Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Piecing Together The Big Picture

Like a jigsaw puzzle each tea is a puzzle waiting to be put together. Each piece may be formed from a memory or a moment of revelation that comes from a tea session, discussion or research. To complete your jigsaw puzzle you will need to collect all the pieces you seek and put them together.

There is something special about drinking the same tea for over 10 years. It changes the way you look at tea. Such a journey provides a familiarity and time for reflection and thought that allows you to develop new dimensions, deeper perceptions and appreciation for the tea you have. Each tea session in the moment feels unique but over time becomes distant memories. The real treasure lays in the infinite wisdom accumulated at the end of the journey when you have piece by piece put together and created for yourself what I like to call - The Big Picture.

The Big Picture can be complex and take a lifetime to build and understand. Each person’s expectation and goals varies and as a result our view and creation of The Big Picture is unique. For me I seek time concealed knowledge on the aging of puerh tea that covers a wide range of categories. Much of my interest focuses on the key transitions of a puerh tea as it develops from young to adolescence and to reaching maturity. For appreciation I seek an understanding of the different conditions (ex. weather, food parings, conditioning of self) and best practice (ex. brewing technique, equipment, tea to water ratio, water treatment) that allows me to optimize the preparation and enjoyment of tea. For many of the teas in my collection a passing decade is an insufficient amount of time. The Big Picture remains a work in progress piece by piece.


  1. I agree, a decade is a short time for a tea. I think the maturity may hit in about 15 years with natural storage. Wetter climates will age faster I think but I think at a decade it is still a youngster. Sorry to be gone for a while as I haven't had much time lately to catch up.

    1. Hello Mr Mopar,

      REF “a decade it is still a youngster” - Indeed, the really nice aged puerh teas I have come across in HK and Taiwan are usually 30+ and even 50+ years old. With such a long period of time needed to age puerh tea, it becomes apparent that our lives are simply too short :)

      Always a pleasure to have you stop by and share your views.

    2. I will agree on the shortness of our lives. I really wish I would have started collecting in my 20's as opposed to my 40's.

    3. Hello Mr Mopar,

      I have often pondered the same thought. Time is a very valuable asset. However knowing myself and if I am honest about my limitations as a youngster I’m quite relieved that I did start when I had more of my wits about me. The tuition costs for me as a really young, na├»ve, immature newbie would have been really costly.

      Best, VP

  2. The Big Picture remains a work in progress…… cup by cup.
    Thank you for sharing.