Sometimes I ask folks if I am who they envisage a typical Chinese tea drinker to be.
Not that I am some insecure narcissist who craves validation but I often find some of the statements hilarious:
“Which part of China are you from?”
“Oh, you speak English?”
And so forth.
Then people are surprised that I spend more time reading Colm Toibin than I do Cao Xueqin (author of Dream of a Red Chamber) or Kazuo Ishiguro as compared to say Lu Xun.
If you watched some of the latest videos I made on brewing, at the suggestion of a viewer/reader, I added some background music on the latest videos.
He suggested Chinese instrumental music but of the 2 videos I made, I played Herbie Hancock and Yo-yo Ma. I hardly listen to ‘western classical music’ but I have a few Yo-yo Ma and Joshua Bell CDs at home because I read somewhere that it was supposed to stimulate the infant’s brain.
*Yeah, in this respect I am a typical Asian parent*
Perhaps traditional Chinese music might be more apt, but the simple truth is I have no such music in my library. Well, I have 1 CD actually, but you would be sick of hearing the ‘Butterfly Lovers’ for the next 20 videos or so.
So it’s going to be Hancock, Grant, Rollins and if I manage to brew tea with him playing, Coltrane & Thelonious Monk as well.
That is what I used to listen to. These days I listen to kids music. No, really. As a father, I either listen to her sing or play her CDs.
Anyway, does that fit your profile of a typical Chinese tea drinker, an ethnic Chinese no less?
In truth, I just go for what I like.
In literature, I gravitate more towards British, if not Irish writers.
In music, if I get a choice, I listen to jazz but mainly from dead or retired guys.
In sports, these days I only watch the NBA though I sneak in a bit of MLB from time to time.
Food, I am partial to Asian, Chinese mainly but south east Asian (Malay, Thai) & east Asian (Korean and Japanese) as well.
Tea- Chinese of course. Conveniently classifying Taiwanese teas as ‘Chinese teas’ as well, no reference to politics, more on processing styles.
Does this conform to a typical impression of a Chinese tea lover?
Wait, it gets better. I don’t have any traditional Chinese clothes- nor does my wife- and we are not Buddhist, we are Christians- Baptists to be more precise.
But I still love Chinese tea with all my heart.
Now that I’ve come out of the closet, I can go back to quoting Chinese idioms.