Monday, October 15, 2012

A Tea Chai Te Moment Part 1

There was much to agree upon as we sat down: that we're looking forward to @The_Devotea's book, that it was very cool that @GongFuGirl had a booth at the Northwest Tea Festival, that @TeaForMePlease was so right in suggesting we meet for tea in Portland, and in particular, how much we love @AGiftofTea. There was minor disagreement on how lovely Brioche tea is (from @AmericanTeaRoom), though we agreed that no matter what you thought of the straight tea, when you add cream and sugar, it's like sipping a French Bakery. But the most memorable moment was when I asked (of course), "Okay, what did you order?" "Zhen Qu Golden Buds," was the reply. Out of 140 teas on the menu, so had I.

You know what it's like when you run into an old friend from high school - there's the immediate comfort level of shared history and shared acquaintances. The same, so it turns out, happens when you meet up with fellow tea enthusiasts who you've gotten to know over the years through Twitter. And so it was when I had the opportunity last week, while on a business trip to Portland, to meet with Geoffrey Norman, of @Lazy_Literatus fame, for tea at Tea Chai Te.

As I always say, the best tea moments are those that are shared. And while it doesn't really matter if the tea is amazing (which is was), or the venue is notable (charming and comfy as a favorite sweater, in this case), if the company is good, everything else is just the icing on the cake.

Conversation went from first ventures onto tea, to the perils of tea reviewing, Russia, the pursuit of Georgian teas, the importance of whisks, the blight on society that is flavored matcha, and even covering the dangers of gnomes in court (it's a long story, though a good one).

"They" say that, as a society, with our obsession with social media and texting and so on and so forth, there is a danger that we will forget how to just communicate with each other, that our children and their children will not know how to relate to others because conversation is boiled down to 140 characters. However, in these 140 character exchanges, I have found a treasure trove of kindred spirits. I'm looking forward to more impromptu tea moments like these. @Lazy_Literatus - it was an honor and a privilege! (And please let me know how the gnomes fared).