Peng Luo
I’m writing articles to Teemaa’s blog in the future. Only time will tell what kind of themes will come up, end where my contributions to the blog will end up, but I’m trying to process out what kind of goals I have for these texts, by writing this article here.

I myself am a tea amateur, totally in love with it. Tea has brought me to many many places over the last decade. I have ended up studying Chinese in Taiwan to be able to learn more about tea, and many of the central tea areas in China are at least somewhat familiar to me. Tea has grown to be important daily ritual in my life, giving meaning and helping me with my daily life in many ways. All the time I feel that the world of tea is growing ahead of me, every tea lesson learned opens up few more directions to explore. By default, all that I write will be my personal musings and ponderings about tea. Tea has very few absolute truths in it.

I mostly drink Chinese tea. Tea from Taiwan is also very dear, and I enjoy good Japanese tea greatly, but I am less familiar with it. In the vast world of tea my own favourites are darker, more traditional oolongs, pu’er tea and liubao. That said, I feel that good tea speaks to me no matter where it comes from, no matter what style it represents.

The diversity and richness of the world of tea is one of the main reasons I got interested in tea, and one of my goals is to show tea as more curious, more peculiar, and more complex than what is seems. On the other hand, the goal is not to build fences, so it is important to stay grounded in practicality. I have to say though, I do believe that there are some established facts, which could use some shaking.

By the way, as a lover of Chinese tea world, I tend to use Chinese classifications and some terminology for tea. For instance, I will be writing about “red tea”, and I don’t mean rooibos. Tea style known in the west as black tea, is 紅茶, ‘red tea’ in Chinese. This does matter, since there is another Chinese tea type called 黑茶, ‘black tea’. If red tea is black tea, what black tea is then? Most western authors use term ‘dark tea’ for Chinese style black tea, but I have to say I consider it simpler and less confusing to just use the Eastern nomenclature. I’ll do my best to remember to clarify these as they come up.

Anyway, I do hope my writings manage to stir up some thoughts, and I’d be happy to discuss these themes further!

Jesse Örö