Monday, April 19, 2010

An Exploration of Fine Taiwan Oolongs @ San Jose (4/17/2010)

This is my first visit to the San Jose Taiwanese American Center.
Chris and Vincent enjoyed chatting all the way from Berkeley to San Jose, but I took my sound nap to recharge my "battery".... This is an extremely busy week for Josephine and me with Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA Show) taken placed in Anaheim. Quiet a few fellow tea colleagues are in town to meet the STI training sessions.... I was actually waken up by Vincent...while arriving at the TAC San Jose. (*A two story big building with many functions for TA's various activities.)
With the experience of previous class at UC Berkeley, Vincent was a lot more efficient this time to help me set up the tables and get hot water ready...I then got chance to chat with various friends who arrived early, including Mrs. Gina Mao, our good friend Tyson Mao's mom, a passionate TA community leader in Northern California., Mr. David Chen, President of Taiwanese American Center of Northern California., Sophia Deng, a fellow FAPA member and a good friend in FB...They showed up to support TAP-SF's activity. That is what I always respect: Leading by example!
It turns out to be a good size of crowd, and a happy afternoon with a lot of fun of having Taiwan Oolongs together. This class might be rated one of the most interactive workshops I have ever had. The whole audience are very responsive. We not only shared one Hakka Mountain Tea Song in PonFonCha., a Taiwan famous song in Wenshan Pouchong., plus we were doing together as a big group to Chant for Taiwan Oolongs at the end of the workshop. (I saw many smiling faces, and I found some tears on a few respectful senbai's eyes. They fought for Taiwan's idendity for long long time, and they told me, "Tea is really a good media to share with the rest of the World about our Taiwanese culture...". What can I agree more with this statement?)

I did prepare one TTMA's apron for the whiz winner - in order to review with our audience about the important "3 T" for making a good cup of tea, which are: Right amount of Tea, right temperature of water and right time of steeping. My question is "what will be the 4th T ?" - a young lady, Jodi Chen hits it without any hesitation: "Taiwan Tea" - she said it loudly...Alright! Go Jodi! Go Taiwan Tea!
As usual, I appreciate very much for the four volunteers, without them, this Tea Workshop could not be so much fun and no way to get the message delivered. Our volunteers from TAP-SF, (from the left to right) Brian Chen, Susan Huang, Joe Chen, and Carol Pan. They are marvelous and having good demo. I don't know whether I have ever bumped into a much more talented volunteer like Brian. He interacts so well along the whole class...just seemed like we did rehearse for it before the class.
Two classes in one short afternoon...very tired indeed. Eespecially, the last minute for the plane to head back to Burbank airport...first time in my life, an airplane was waiting for embarrassing! But still, a big THANK YOU to HoChie, my friend, for the opportunity to work with

Saturday, April 3, 2010

ITASA West Coast 2010 @ UCSD (4/2/2010)

We drove from Los Angeles to UCSD this morning to participate this conference.
This is the first time I visited this campus and it is indeed a huge campus that UCSD has. Stephanine Chen who is the staff who greets us and guides us to our class room for our tea workshop. We met many "old" faces among many "youngsters", I felt good, really good that our tea workshop did win quite a few fans here.
Again, thanks to the volunteers: Christine, Jason, Stephanie and Mark. They are the key ingredients of this workshop.
Josephine and I decided to stay and enjoy a great weekend here in La Jolla!
There are a few shots we took while waling around in the UCSD campus...