The Claude Monet Approach to Tea

What do Claude Monet and tea lovers have in common? Read on to find out!

On his deathbed (or so I’ve heard……wasn’t actually there) Claude Monet, father of a school of art called Impressionism, was supposed to have said, “I am just beginning to understand painting.” Well, something like that. Those aren’t his exact words (which would have been French, not English), but you get the gist. And he was rather old when he said it, had been painting most of his life, and was world famous by then.

Tea lovers are like that, too. You can spend a lifetime learning about tea, growing tea, and still learn something new, ending up at the last breath acknowledging, as Monet did, that you are just beginning to understand it (tea, that is, not painting). I certainly felt that way the other day when learning about banjhi, a period of rest between periods of tea plant growth. Just when I thought I was getting pretty comfortable with my level of tea knowledge…sigh!

A real learning experience: samples of Thai oolongs from Thomas Kasper of SiamTees.com
A real learning experience: samples of Thai oolongs from SiamTees.

Just as Claude Monet kept painting and painting and painting and observing and painting, always astounding viewers at the painting exhibitions, so I want to keep steeping and infusing and trying and learning about tea and encourage you to do the same. It can be so tempting to stick with a favorite tea. Or you could say that you don’t have time or can’t afford it. However, time is there for anything that is really important to you, and a lot of tea vendors offer a limited number of free or low cost samples.

The important thing is never to give up. And never stop learning!

© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text

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