Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tea Tasting

Recently we had a group of tea enthusiasts from Japan at a tea tasting function. The group was to have gone to the tea garden but due to political instability could not go there. We tried to compensate for this disappointment by organising a tea tasting function in Kathmandu where we showcased various teas from Jun Chiyabari. It was our first attempt to organise tea tasting at home.

I included the picture at the bottom (showing the spoons and small ceramic tasting bowls) for a special reason. After each guest had finished her / his tea tasting she / he placed the bowl and the spoon perfectly on the tray. It came so naturally to them. Had it been us Nepalis, some bowls and spoons would have been on the floor, some on the table and perhaps a few on the tray but none perfectly aligned and so neatly done.

It is a perfect metaphor for all that is wrong in Nepal (and perhaps in South Asia) and why we have a long, long way to go before we can even dream of catching up with East Asia in general and Japan in particular.


  1. So which tea came up favourite? You're so right about the cultural manners and etiquette. It's just so exasperating how little attention we give to things like this. Btw, is that a mirror on the right side of picture 1? It's beautiful!!!

  2. Different guests had different favourites and different opinions. Some of them really surprising.

    For example one of them liked a green tea from the summer. It is unusual for a Japanese to like a green tea that is not from Japan. They have fantastic green teas in Japan so I can understand why. So that was surprising. Even more surprising was that it was from the summer. It is usually spring teas that people like but she liked the tea made during the summer. Just goes to show that life is full of unexpected surprises.

    I totally agree with you. It is exasperating and annoying that we don't pay attention to details and little things. As a teacher of the English language you know the importance of a small thing like a comma. It can completely change the meaning of a sentence.

    After I wrote this blog post I was driving along and noticed that vehicles were being driven carelessly and haphazardly and cars were parked in the same haphazard way that I wrote about. It was just a continuation of how little we care about others and how we are not trained to take care of small things that can make a big difference. Perhaps if we paid attention small details in life we would have better civic sense and be better citizens.

    Yes that is a mirror. From Belgium I think. And it is about 100 years old or more. It is beautiful so that is why we kept it even though one small part right at the top is damaged.