Michael_C wrote:I can trace my teaism by a stamp in my passport: 2006.
I remember standing by a lake in Nara and blinking in the bright morning air, trying to get the 4am out of my head. I bought a bottle of blue-labeled tea from a vending machine and enjoyed it so much, right there on the sidewalk, that I turned to Yuki and said that someday I would make tea better than what was in that bottle.
She just looked over the rim of her sunglasses and said "Ok. We'll go to a tea shop later. There are some good ones around here."
As though it was something she expected, or had heard before. She asked me on our walk back to the house, "so do you think tea will help you?"
I just blinked a few more times, fingering a pack of Marlboro Lights. "I don't know. Maybe."
"Talk to my mother. She makes sencha every day. And I think she can get tea close to what you bought from the machine."
Wow, I still remember it so clearly. I also remember Yuki telling me that if I was going to get serious about tea, I was in the right place to start! I haven't looked back since.