Thursday, March 31, 2016
Dong Ding, Farmer, and Tea: Tasting Tea
This is the third post in a series of stories about my experiences in Dong Ding. You can find the first two stories among my January posts.
I was very happy to hear Farmer saying, "Let's go back. It's time for tea." Finally!
The tea table was set up and the water kettle was set on the stove. Farmer said, "Miss Tai, since you are the one who will decide which tea you like the most, you should brew the teas." I asked how many different ones he had. He told me he had seven different days of harvests. "Can we taste the teas in bowl style?" I asked. "Of course" was his answer.
While I was tasting the tea, Farmer's wife would come out from the kitchen and try the teas. She would look at me closely but didn't say much. I focused very much on the 7 bowls of tea. I went back and forth through all the bowls, trying to know all the tea's strength and weakness. "Miss Tai, the society is corrupt. Humanity has fallen. See how many people are sick? Of course they are sick. Look at the food they are eating. If someone gives me that food for free, I wouldn't eat. Even if he gives me $20,000, I still wounldn't eat it. Society is corrupt, and...." He went on and on like a broken tape player that I couldn't turn it off. I probably tasted the teas for 2 hours while he repeated variations of the same statements. I looked at him from time to time and nodded my head randomly. It was the most intense tea drinking session ever!
I tried to stay in my own world and focus on the teas. I was very happy with all the Dong Ding teas on the table. I suddenly said, "I am done tasting tea for the day. I like cups #3 and #4. Maybe I can taste them side by side tomorrow morning?" Farmer replied,"Of course. We should have dinner soon."
My mother, son, and I walked to the place where we stayed for the night. Mom said, "He is very intense." I said quietly, "Indeed."