Inside my hotel room is a lovely book full of color photographs and descriptions of dozens of wineries. As I was looking through it I couldn't help but notice the similarities between the photographs of grapevine fields and the pictures I've seen of plantation tea trees. Although I love wines I don't drink them most everyday like I do tea. I've often wondered if certain parts of the Northwest might be ideal for growing tea trees and I found myself re-imagining this pretty coffee table gift book full of photos of tea farms and tasting rooms and tea caves for aging.
I brought along a few samples for my trip, trying to pick out teas that might be facilitative for my purpose here (meditation retreat). So far I've sampled some truly rich and pleasurable Essence of Tea selections, including the 1989 88QingBing and the 1990's Grand Yellow Label. Already I'm checking my bank account to see how easily I can rationalize a purchase. See what tasting these fine older teas does to you? I did jot down my tasting notes for them, but somehow it seems trite to try and copy them here. All I can say is, you owe it to yourself to taste some of these. Fine tea, indeed.
|Shunryu Suzuki-roshi stupa (Japanese)|
|Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche stupa (Tibetan)|