Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Cup of Friendship Moment

There is something about having known someone since your childhood. There's a history, an unspoken understanding of who you are at your core. Years can go by, and yet the moment you're together again it's as if no time has passed. When sharing the latest, there's no need for any back story - they totally get why a story about your family is even funnier or even more disturbing because they know the cast of characters. And it gives you a greater appreciation for what those friends have accomplished in life because you really "knew them when." 

And so it was with great pleasure that I heard the wonderful news that my old friend, A, would be in the area for a Fellowship that she is just beginning. A and I have been friends since we were 4 years old - the very age Edie is right now. Our parents attended the same church, and eventually we not only went to church together but school together as well. I remember on occasion going home with her family after church and them stopping by Dairy Queen for an after church treat. A Peanut Buster Parfait to this day is my favorite indulgence there, and I can't pass a DQ without thinking of her family. As young girls we invented a "Sharing Box." It was a box we decorated together and kept things that we both liked, but of which there was only 1. Putting it in the Sharing Box gave us joint custody of the thing.

Peanut Buster Parfait. Parfait, indeed.
Growing up we had different, though overlapping, circles of friends. By the time college came around, we had drifted into our own worlds. But several years ago, we ran into each other in our home town and have checked in with each other fairly regularly. She lives in a remote area now, is a naturopathic doctor and has her own practice.  Talents and gifts I took for granted in her when we were growing up have served her and her community phenomenally well as an adult.  Being able to spend an entire day with her - I can't even express how much I enjoyed it!

What is that song? Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other is gold.

How true.

On my Mom's last visit here, she brought me a small box of coffee mugs that I had been given over the years. When A went to pour her morning cup of coffee (yes, I'll serve my guests coffee, if that is their fuel of choice!), she chose this mug:

What I don't know, but will have to ask her, is if she remembers giving this very mug to me when we were children.

This pondering of friendships made me think of Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations and their drive to create friendships among international tea farmers as well as "students of tea,"among whom I count myself. These friendships are built through the International Tea Farms Alliance (ITFA) and the Global Tea Tasters Club. I brought out my December 2011 Shipment that introduced me to the PT Harendong Green Farm in Indonesia, and set up my own little cups of friendship to meet their green tea, oolong tea and red tea (what we Westerners call black tea).

Green... Oolong... Red

The Green had the slightest oolong-y perfume, and was what I consider the perfect balance of Japanese green tea grassiness and Chinese green tea earthiness. The flavor was full and substantial and hit all points of my palate - something that not all teas accomplish.  The Oolong was mellow and rich, and managed to be light all at the same time. So many oolongs can taste like flavored water that smells of a grandmother's perfume, but not this one. It fully enveloped all my senses without overpowering any of them. And the Red. I found it interesting that this, too, had the slightest essence of oolong and also just a hint of what I register as Puerh, or fermented tea. That said, these elements melded together into a perfect symphony. PT Harendong, it's so nice to meet you.

It's so lovely to be drinking and enjoying tea again! I'm meeting new teas and indulging in old favorites.

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other is gold.