Sometimes last minute plans wind up being the best kind. Last week, Stephane of Tea Masters Blog sent out a tweet that he’d be holding a Cha Xi (tea brewing session) in Bryant Park. Thankfully it was my day off so I was able to make the trip across the river from my home in New Jersey. The weather was warm and sunny, a long awaited spring day. I found a small group already gathered around Stephane as he recounted his experiences at the yixing teapot exhibition that he attended at the Penn State Tea Institute. I was surprised to see some familiar faces, especially fellow patrons of T Shop.
The focus of our meeting was the aesthetics of teacups. Stephane made some very interesting analogies to facial recognition and architecture. We were all asked to bring a cup with us and it was interesting to compare the different styles. Heating water in the park isn’t practical (and probably illegal) so Stephane improvised by brewing the tea leaves directly in a travel thermos. The 2006 Lincang raw puerh was strong but still surprisingly drinkable, even after two hours of brewing. The different cups all had different effects on the clarity and even the aroma of the tea. We all agreed that the white porcelain had the best appearance and taste.
Towards the end of our session, Sara was able to stop over on her lunch break. It was a great chance to catch up. I’m really bummed that I’ll be at World Tea Expo when she has her event for De Pelikann tea on May 7th. If you’re in NYC, make sure that you check it out!
Drinking tea with people who are just as passionate about tea as I am is always a great way to spend the afternoon. Thank you to Stephane for sharing his tea, time and knowledge. I left the park inspired to have my own outdoor cha xi more often.