Letting Go

The longer I drink tea, the less serious and nit-picky I am about it. My experience sees me steadily getting more obsessed and poring over every facet about tea or relating to tea. But now, that studiousness has slowed down as I instead focus more on the tea in front of me. This has also caused some previous off limit practices to enter my day to day tea drinking.

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For instance, anyone close to me knows when I do Speed Tea.I set up a gaiwan, pitcher and many tiny cups. I brew continuously and have enough cups to transfer the tea between to reach a good drinking temperature rapidly. I am able to blow through a 15+ steep puerh session in a matter of minutes. This leaves me sprawled out in a chair or on the couch - sweating and weirdly calm - dreaming of a heavy meal to soak everything up.

Steep stack is when I need a session from one of my smaller brewing vessels to suddenly brew enough tea to fill a large mug: quickly pouring steeps all into one container. Once taboo in my mind - why ruin each individual steep? I could just steep western style - but I gave up that notion. I usually stack when I run out of time or even get bored halfway through the session.

My puerh ages in an Igloo cooler. Over the years lots of smaller pieces of puerh have settled at the bottom. Scooping up enough of that random tea to create a new hybrid puerh has resulted in some very fun and nonchalant tea sessions. Instead of stressing over small bits of fallen tea I turn it into something new for me.

Lately I have backed away from buying expensive tea because whenever I sit down to enjoy that tea I never actually enjoy it - I am expecting it the whole time to blow away every other tea and live up to unrealistic ideas. With obsession, I chased after the latest exciting tea, vendor or style willing to spend money over my budget. Looking back, I had a lot of good sessions doing that but not any more than how I buy now. Slowing down and letting go, even embracing the occasional taboo, has led to a more rewarding tea life.

Zachery Wolf