Disappointed about the recent fall of the Euro currency against the TWD which furtherly narrowed the convenience margin for purchasing electronic goods, it’s around 2 PM when I enter a famous Tea shop in Taipei’s downtown. My initiation to the tea’s world just happens by chance, after a friend of mine asks me to bring back to the west 200gr of “Chinese tea”. At this point I am in front of a wall with a selection of more than 50 metal jars displaying different tea names and prices. So I get to taste a bit of this and a bit of that… result: I am out of the shop at 5PM “drunk” and carrying 4 kgs of tea instead of 200 grams. How did it happen? I simply can’t stop the eclectic temptation to run through my veins, no matter how busy my mind already is. At the shop’s counter there was an old man on his seventies, brisk and alert, patient and polite, ready to teach and preach what I guess he has been doing for his entire life, still conserving the same patience and passion to serve his last customers as if they were his first. Being served by a shop attendant who holds a flawless knowledge of the display was in fact too uncommon not take this opportunity seriously enough to sweep away some of my thoughts and be ready to enter a new parallel-planet. Well there is no time to write down all that I’ve learned but if I had to tease you with few curiosities, I’d say that 1)The reason why chinese tea is poured in those tiny cups is because they prevents the infuse to get cold too soon. Their white interior is intentionally chosen to be able to see through the tea’s quality 2)In order to distinguish between rubbish and decent tea you’ll have to see if, after adding hot water, the leaves a)smell old or fresh b)roll out too soon or too late c)the leaves actually can’t be leaves only but altogether with an intact stem and 2 or 3 or 4 attached leaves d)all leaves must have the same colour… otherwise it’s weed from different teas. 3)tea-bags are trash. 4)drinking tea with sugar is even more trash. 5)if you do 3 & 4 you are not drinking tea. Well after spending years in Asia i’ve finally got my first Tea set!