Search the Sip Tip

Looking for something on this site? Use this search to find it.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

No break is complete without tea

Deishi Guinomi

I have a confession to make.  My readers are well aware that in late October, all of November, and early December, posts and photos were nearly nonexistent on my part.  I have written a few posts alluding to reasons why, and in part it was just that I was not drinking that much tea, and when I did drink tea it was more going through the motions than anything else.  In fact I had cut back on drinking tea so much, that for break between semesters, which I am spending at my parents house, I had honestly contemplated not bringing home any tea or teaware.

Thankfully, I came to my senses enough when I had to really make those decisions and go about packing, and I actually brought a decent variety to my parents house.  That being said, in these past few days I have started to fully realize what I have been missing.  It has me hopeful for the spring, (along with a new more tea conducive schedule).

I hate to say it but I didn't even realize how beaten down and deflated I was at the end of the semester, it took a break, and the wonderful effects of tea to revive me, and honestly now as I am writing this I am under the weather but still feel worlds better than I did only a couple of weeks ago, in which it seemed like everything I was doing was just trying to stop or slow the bleeding.

Alright so this all loosely has to do with tea, but I honestly feel for us tea lovers, no break would be complete without tea.  Even more so, I am starting to think when our mood improves so does our tea brewing / our enjoyment of tea.  Of nearly all the teas I have brewed in the past 2 months, the ones in the past week or so have knocked just about all of them out of the ballpark, not because I am suddenly using new tea (which I am not), water might have a slight effect, but typically I've found the water at my parents house worse than at my apartment.  The only real difference I have found is I am in a better mood, and somehow that is making me enjoy my tea better.

So here is to wishing all my readers a good mood, and therefore more enjoyable tea.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Small and Simple

While I am not one of the tea drinkers that usually spends an excessive length of time with tea setups, adding coasters, flowers, and mats to create a serene effect, I usually do have some what noisy set ups.  By noisy I mean I could easily have 4 or more items on my tea table at a single time for use when brewing.  For example check the not so unusal set up below.

Jukro oojeon

With some christmas gifts I found this year, I realized there is something to be said for an incredibly simple set up.  I received a mini tea tray, one possibly a third of the size above ( so that set up pictured above is completely out of the question).  Along with a new set of Celadon cups, but I quickly discovered that there is an amazing tea set up to be had with a simple 60 ml gaiwan, that small tray, and a single cup.   No need for Fair cups, with the right teas, no need for water coolers.  It's just simple.

The new set up is pictured below (ignore the other celadon pieces off the tea table). It is one of those things I am not sure I could have caused to be more perfect if I tried.  The level which you see the cup filled to in that picture is the amount that came out of the gaiwan stuffed with leaves, possibly slightly high, but certainly not over flowing, or so high that its impossible to pick up the cup.

Mini Tea Time

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays

Wishing all my readers a happy holiday season, and hoping they have a chance to enjoy several great cups of tea. So I will give a little update on some recent thoughts I have had pertaining to tea.

  1. Tastes in tea have long since been documented as seasonal.   Though it seem there is seasonal as in the seasons of the year, but there also seems to be seasonal as in personal mood shifts, and just general changes in moods.  By this I mean last year around this time barely a day went by that I did not drink a Japanese tea.  this year I am so much more willing to have Hong cha, or some sort of other oolong tea.  This mood is a lot similar to how I was 2-3 years ago (before I had really discovered how to properly brew Japanese Greens).
  2. Gongfu cups are over rated.  People told me when I started drinking tea, that I would tend towards smaller and smaller pieces of teaware, and soon those 1 or 1/2 ounce cups would be incredibly typical when drinking Chinese teas.  Well that happened, but what I did not expect was a bit of a backlash, after pouring from fairness cups into those small cups probably some thousand times or more over the past two years, its a bit annoying.  I am now a fan of larger cups that better accommodate the size of my brewing vessels. While my brewing vessels are still small, I would rather have things that are 50-80 ml in size fit into a single cup, and pour two cups for brews that are over that size.
Again I would like to extend holiday wishes to all my readers, and hope everyone stays safe, warm, and comfortable through the remainder of winter.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Caffeination Station

My regular readers of my blog may have noticed a sever drop off in frequency of posts lately.  This is due to both a bad schedule for tea, and just in general being busy with school.  While I could go on about that, the most shocking part is, it now makes it harder for me to enjoy tea when I do get a chance.  To have this story make sense I'll give a little bit of background information on my old tea habits vs my new tea habits.

I used to have at least one solid session of tea each day.  These are gongfu or similar type sessions of tea, and on weekends that would often turn into 2-3 different teas or more.  It was great, the only downside is I flew through tea incredibly quickly.

Now, Monday through Thursday I am lucky to enjoy tea one time, and on very rare weeks I get to enjoy it twice during those days.  Then I almost seem to try and make up for it on Friday Saturday and Sunday.  On those days it would be 2-3 teas each day.  

Alright so, where is the problem?   Well I had actually gotten used to being able to make it through most days with little to no caffeine, and as a result my caffeine tolerance dropped off a cliff.  Whereas two teas in a day would often leave me feeling nice, awake, content, with no real signs of ill effects.  These days if I have two teas, even when one of them is a relatively low leaf to water ratio, I often find myself wired well into the night.

I hope to be able to remedy this issue over the next semester and winter break.  No more night classes, and a great chance to enjoy tea on a daily basis.

Bottom Banner