Having guests for tea is a very worthwhile activity. It is interesting that in Taiwan, the host is the person that makes tea for their guests. In so many other countries, the making of tea is delegated to people of lower status. I’ve mentioned this before, but the reason I bring it up again is that it brings to light an important aspect of tea. In Taiwan, making tea is seen as an act of refinement. It is an activity that helps one improve oneself. How is this possible? How can making tea make you a better person? Simply putting a tea bag into a cup of hot water does not do this. The functional act of making tea simply to have a cup of tea is not what I am talking about. It is important to remind myself that when I am talking about tea, I am talking about “specialty tea”, which is very different from the vast majority of tea that is consumed in the US. In this country, the vast majority of tea, let's say 95% of the tea consumed, is either instant tea or teabags. So when I say that making tea is seen as a moment of refinement, unfortunately, I am speaking of or to a very small portion of those that happen to be making tea. A wise man told me that I should use an analogy to help explain my point. Many people use tea in their daily lives just like many kids play sports in grade school. As a father of two grade school children, I am a firm believer in participation in sports at this level. It teaches the kids so many important lessons, not least of which is how to lose. Very few adults are professional athletes, and even fewer reach the status of a Michael Jordan or Babe Ruth. At J-TEA, we provide Michael Jordan level tea. And when I am talking about tea, I am talking about Babe Ruth level tea.
Learning about tea is a never ending process. We start with no knowledge, and as we explore, we learn. We start to make connections. We have experiences that inform us. It is a journey of the senses. It is something that we can improve over decades. As the old idiom goes, drop by drop, the ocean becomes vast. It truly is one of life's great pleasures. And the fact that tea is good for us is the icing on the cake. There are many luxury beverages to choose from, but in the end, even very expensive tea is truly economical. Sip to sip comparison, tea is the best value. So what is your monthly tea budget? Are there things you can do to increase it? I would encourage you to do so. A life with great tea is a life better lived.