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Tea and Individuality

Even though tea is from a single plant called camellia sinensis, there are many varietals or cultivars of tea trees. Tea trees grown in China are different from those grown in India or Sri Lanka. Tea trees grown in China typically have smaller leaves than those grown in India. Even within China, there are many varietals. The elevation, climate and soil are the main factors that determine the tea varietals. The White tea comes from a special varietal called “Huge White Tea Tree” originally grown in Taimu Mountain of Fujian province in China. The silvery hair on the young buds is unique to this varietal. The most well-known Oolong tea Tie Guan Yin is from the special varietal only grown in Anxi county of Fujian Province. The distinctive rich aroma and slightly larger leaves are unique to this varietal.

In addition, different processing method produces different type of tea. The most well loved classification of tea is based on the level of oxidation which produces Green , White, Yellow, Oolong, Black and Pu-er tea. Within each type of tea, there are many variations too due to the variation in varietal, oxidation and processing technique.

Combining the different tea tree varietals and processing methods, there are literally hundreds of teas for us to choose and delight in. They all come in different color, shape and form, aroma and flavor and are all healthy. The well known ones include Tie Guan Yin (aka Iron Goddess of Mercy or aka Iron Buddha), Silver Needle, White Peony, Dragon Well and Huge Red Robe among others. There are a lot more teas that are as individual and as precious as the well known ones.

Due to the individuality of each tea, the steeping method, steeping time, water temperature, water and leaf ratio vary accordingly in order to get the best health benefits and enjoyment out of the brew.

This teaches us about individuality and how we should take fantastic care of it.

As human beings, we share a lot of commonalities such as intelligence, feeling. We all have similar physical, social and spiritual needs. At the same time, each and every one of us is different in our color, culture, upbringing and ideology. Recognition and respect for individuality is fundamental for healthy human relations. This applies to relationship of all kinds such as state to state, parent to children, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

When we are aware of other people’s individuality, we tend to be kinder, more patient and more tolerating. When we forget or ignore individuality, we become unforgiving, impatient, arrogant and ignorant.

As a father of two boys, I have come to know the huge difference in my sons and the need for individualized care. It is incredible that they are so different in many aspects the minute they come into the world. I also learned a hard lesson that a parent should not apply the same approach and standard to all children. They have different temper, different interest and different need. Their individuality should be recognized and respected with fantastic care.

The same goes with individuality within a team, an organization, a community and a society.

Individuality is what makes the world so diverse, colorful and gorgeous. Let’s cherish, celebrate and delight in the individuality of tea, of nature and of people.

Jay is a tea lover and the owner of taimutea.com Taimu Tea – a premium Chinese tea store that focuses on tea knowledge, news and education in addition to providing quality fresh teas from Taimu Mountain and its surrounding areas in Fujian province of China.
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