Scales, a timer, a spittoon, a cup to rinse one’s mouth between two liquors if necessary, a shaft of light; everything is ready. Admittedly the building itself is showing signs of wear and tear, but that’s not important; Namring teas retain their incredible aura and I’m about to taste the best of the third-flush, or autumn, pluckings.
In Japan, when you receive a gift, you don’t open it. You don’t feel the need to. First, you admire the wrapping, then you thank the person who has given it. You are touched by their attention. You are very happy. You still don’t open it.
This year, what if we too were satisfied with the happiness of receiving a gift, without wondering what it was? What if we took the time to experience fully this wonderful moment, when someone shows us how much they care?
I wish you a very happy festive season!
There’s a tea for everyone. Our Turkish friends drink it boiling hot, at any time of day or night, generally out rather than at home. You start by pouring a little tea extract, which is particularly strong, into the glass. Then you dilute it with hot water from the samovar. And you pass the time talking about this and that, glass of tea in hand. Or you watch a football match in the local café, either holding your glass of tea or placing it on the table in front of you.
Nothing looks less like a tea plantation than another tea plantation. Here, in the south of Sri Lanka, tea bushes occupy the hills beside a paddy field and other different crops. Hence these subtle and evocative tones of green and yellow.