Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tea Update: It's Not a Problem So Much as an Issue...

Since when did we decide, collectively, that we were all so perfect we couldn't have problems anymore?  Instead, we have "issues."  Daddy issues, work issues -- nothing is ever a problem.  Problems are things that used to mark us with character flaws, or render us incompetent.  Issues are things that might or might not be problems depending on how we address them (or successfully distance ourselves from them).  Issues are things that our very California-inspired, passive-aggressive collective consciousness can deal with, no matter what.

Perhaps the idea is that language is power and if we call something a problem that will most assuredly make it definitely a problem; whereas if something is a more gentle sounding "issue" it might or might not be a real problem.  We're not sure.  If it is, though, it isn't because of our character flaws or incompetence.  Most likely it's because of somebody else's "issue."  So his or her head should roll, not ours.  I agree that language is power, but the problem/issue thing seems to me, as you've likely gathered, to go way too far.  And, it seems, I'm not the first to have had this thought.  For musings after my own mind, take a read here.

Lest it begin to sound as though I'm in William Safire mode (who also apparently wrote on the problem/issue point though I couldn't dig it up quickly online) today, let me step down from my soap box and talk some more about tea.  Specifically, my rapid evolution as a tea drinker over the last week plus.

I have learned so much in the past twelve days I'm more than a little embarrassed at the naivete I displayed in my February 5 post.  In particular, I have learned how to correct myriad tea problems, or at least reduce them to being mere "issues." 

For one thing, though I went out and bought a ridiculous number of different types of tea bags only a week or so ago to begin my tea tasting adventure, I have now become convinced that I must move on to loose tea sooner rather than later.  To that end, after researching the various methods of keeping the loose tea from becoming dental floss when one sips, I have settled upon the Finum Teeli filters as my initial method of choice.  Tea balls, I've read, compact the tea too much.  One must give the leaves plenty of room to unfurl.  I have also ordered a set of tasting samples to try out my new filters.  I may have reached a bit high for my first try as I went with Oolongs from Upton Tea, but we'll see. 

I've stopped using water from the tap, and have been experimenting with either using the bottled water I have delivered every two weeks or tap water passed through a Brita filter.  Both seem to work better than pure tap water.  And the piece de resistance is my brand spanking new Zorijushi water heater/boiler.  I made (bagged) green tea with it today at both 140 degrees and 175 degrees, and for the first time, I understood the appeal of green tea.  I can only imagine the heavenly result when I graduate to fine, loose tea.

Additionally, I've read a couple of books about tea, which I've added to my Read on the Spot list in the sidebar, and I've bookmarked a number of online tea sites as well as becoming a member of Steepster just for giggles (I've already been so bold as to offer some opinions on teas there as well, where I am __Morgana__ as they don't permit user names with asterisks).  Here are just a few of the sites I've been enjoying browsing:  Upton Tea, American Tea Room, Todd and Holland, The Necessiteas, Harney & Sons, The Tao of Tea, Adagio Teas, and Rishi Tea.

The search for the perfect cup of tea is fast becoming something of an obsession to me, but at least it's a relatively healthy one that adds to rather than taking away from other enjoyments and commitments.  It isn't my intention to inject my novice palate into the already rather crowded world of tea blogging to the extent that Morgana's Spot ends up being completely hijacked, but at the same time I'm enjoying my tea adventures so much that I have a feeling this won't be my last word on the subject.


No comments: