition to this, experimenting with tea has helped me feel more confident as a person.
~ What do I mean by “experimenting”? ~
I simply mess around with the elements that make tea. If the water temp for an Oolong tea is 212, I see what happens when I make the water temp 180. Rather than steeping tea in the gaiwan for a one minute, I’ll steep the tea for two minutes. Rather than using the Chinese gaiwan,I might instead use a glazed Japanese Kyusu to brew a Chinese tea.
One of the wonderful things about tea is how malleable it is. You can change things up and see what happens. The worst case scenario is that you screw up and end up with an overly astringent or burned tasting cup of tea. Which, considering how cheap most tea is, is not really a big deal at all.
I find that the people who make the best cups of tea are people who see the rules as guidelines. Such people approach tea the same way that children approach play, as something that they do for enjoyment!
Tea has changed so much over the years, has it not? Why is that? Because people experimented.
In my case, experimentation has helped me understand how my tea leaves behave under a variety of conditions, and as a result I feel far more confident brewing tea for my friends and guests I invite into my home. This confidence seems to carry over into other areas of my life as well. Perhaps it is just the idea that I’m getting good at something, the idea that I have a skill of some sort, that changes the way I think and feel. I’m not sure, but I know I like how my tea experiments have made me feel.
Today the end notes are going to just sum up the post above into three compact bullet points…
- Experimenting with tea has helped me not take naps after work. This has helped to regulate my sleeping pattern, and made more more productive overall.
- Experimenting with tea has helped me to learn the range of flavors that tea can offer. This has made me more confident when it comes to brewing tea for others.
- The confidence I feel in regards to making tea that a variety of people enjoy has carried over into other areas of my life.