Yesterday I had a taste for Sen Cha, so I went out to what would be my balcony if I did not live on the first floor of a five-story building, and I brewed some in my favorite red teapot from Tokoname, Japan.
As I sat and drank the tea I let my thoughts wander.
I started to think about all the things that happened since the last time I drank Sen Cha. It has been awhile, so many things have happened. Some good, some bad, mostly just… things. Neither particularly good nor bad.
And yet here I am. A “self” that is the product of so many moments. My self. (Or is that myself? I’m really not sure. Feel free to correct me if I’ve slipped up with the grammar.)
I wonder what it would have been like to be someone in Japan drinking Sen Cha for the first time after the Tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster. It’s a strange mental moment consisting of imagination, assumption, and conjecture.
The voice in my head asks, “How many cups of Sen Cha in the sun do we get in this life time?”
I smile, say too few.
“This could be the last one for you, eh?” says the voice.
I take another sip deep green from my cup.
Today I got the chance to make lots of different tea for people who came over, and it felt wonderful.
I was able to make an eclectic verity of things:
- Some Lapsang Souchong for someone who was getting over a gold and claimed he could not taste anything at all. (He was able to taste the Lapsang though!)
- An incredible bamboo aged Pu-Er which I bought from Norbu Tea. This is one of my personal favorites, and it was a great pleasure to share it with others who lacked exposure to Pu-Er teas.
- A Sen Cha Fukamushi from Shizuoka Japan, which really pleased someone who said he wanted a strong cup of Japanese green tea. (I also brewed a “regular” Sen Cha, also from Shizouka for the sake of comparison. It went over well too.)
- A Hoji Cha because so many people have never tried it. People kept saying, “This is a green tea?” Almost as thought they did not believe me.
Being able to have people try all sorts of different teas is something that I think is an amazing experience for me. I feel so very fortunate that I’m able to offer this range of teas!
Overall a wonderful tea session , or #teasesh as it would be called on Twitter. I hope to get a chance to do this again soon.
~ A Sencha Cup From Kyoto Japan ~
I saw this sencha cup several weeks back when I was out shopping for tea, and initially I knew that it was an object that I would love to be able to use every day. Because it was the only cup like it I saw in the shop, I assumed it was only for display purposes, and did not even ask about it.
Every time I have returned to this tea shop I would take a few moments to admire this cup, and only recently did I ask about it. The owner told me that the cup was from a tea house Kyoto which he visited when he was touring tea farms in Japan.
To my surprise, the cup was for sale! Happily, I bought it.
This cup has become one of my favorite pieces of tea ware, and it has been helping me bear the cold winter mornings by cheerfully holding warm green tea that wakes up my mind, as well as my spirit.
Today was a long day. When I got home all I wanted to do was drink a good oolong tea, with some complex flavor, and read a good book.
The tea I chose was pouchong, a tea from Taiwan. The book I choose was Rashōmon (羅生門) -and 17 Other Stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (芥川 龍之介), from Japan.
The sweet smell and the taste of the pouchong made me think of the sea air I use to enjoy as a child playing on the beaches of Cape Cod Mass.
The stories in the book helped me to clear my mind of the troubles of the day.