Sunday, December 23, 2012

2013 Tea Experiments

While I was cleaning out the kitchen in preparation to welcome 2013,  I found a lot of random canisters holding hong cha, stale sencha, oolongs and such.  These teas don't get a lot of play. The husband just said flat out- "You have sooo much tea.  Maybe you shouldn't buy any in 2013." Nice try mister.

If I were to take his challenge seriously, I have exactly one week to order any tea for the rest of next year but I need not panic.  I have several hundred samples sent by generous tea friends along with more than my body weight in tea.    What I need is not consumption limits but a more disciplined approach to tea drinking.  When you have multiple hundreds of teas to select from- you can end up just flitting from tea to tea. When I can drink any number of teas at any time, I tend not to try as hard to find the good points of a tea which doesn't particularly stand out.

I've always been fascinated by behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman's ice cream experiments.  He paid volunteers to eat their favorite ice cream for eight days straight and to predict whether or not they would enjoy the experience the next day and on the last day.  He proved that humans are notoriously bad at predicting even their own future preferences.  Combined with the fact that humans presented with excessive choices tend to be less satisfied than those with limited choices, I'm betting a few constraints would help my situation.  I thought of the following experiments for 2013:
  • Drink the same tea for an entire week.
  • Drink the same tea for a specific weekday for an entire year. 
  • Drink the same region for an entire month - maybe February will be Yiwu month.
  • Drink the same factory for an entire month- Menghai March...
  • Drink through an entire beeng.
I might hate such constraints or I might love it. I won't know till I try.

(My husband and I tried a new neighborhood sushi joint tonight to be outright surprised by something exceedingly fresh and delicious. I had the scallop, aji, hirame, and uni tempura which were most excellent.  Tear almost come to my eye.  I didn't feel this way when I saw Jiro Dreams of Sushi but when I encounter such efforts first hand,  I'm inspired to do better in my own life.  )


  1. i think one tea a week would be my choice...yummy dinner...Merry Christmas!!!

  2. Jiro Dreams of Sushi made me cry more than any other movie I saw last year. After a second viewing, I felt more disturbed than moved and I wondered what had moved me so much the first time through. That absolutely focused drive toward perfection- beautiful and frightening.