January 12, 2008

My father, My Tea

Whenever I think about my beloved father, I always picture him with a glass of Lungjing (pronunciation in Chinese of "Dragon Well", a well-known green tea from West Lake near Shanghai) by his side. In my momory, hot tea was always presented to him upon his arrival, be it at home, office or friend's house. I would then entertain myself by watching the floating tea leaves dancing in the glass. Soaking up the steaming hot water, the leaves start to uncurl and swell, picking up weight and sinking to the bottom of the glass one by one. It was fascinating to watch the tea turning slowly into the color of amber. My father would then take a long look of the tea broth, blow gently on the surface of the tea to lower its temperature, then took a slow sip. Next I would notice his joyful and satisfied look after the sip.

During my younger years, I thought that Lungjing was the tea per se. After I discovered the mellow Oolong teas on my own, my interest for teas took off ever since. Looking back, my father's immense influence on me about the life's "little delights" started with his love of tea.