PS: These posts portray the opinions of the author. Strong they may be, always be aware “to each their own.” If you want to do things ‘wrong,’ do it wrong. Happy steeping!
The Lost & Mistaken
The topic of mom-jeans always comes to mind when I think about the dazed and confused. What I’m saying is, of course, they’re popular among moms, but all they are, are skinny. In comparison, some tea folk aren’t just misguided, they’re wrong. 😮 But, are they actually wrong? Well yes, they are, in my un-humble opinion. Let us take a closer look into who they are, why the learned and/or have chosen to make such tea crimes, and, of course, what they are doing.
Who Are These Misguided Ones?
It is best not to mention names, but I will say a few of my dear and fun friends are in this category. The saddest part is I am too, OH WOE! Tea ‘knowledge’ comes with experience. Skill takes even more experience. However, the longer you’ve practiced doesn’t exactly mean you’re doing it right. I myself am mostly self-taught. Admittedly, I made quite a few mistakes and committed crimes galore along my journey. It’s not horrible to make mistakes except if you teach others to do so AND insist you are correct. Teach don’t preach.
How did they learn this?
It’s not hard to watch one of many tea videos and take what they do as fact. They may not be telling fiction or mean to mislead. But consider this, they learned the wrong before the right. It takes humility to accept the fact you made mistakes, and sometimes effort to change your ways. However, educators tend to stick to their own specific and/or original style of teaching and so they stick to their own way of learning and so they stick to their own resources, and so they learn what they learn whether right, wrong or just odd. Don’t blame such tea educators for this, it is great they are doing their part… but if you only listen to one type of educator, or heaven forbid… only one educator, then you will do stay in the dark ages for most of your days. One of my favorite ways of learning is by observation. While at home, this is easily done via YouTube or other video media online. Also, at festivals and small classes are a rich source for the eye. We see the teacher measure the tea to one ratio or pour a certain ratio or use a certain temperature maybe even say they swear it’s the best way. The scary part about this is these people tend to have a set way of doing things like stated above. Now when it comes to YouTube, there are a few people who have hundreds of videos. Don’t stick to one channel, don’t just watch the ones that interest you. Take a chance and view one that you think you know about or might find very unappealing. For example, I am not fond of puer, sheng or shu. But I took the initiative to learn and taste test a few out there. I’ve taken several workshop/classes, as well as watched quite a few videos on it.
Other Deceiving Media
Now let’s head into the written material. Some say print is dead, let’s look not just at print, but type as well, the internet and their many tea blogs. Books are hard and expensive to get published, blogs are cheap, can reach many more people, faster to write, and easier to correct any mistake, grammar included. However, I feel blogs are more dangerous than books. Yes, even mine is 😞. Bloggers, like vloggers, tend to have their own set ways. However, apart from Vlogs, Blogs can get very confrontational, like my blog.
What Is The Big Deal? What Are They Getting Wrong?
Let us not concern us with the top 5 or 10 or maybe the top 20 tea crimes people make and commit. We should instead look at what type of tea crimes are being made. Tea is a complex medicinal beverage. What people tend to notice, teach, and preach about teas are the taste, fragrance & aroma, and appearance of the leaf. First, let me say fragrance and aroma are 2 different things, but that is off-topic. Tea is not a science. From picking to processing to packaging to steeping to sipping… intuition is a major factor of tea’s pleasantry or odiousness. So, let’s not take it into science by weighing out in grams or teaspoons, having a kettle heat to a set temperature, or using a kettle that has one type of pour. Did I just diss the gooseneck kettle?? INDEED, I DID! These measuring techniques can be helpful in the beginnings of your tea days, and they certainly can be helpful, if not needed, when comparing teas side by side. Most of us want to relax with a few good pots of tea. So please don’t get uncomfortable by measuring everything in order to relax.
I’d like to hear your thoughts and complaints about this post. If you know me, what crimes do I myself commit? Ready set comment!