Evaluating tea or conducting a tea tasting is slightly different than enjoying tea. Though tastings are fun and enjoyable, when we are enjoying tea simply for the sake of enjoyment, there aren’t really any parameters that we employ. Like a great tea teacher said to me…It was about this time that I was exposed to the idea that a person can make better tea than another not by any measurable difference in technique or difference in tea ware. That is to say that a tea master can show us how to make tea and we can repeat the exact steps with the exact amount of tea with the same tea ware, and end up with less than results. Now from a western / scientific perspective, this is pretty difficult to explain and difficult to understand. And I wouldn’t be asking you to believe in some woo woo version of reality. But I will say, that once I experienced this first hand, I was pretty intrigued. Once I asked the teacher, what is a way in which we can really bring out the best in a tea? What does it take to make better tea? How is this possible? Is there a way that we can make tea better than just following the recommended brew guidelines? The teacher, taken aback, stated… You need to start with the basics and you need to do your homework. First you need to know what 3 grams of tea is. You need to know what it looks like. What it feels like in your hand. First you need to know what water temperature is at a rolling boil, not necessarily in degrees, but you need to have an intuitive understanding. You need to know how long three minutes is. Again on an intuitive level. These are not things that you know after one day of making tea in this method of cupping that we have discussed. Maybe you do it every day for three months, six months, or a year. After you master these techniques, if you just continue to make tea in this way, your tea making will not get any better. Now you need to add an element of play. Once you start to combine these variables together in a playful way, something magic happens. When you start to call in your intuitive knowledge that you have spent months training your tea making will yield better and better results. The tea becomes lively, and amazingly, this translates into something you can feel, something you can smell, and something you can taste.