Friday, November 5, 2010

Kaizen and feedback

Kaizen is Japanese for continuous improvement. This is the key success factor for many manufacturers, but also for serious tea students. The opposite of Kaizen is when you achieve a revolution, when you do something completely new and wonderful. Examples of revolution:

- when you first ditched your home's tea bag (or scented tea) to experience quality loose leaves,
- when you first tasted a tea made in a small Yixing teapot, instead of a big (glass) pots,
- your first successful Gao Shan Oolong, sencha, raw puerh...
- your first peaceful Cha Xi...

Most of the time, though, our tea skills improve slowly, one tea experience at a time.

Thanks to my blog, I have not only taught others about tea, but have also received valuable feedback. The latest feedback comes from Florida. A long time reader suggested I put a work of art behind my Cha Xi. Tea and art mix so well! Tea is the inspiration for so many artists.

It shouldn't just be beautiful, it should also have a meaning connected to my tea. So, today, as I was preparing to brew my 2003 wild raw puerh cake from Yiwu, I knew exactly what would fit: a picture of a plantation in Yiwu, made by Philippe Coste. (You'll recognize the banner of my blog). I intend to have it framed soon.

This picture is part of an exchange between tea friends, again thanks to my blog. With it, I have completed the setup for my good tea with art, nature and friendship.

It was more than just a small improvement after all. (And thank you all for your feedbacks and comments. Sharing experiences and ideas help everybody improve).

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