What It Is Like to Like

For general/other topics related to tea.

Jul 12th 16 1:31 am
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What It Is Like to Like

by ethan » Jul 12th 16 1:31 am

The above subject is the title of an article in the June 20th issue of The New Yorker. The article is much shorter than many pieces in The NYer; yet it is profound enough to get me thinking. Please don't let my thoughts keep you from finding the article which is much better than my ruminations.

In relation to tea, I am happy to believe that most of what is discussed is not true for Teachat. E.g., I don't think most of us choose which teas we drink because we aspire to be different than other people; or that we aspire to be like other people. I think what we smell, taste, & see decides for us determines what we like. We are not faking our responses to what we venture to drink.

What influenced us to take tea seriously is another issue. For myself, life is dangerously boring w/o physical pleasures. Since I can no longer enjoy tennis, ping pong, & bike-riding at all & other physical endeavors much (I am 64 & aged > than many of the same years), I need to feel, not just think & tea is something I can have, even several times a day.... You get the picture.

I also need to get out of the USA sometimes. Friends & family who are far from rich but much wealthier than me, are constantly stressed about $. If not directly for themselves, then for their children & grandchildren. I like to go where people don't worry about such things so much; or, if they do worry, it is in a language I don't understand.

Thus I remind you, what I posted in another thread. I am going to Taiwan in September for several weeks. I think I will find some excellent tea, some fantastic tea, & some tea that will be very good though not expensive.

I don't know why, but I like others to enjoy what I like. I'll do my best to make such tea available. Oh, don't forget to read the article. Cheers

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Jul 12th 16 11:01 am
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Re: What It Is Like to Like

by john.b » Jul 12th 16 11:01 am

Cool that you will make it back to Asia; too bad it's not here. I did read that article and it was interesting.

I was just answering a question about why I'm so into tea today and I had to give a comparable answer, that it's mostly not about how nice tea is, although that's part of it, but rather that the interest fits a need for an interest. I had been into wine before, and cooked a lot at one point, and did sports, and studied philosophy, and now tea fits in those general gaps from moving on from those things. It's something to like and try, to think about and talk about.

The title of the article and some of the discussion points towards a narrower scope, considerations of why I like which teas, not just why I have that type of general interest in the first place. That coming from nowhere, to some extent, is an interesting part of the equation. But of course it doesn't come from nowhere, even though the inputs are partly random. As a tea blogger I'm actively putting relatively random-seeming ideas out there about what is interesting, and taking that in from others. Maybe an example will clarify, although the whole theme already seems about as clear as it's likely to be.

In the past few days I've started into aged teas, again. A friend gave me a 30 year old oolong to try (from Taiwan, your upcoming destination) and I happened to have a sample of a 21 year old oolong I'd been meaning to try (from Thailand), so there it was. I've ordered one of those teas since, and a Thai version of a hei cha, not quite that old but at 15 years (allegedly), so still on the general theme. The teas are nice, the two I've tried that I've ordered more of. But I could have waited another year or two to sample into aged teas more, and of course it's not the first time it's come up. As I see it the exploration is organic if not random.

Of course the article was more focused on why we like certain foods, ever-changing related to relatively immediate or longer-term shifting preferences, with foods presented only as an example. I have no personal insight about any level of all this to offer. It seems a lot of our experience occurs at a subconscious level, with a lot of random chance influencing our future direction, or choices.

To me the more interesting part is how we seek to apply narrative themes to what we do, and explanations, to reduce that as a big part of our personal stories. Could you almost as easily be going to Indonesia for a second time in a few months, based on having an experience similar to the one I had last year in a visit there? Maybe, or maybe not; I don't know all the background. The teas there are different but still nice, a little earlier along in the development process for specialty teas in spite of a 100 year Dutch history in producing tea.

Interesting considering all that; thanks for mentioning it.

Jul 12th 16 1:42 pm
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Re: What It Is Like to Like

by ethan » Jul 12th 16 1:42 pm

John B. I am landing in Thailand first at end of August. I'll get over my jet-lag there, get Nit to a dentist & tend to the medical stuff for her that her family does not handle, etc. Also hope to have tea session(s) w/ you & Teadoff. I'll buy jade in Mae Sot. Giving gifts of jade in Taiwan helps me get to taste the better tea often held back from those who are not closest to farmers & vendors.

I'll spend 2 - 4 weeks in thailand. Will go to Tea Village to taste this year's Bai Hao Oriental Beauty.

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Jul 15th 16 5:07 am
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Re: What It Is Like to Like

by john.b » Jul 15th 16 5:07 am

Nice! I'll have some interesting teas to share for sure, and it will be nice to visit. I gave away two packages (100 gm.) of that Thai OB recently so I'd like to get one and actually drink it this year myself.

Time passes quickly; strange to think that August is basically in two weeks.