xuancheng wrote:Once after a day of intense Yancha shopping, I actually had olfactory hallucinations. I could suddenly taste the Yanyun again after hours of not having consumed any tea. It was very vivid and real, not like a reminiscence, but as if in the middle of a tea session.
Actually, I have had this experience myself. During a discussion of this phenomenon at Tea Gallery one day, I decided that it must be related to the way our brain memory functions and the way taste (and perhaps smell) triggers memory. Sometimes when you drink tea with many notes in it, you immediately associate - for example - the specific fruit taste in a particular Phoenix oolong, and the image of the fruit appears in my mind at least (even if I can't name it!). I decided that what was happening was a kind of stirring of memory in the mind through the chemistry of taste. So, whatever that place in the mind that stored the experience of the taste was, we somehow re-experience it so that it feels as if it is happening in the present time. I don't know why but tea seems capable of doing this - of re-asserting that moment of taste so that it feels present-time, like you are experiencing it at that moment. I'm not explaining well, so it's confusing but that was the explanation I started to think might fit
Maybe this is why tea so lends itself to the contemplative (and so many contemplative types enjoy the experience of tea)... it is like a mechanism that calls out metaphor, and brings up associations in the mind. I believe it works this way chemically, given the experiences we're comparing. It's like poetry of taste and memory.