Thursday, June 21, 2007

June 2007 Pasadena Pu’er Tasting Event, Part I: Thank You!

Part I: Thank you!

Last night I drove Chen Zhi-Tong, the tea master/maker/author, to the Los Angeles International Airport for his flight back to Taipei. This marked the end of my commitment to the pu'er event. As such, I am inclined to share with you my experiences surrounding the organization, preparation, and execution of the Pasadena Pu'er Tasting ("Event").

Before delving into the details, however, it is only most appropriate to extend my utmost gratitude to the following individuals. Without them, this Event simply would have been much less of a success than it had become.

Dr. Lee Guang-Chung (Guang) of
Houde Fine Tea – the Event was certainly the brainchild of Guang and the Wu Shing Publication. Guang was instrumental in pulling the day off successfully by providing guidance, advice and direction (not to mention the $funds$). Most of the legworks that I helped with were done under his vision and supervision. And thank you for the teas we drank!

[Guang, in pink shirt]

Mr. Liang Chun-Chih of Wu Shing Publication – for taking a chance with the tea enthusiasts in the USA. If it wasn’t for his entrepreneurial gamble, the Event would not have materialized, let alone considered in the first place. The US market in general, by relative measure, is still in its early stages of fine tea appreciation, and most especially pu’er appreciation. This Pasadena Event and the continued publication of the Art of Tea magazine lay the necessary ground works from which more interests will grow out of. I hope that his actions and vision will bear him fruits in the future, sooner or later.

Mr. Chen Zhi-Tong, Tea Master/Maker and author of the “The Profound World of Chi-Tse" – for his boundless passion, in-depth understanding and generosity with sharing with us, laymen, his knowledge on pu’er. What he shared was perhaps less than the tip of the iceberg, but I believe he had done a swell job at encouraging the audience’s interest in pu’er tea.

Aaron D. Fisher, Sr. Editor, The A
rt of Tea – for his indomitably creative spirit and his focused mindset on how to promote pu’er tea and the magazine. His presence at the Pasadena Pu’er Event gave us the opportunity to meet the person who plays a large role in our enjoyment of the Art of Tea magazine, from cover to cover. It was only appropriate that he stepped out from behind the curtain. Those who sat at the tasting table with him must have learned a lot that day.

Gabriella Karsch, Director of Events,
Pacific Asia Museum – for her enthusiastic support of the Event and her crucial connection with reliable contractors and vendors. It was through a positive karmic affinity that the pu’er event should be held at her museum. Gabriella is a pioneer of the tea industry herself with years of experience running the China Indo Tea Company, a company that she founded in the early 1990’s. No one could ask for a better host who understands the significance of our function!

Robert Williams of
Partyline Events (a party rental company) in San Gabriel, CA – for his top-notch professionalism and for executing an excellent blitz of a set up on D-Day. His tenacity and insistence on perfection made the day! I was a demanding client and Robert was always gracious under pressure and time constraints. I can not recommend him and his company enough for any large or small party projects. Bravo sir!

The L.A. Tea Group members:

Imen Shan of
Tea Habitat and Tea Obsession blog – for her support and sponsorship of the desserts and some crucial tea equipment. Her contributions and support ensured that all tasting tables were functional.

Danica Radovanov – For her acceptance to host one of the tasting tables at last moment’s notice. I could only wish to be at her table drinking the tea that she brewed.

[Danica waving at the camera]

And others of the LA Tea Group for their detailed assistance such as music selections and other useful ideas.

Last and definitely not least, the 50 plus attendees! What can I say? The event would have meant nothing without you, ladies and gents! My immediate thanks go to those who were at the table which I led (with much perspiration). I hope I had been able to deliver decent teas and provide relevant information to those who asked me questions. I am by no means an authority of the teas that we drank together or to pu’er tea in general. I did my best to answer your questions, however, but I hope you will take my words with a grain of salt in mind. It was an honor to have drunk tea with you. I hope we can be better acquainted in the future, near or far.

Thank you all, again. It was an honor and the pleasure was all mine.


Anonymous said...

Hi Phyll,

So nice to meet you and THANK YOU for being the consumate host for spreading the spirit of Chinese tea drinking and the city of Los Angeles ! You patience is the stuff of legends and your good humor is remarkable. Hoping that this is the beginning of a long friendship over many shared cups of tea.

Mary Lou & Bob Heiss
authors The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide

Anonymous said...

As the official tea brewer for our table, you really did a fantastic job bringing out all the nuances of each tea you steeped. Thanks for helping us all experience some fabulous flavors, and really get a feel for the quality and spirit each tea represented. Thank you for giving up your time serve us tea instead of enjoying yourself.
I hope one day we can sit and enjoy tea again with you as the guest.

Sina Carroll

~ Phyll said...

Mary, it was so nice to meet you and Bob! And thank you for the signed copy of The Story of Tea and the teas. Here is to wishing that we will meet again over some cups of great tea. My best regards to Bob as well.

Sina, thank you for your kind words. I think I could have done better with the 50's Hong Yin, in hindsight. Any chance of peeking into your tasting notes for the day? My regards to CT as well. I look forward to the day we meet again. Do let me know how the tasting in SF goes.

Anonymous said...

Waving back at Danica.

hster said...

Dear Andrew,

Thank you so much for bringing so much grace into the brewings. Your gongfu was impeccable.

p.s. I still have a few photos I will send to you which are of you and your lovely wife.