Few weeks ago we have been invited by All We Can Learn to hold a introductory tea talk and tea tasting at their Serendipity Night event. The first think we did was searching the word in the dictionary: not in there. But, of course, it is to be found on Wikipedia: Serendipity.
"Making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which one was not in quest of."
It sounded interesting and anyway we are always glad to may introduce Chinese tea to new communities. So we accepted the invitation with pleasure, without yet knowing what the Serendipity Night will be all about... and, among the four presenters, we were those kicking off the evening!
Given the time constraint we started preparing tea without any introduction. There was no time for a proper talk, so we decided giving the participants the opportunity to express their thoughts while watching us perform gongfu cha and while tasting our tea. Discussion set off well before pouring tea into the first cup. The audience of our mute performance was very curious and started asking questions immediately. It was clear to everybody that we were preparing Chinese tea. From the start, the questions were detailed and never superficial. We went through the differences between green and black teas; the latter being completely oxidised, the former not. Through the production steps of white tea, the importance of withering and what can go wrong during this delicate phase. We even spoke about the "yellowing" process that turns the tea leaves into a yellow tea.
We drunk together Lu'an Gua Pian, Phoenix Single Bush and Qi Hong. Then the word was given further to the second presenter. Gonzalo talked about how Latin American citizens are -or are not- integrated at work in Europe. A personal and introspective description full of emotions.
The third talk was held by a philosopher. The contrast between his calm manner and Gonzalo's pathos was impressive. I really enjoyed how this presentation focused on what philosophy is all about and how it can be used as a therapy. Last but not least: Zsuzsana brought us back to the world of consumerism, telling us story and curious facts about four of the most famous alcoholics.
Nannuoshan dispensed tea to the participants throughout the evening. We were positively surprised by the welcoming environment, the talks' content and, most important, the natural discussions aroused during the evening. We definitely made new discoveries that enriched our minds and all happened by accident, as we didn't know what to expect before. Now it is clear. Now we know what Serendipity is all about and we look forward to participating in another Serendipity Night by All We Can Learn.
Written by Gabriele