Last night was a wonderful event with copious amounts of tea downed, and the analog meeting of plenty of digital tea-folk.
Pre-event time was spent setting up our tables and meeting old and new faces. The abnormally hot weather promised for a comfortable evening. Among the crowd were several LJ-folk and local tea-luminaries.
Brian's lecture was very well done and truly informative. Particularly interesting was the ten minute video of wild-arbor trees being harvested and maocha being hand processed. I personally wish there had been more time for Q & A, because I certainly had plenty of questions I would like to have posed.
The post-lecture tea event was exciting, if somewhat technically challenged. We all rushed out to prepare our water and tea samples, only to find out that most of us did not have electricity due to a blown circuit. The museum staff quickly rushed to set up a water boiling station, so that those of us without gas burners would have a steady supply of hot water. They did a great job, and my water temperatures only fluctuated slightly.
I met some very nice people who joined me at my table for the tea tasting. All had a general knowledge of puer basics (sheng vs. shu, etc) so we had plenty of room for our conversations to wander away from the topic of tea. I enjoyed this, for it drove home to me the social aspect of sharing tea.
In all, we stayed until around 10PM, when the very accommodating museum-staff ever so gently kicked us out. I wandered back into my home around 11PM tea-drunk and babbling about the events to my wife who did a good job feigning interest. Overall, a night to be remembered.
For more photos, check out the Flickr Puer Group: