Green Oolong tea is really rather special. As I sat in my café today, contemplating the summer’s progress, M offered to make me one. I’d already had a latte (the best in London, as I’ve mentioned before) and tasted a little shot of hot chocolate, so I was game to try the next thing on the menu.
‘I’m going to make it in a really special way for you’. M said. I knew this would be true – this after all is a man who can draw moss so accurately and with such sensitivity that his tea could only reflect that care and attention to detail.
I waited. I gazed out to the street and watched the summer bustle of life going by, quiet and not feeling the need to make conversation. V came up to me ‘are you feeling better today P?’, ‘Oh, yes I am thanks – and you?’. She told me about her sleeping patterns and cold symptoms and we both agreed the changing of the seasons and the sultry nature of the weather has an effect on us all.
M came up to me and gave me a tea leaf to smell (smelled like heaven) and then a cup with some leaves in it that had already been infused, so I could appreciate the aroma. I thought about the fact that often it’s me initiating the conversation and how very lovely it felt when other people took the time to start it instead.
A few minutes later, M brought me the green Oolong tea. ‘It’s been infused once, I just had one that was infused 6 times; when you finish it I’ll do it again for you’ he said. I lifted the cup to my lips. I drank. I tasted the lightness of mountain air but also a profound flavour that comes from care and attention. He gave me the leaves to smell again – I couldn’t stop; I was on the mountain at this stage. When I finished, he took the cup and infused the leaves again. Next time he poured the tea from one cup to the other and told me to smell the empty cup. The fragrance was of flowers.
I felt calm, relaxed and cared for. Time is a precious thing. When we actually take time, it transports us to the earth and ourselves.