I would like to be the kind of person who gets up early on workdays and spends a respectable amount of time with a healthy breakfast and a cup of tea, carefully considering and preparing for the onslaught of the day. The reality of my mornings is nothing like this – I usually throw things and myself together and out the door in the last possible minutes. To counteract this tendency I have developed a morning ritual which works out really well and which I am trying to perform as often as possible. The photograph describes it more accurately than words, but here are the elements: matcha, sweet bean cake, handmade ceramic matcha bowl, marble slab, stainless steel chopsticks. Half of the bean cakes are eaten before the matcha; the remaining after the matcha. The matcha is prepared in the standard manner, whisked into filtered, just-past-boiling water in a pre-warmed bowl until frothy. Other small Japanese sweets could be substituted, but the bean cakes I use, which come in three or four different varieties, are not difficult to find in stores and they keep for a long time if unopened. The whole process – preparation and consumption – does not take terribly long, but it really helps initiate the day. Mornings of such calm and precision are quite beneficial and I intend to create more of them.
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As someone that has done a fair amount of content on tea, I have a lot of mixed thoughts on the way information is passed. With tea reviews or discussing a specific tea I have struggled with the question: how to talk about an individual tea or tea in general in an interesting or useful way.. Whether you like or dislike TeaDB episodes largely depends on whether you enjoy watching two particular people drink and binter. This is fine enough and it is certainly fun for Denny & I to create, but I’ll also agree with the sentiment that it’s not necessarily the most substantive way to review a tea in depth. There’s some signal but there’s also a lot of noise. Writing about a specific tea also isn’t easy and I think is actually very difficult to execute in a way that is actually consistently interesting or useful for people. Most people just want to know if you liked or didn’t like a specific tea. Making something that piques interest beyond that is a challenge and even if you don’t like them a place like Mei Leaf has succeeded in creating content that really does engage their viewers. You also have to consider that the majority of people have not had the tea or are even unfamiliar with the basic taste profile (i.e. Denny & I describing a traditionally stored pu’erh, when the audience has never had one).. Here are some phrases I dislike and hear frequently enough that I find them unhelpful and sometimes even counter-productive.
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