Greetings from...Asia

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Greetings from...Asia

Postby Vega » Mar 29th, '13, 19:57

Greetings!

I've been a long time lurker on here, and finally thought I'd sit down and write up an introduction to say hi. I tend to travel often, but my frequent locations are China/HK and Thailand.


How long have you been drinking tea / What was your first Tea?


Parents were tea drinkers, and I first started drinking tea since the age of about 3 -- one of the first phrases I remember was shouting "tea leaves!" at the horror of any tea leaves floating in my cup. My first tea was probably those generic Jasmines that come in the yellow tins.

I didn't really get into tea until I was 18. I was visiting a Chinese friend, and was scoffed at for mentioning herbals and my dreaded yellow-tin Jasmines. She then proceeded to brew small cups of Jasmine pearls. I could smell the Jasmine. I could taste it. It was a beautiful pale yellow. It was transformative. I soon found Upton Teas, and began mail ordering, mostly jasmines and oolongs.

I didn’t drink as much while at the university, but after graduating I moved to EU, just a few blocks from Mariage Freres in Paris. I stepped in and immediately had my second awakening -- the sights of hundreds of tins lining the shelves, the scent of decades of leaves emanating from the wooden floors. It was love at first sight. Here I was able to sample teas from different countries, regions and even gardens. Since then, I don’t think I’ve gone much more than a day without a cup of tea.


What is your favorite Tea currently?

"Currently" is the key word here! My favorites tend to change with seasons, location and mood. As I write this, I'm having a cup of Okayti 2012 2nd flush Darjeeling Green. Current favorite is Rohini King 1st Flush 2013. All-time favorite would be a Dong Fang Mei Ren.


What is your next purchase?

Probably going to get some more 2013 Darjeelings.


Where is your favorite spot to brew up?

Anywhere. In an office with the infuser basket, late at night when the world is asleep, or sampling in a tea shop.

Random Things

I’ve got a small collection of tea ware. I started first with a 4 cup Chatsford, then discovered Yixings, and more recently, Hagi ware. I try to plan my vacations around tea, working in trips to gardens and/or tea ware making.

Slowly but surely have been building up a tea library. On my shelf so far:

All About Tea, William H. Ukers
Mariage Freres French Tea, Alain Stella
Tea - History, Terroirs, Varieties, Gayscone & Marchand
The Tea Ceremony, Sen'O Tanaka
Wind in the Pines, Dennis Hirota
Rediscovering Rikyu, Herbert Plutschow
A Brief History of Tea, Roy Moxham
The French Art of Tea, Mariage Freres
Tea, Mariage Freres
Liquid Jade, Beatrice Hohenegger
The Classic of Tea, Lu Yu, Francis Ross Carpenter translation, 1974
Tea Basics, Wendy Rasmussen
For All The Tea In China, Sarah Rose
The New Tea Book, Sara Perry
The Book of Tea, Flammarion
The Tea Box, Gilles Brochard
Himalayan Tea Garden, David Wilson Fletcher
The Book of Korean Tea, Yang-Seok Yoo
The Way of Tea: Reflections on a Life with Tea: Aaron Fisher
The Book of Tea, Okakura Kakuzo
The Chinese Art of Tea, John Blofeld

Always on the lookout for more, I only wish I could read Chinese and Japanese!

I’ve been reading the “Show off your pots and cups” thread, which is finally giving me the kick in the pants to start photographing some of my tea ware.

Looking forward to joining the community!

User avatar Vega
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 12, '09
Location: Asia

Re: Greetings from...Asia

Postby victoria3 » Mar 30th, '13, 00:09

Welcome Vega. I enjoyed reading your story and thanks for your list of tea books, much appreciated. It seems you are missing James Norwood Pratt's books. He is a real character and has just written a large volume 'Tea Dictionary' and also 'The Ultimate Tea Lover’s Treasury'. You can watch him on YouTube also and his web site has additional book recommendations. I believe his focus is China mostly. http://jamesnorwoodpratt.com/books/index.html

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Re: Greetings from...Asia

Postby jayinhk » Mar 30th, '13, 11:35

Welcome! We have members in China, HK and Thailand here, although most of us are into oolongs and pu erh :D

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Re: Greetings from...Asia

Postby Chip » Mar 30th, '13, 16:30

jayinhk wrote:Welcome! We have members in China, HK and Thailand here, although most of us are into oolongs and pu erh :D

... and Japan, Korea, etc.! And green teas! :mrgreen:

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Re: Greetings from...Asia

Postby jayinhk » Mar 30th, '13, 23:55

Chip wrote:
jayinhk wrote:Welcome! We have members in China, HK and Thailand here, although most of us are into oolongs and pu erh :D

... and Japan, Korea, etc.! And green teas! :mrgreen:


I meant the Chinese, HK and Thai members specifically, but sure, you'll find people who like all kinds of tea here! I've learned more about tea here than than I ever thought I would learn in a lifetime! :D

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Re: Greetings from...Asia

Postby Vega » Mar 31st, '13, 16:17

Thanks for the suggestion Victoria -- I remember watching Pratt giving a very animated lecture in 'All In This Tea'. I'm now $35 lighter after ordering 'Tea Lover's Treasury'..! Going to have to hold off on ''Tea Dictionary' though.

I tend to like Darjeelings/blacks in cooler seasons -- maybe it has something to do with the visual of the himalaya region, and I also don't feel as guilty doing a quick infusion basket brew with them.

I do need to start exploring Pu erh - that's all uncharted territory for me.

User avatar Vega
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 12, '09
Location: Asia

Re: Greetings from...Asia

Postby Chip » Apr 3rd, '13, 20:57

Oh, I forgot to mention, welcome to TeaChat.

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Re: Greetings from...Asia

Postby victoria3 » Apr 3rd, '13, 22:34

Vega wrote:Thanks for the suggestion Victoria -- I remember watching Pratt giving a very animated lecture in 'All In This Tea'. I'm now $35 lighter after ordering 'Tea Lover's Treasury'..! Going to have to hold off on ''Tea Dictionary' though.

I meet James Norwood Pratt when he presented at a tea conference here at the Japanese American Museum. He is a really enjoyable character. By the way, you can get a few free digital books at Project Gutenberg. It's a great resource for books with expired copyrights & great for easy referencing of text also;
The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura and a few other books on Tea
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/subject/398

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