A Day of Disappointments Ends With a Good Meal

They say that you can't win em all, well today I didn't win any! The day started wrong when I got to the exhibition hall where the Puerh Exhibition was supposed to be held, just to find out that Mr. Chang and I both made a mistake. The show was over 2 days ago! I sucked it up and said lets just go to the tea factory to take a look at our Yunnan Green tea and hopefully I can take some home right now. Well, I was so disappointed that I can hardly put this in words: the tea that I have been selling for 16 years is not even a shadow of what it used to be. Mr. Zhang, the factory manager, has retired, and now his son is in charge of production. Let's just say that the young Mr. Zhang has a lot to learn! I found the quality and appearance totally unacceptable. I had to reach deep inside to remind myself that this is a "don't say yuk moment." The elder and younger Mr. Zhang did turn out a nice lunch spread; food is certainly easier than tea in this case!

During moments like this I have to remind myself that you can't win them all, and sometimes you can't win at all! I have had a good run so far and should be thankful--but then again, I am only human and we're allowed to moan and bitch a bit just to keep life interesting, right? I am happy with this year's selection of puerh tea material for our production of bing cha (cake tea). I've been selecting our own material to be pressed into cakes for years now, and this practice continues. I look at collecting puerh as a duty, where tea merchants keep and care for their selections and pass on the knowledge and treasure to the next generation: a son, a daughter, a student, etc. I will carry this tradition on for as long as I am able.

More "no yuk" moments: Never say yuk when someone presents you with the head of the chicken (true story). That may be the only chicken they had! Never say yuk when a farmer runs into his field and picks you a fresh cucumber because you said you like cucumbers (this is also a true story!), although the cucumber has not been washed and his hand looks disgustingly dirty. He did it because he wants to please you, so just smile and tell yourself (and him) that this is the crunchiest and freshest cucumber you've ever had, and that is likely a true story too...