In true tea-lover fashion, I recently enjoyed another fabulous tea adventure! Everywhere I go, I look for ways to engage in unexpected adventures or interact with strangers, and when an adventure or interaction involves bonding with someone over tea, all the better.
Last week, my boyfriend’s family came to visit us from Minnesota and we decided to take them up to Solvang (a cutesy, little Danish town north of Santa Barbara). My boyfriend’s dad, who was in the Air Force, has a buddy he served with in Japan who lives in the area, so we decided to pay him a visit. His friend’s wife happens to be Japanese, so I had tea questions lined up for her in my head.
Almost immediately, she offered us tea and, of course, I accepted her offer. She served us black tea from her Kuerig coffee machine, which left me a bit confused. I happily drank it, but all the while I wondered if she enjoyed green tea. So, I decided to ask her. When I did, she got a huge smile on her face. She excitedly got out her special teapot with her special green tea cups and her special Japanese green tea. As you can imagine, the green tea experience was much more enchanting than the black tea one from the Kuerig machine.
I asked her all sorts of questions as she was preparing her tea. She only let the tea steep for about 45 seconds and told me to always let the water cool down after you boil it before brewing your tea. I was very curious about the special cups she gave us. For the black tea, she gave us plain ole’ coffee mugs. For the green tea, she gave us small cups that she said enhanced the flavor of the green tea. I had never heard that before, and was thrilled to learn something new. We could taste the difference immediately. It tasted so pure and delicious, just as it was supposed to taste.
She and I spoke about tea for about an hour and a half and exchanged stories and experiences. She explained how she can’t find good-quality Japanese tea anywhere in California, so her sister, who lives in Japan, ships her tea every other month. She ended up giving me a whole bag of some green tea from Japan that I am so thankful for. Her generosity was beautiful.
It is wonderful to be open and make conversation with people. You never know what information you may uncover and what experiences you might otherwise miss out on!