A tea evolution of me

I was never a coffee person.
I remember being a child and do no liking plain milk nor with a bit of coffee – classic choice at a breakfast table of any Italian family.
So I was drinking tea; or “filthy water”, as my mum used to call it: she’s always thought that those cuppas couldn’t be part of a decent breakfast.
Still to this day, she doesn’t fancy tea and she is a coffee addict and every time she prepares coffee, she would ask me if I want some (a kind of neglecting-the-evidence thing lol).
Then I went to England. And tea with milk was everywhere and I so enjoyed it…
For a few years I was hooked on English/Irish/Scottish breakfast teas, Earl Greys, Assams, Afternoons’.. I started slowly to try any flavored variant while enjoying herbal teas and occasionally white or jasmine green teas.

Then I travelled to China and a whole new world was discovered.
Tea trade with Europe began with Chinese selling their faulty teas to the West – and I believe they still do.
Westerners got used to like those “black” teas or any fake flavored one while Chinese have always treasured the most pure ones or slightly flavored tea with delicate flowers.
They drink tons of leaves in a cup. They “recharge it”. They drink it strong. They drink it everywhere, every how. They can drink it fast or take their time to enjoy it slowly, with accurate ceremonies or in a beautiful park’s teahouse, having a delicate snack or a proper meal.
I came back from my first trip to China with my backpack full of little paper wrapped packages; I bought all those at such a cheap price in a small family shop no idea how – as they didn’t speak a world of English and my knowledge of Chinese was limited to very few words as “can I have 100 grams of that, please?”.
I bought just randomly. Every tea was so different and smelled crispy.

There was no way back and I didn’t know it yet.

Oh how many times I dream of that little chaotic shop… without even knowing it, I had bought the best Jasmine Dragon Pearl I would taste so far to this present day.
Once you get used to good quality, hard is to enjoy something that is far away from being up to it.

Since then, I am on a crusade to find good tea, which is quite a hard task in Europe.
I wonder how it is possible we get here leaves that are called oolong but don’t resemble color nor fragrance – not to mention taste – of such teas; how is jasmine tea almost inexistent? How is new trendy pu-erh not even close to Yunnan’s earthy and strong delicacy?

So here I am: a tea addict of good quality teas, struggling for a sip of nectar and finding in my travels to Asia a very good excuse to stock up my huge cabinet 😉

Sin título

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