Gongfu Girl – A Year in Review

When I started this weblog in April, I really had no clue which direction it would go. I have to say I’m excited about the changes. I started out talking about grocery store brands, hoping I might get lucky enough to experience gongfu cha somewhere, somehow.

Since then, I’ve had wonderful tea experiences as close as my hometown, and as comparatively remote and exotic as the Burning Man festival.

My taste for tea has certainly evolved by leaps and bounds in the last 8 months. I have started to seek out premium teas, and started to understand the differences to the point where I no longer buy tea in grocery stores, because it’s absolutely worth the time and money to have the really good stuff.

I’ve become sensitive to brewing time and conditions. I can tell if a tea has been brewed too long, and I can tell the difference when a good tea has been poured into a cold cup.

I’ve not only experienced gongfu tea, but I’ve started my own collection of tools, and I’ve been able to share it with friends, some of whom have become excited about tea, too! We talk about tea the same passionate way a sommelier talks about wine.

I had a fabulous experience with my first pu’erh. It set the bar very high, partially because it was such an intense sensory recall of one of my favorite places on earth. I am on a mission to find a comparable experience, and to learn to identify and appreciate good pu’erh.

I’ve also met some interesting people, both online and in my community, who have great perspectives and experiences to share. This was my first serious, hands-on experience with RSS feeds, ping and trackbacks, and the amazing network that is the blogosphere. A way to enjoy tea and exercise my geek muscles all at the same time. I love it!

And after all of this, there is still a lot to look forward to. And I have plans for 2007, which include a more visually interesting graphic design. I’m continually working on resources in addition to my blog entries, adding more tea blog links, more retail sources, and more ways of illustrating the vocabulary and methods of brewing tea. I have the capabilities to produce my own demonstration videos, but I want to be more adept at the gongfu method first. I think I can eventually offer something valuable to the community by combining my technical skills with my love of tea.

Finally, I have a wonderful treat for the new year – two new writers. Cat and Cinnabar are both friends of mine who share my enthusiasm about tea, and they’ll be bringing new depth and perspective to this little piece of the web. I know you’ll enjoy them very much.

And with that, I hope your upcoming year is full of good tea and great blessings.

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