Picking and making tea from the place where I grow up has become a ritual whenever I manage to come back. This time my sister even managed to get a day off to come with me to the mountain.
We were late for the season. There weren't much left and much were eaten by insects. My sister made quite some sacrifice, as she always attracts mosquitos and was full of bites already after a minute we arrived. But I am glad to hear that she had fun too.
For me, this made this cup of tea even more special. Since there was just a handful, I decided to make the most simple tea by leaving the leaves to wither and simply bake dry it in the end.
As the tea was ready for bake drying, I adjusted my mini-oven to the lowest temperature and off to fetch my laptop. That was a huge mistake. The temperature was still too high and I burnt half of our tea. So I quickly poured the tea out on the table and tried to sort out as many burnt leaves as I could and left about half in the end in the oven to complete drying.
The partially burnt leaves ended in my Gaiwan. Yes, I really couldn't wait to taste it, although I guess I have just "destroyed" this batch. But this cup of tea surprised and amazed us all with its unending aromas and brews. Somehow this burnt flavour wasn't as unpleasant as I expected, but a positive addition to the diversity of tasting experience.
Perhaps, it wasn't just about tea. Often it is about the process, the people and the place - the love and moment that we all share.