Aficionado — a·fi·ci·o·na·do -- əˌfiSHəˈnädō,əˌfisyəˈnädō/ -- noun -- a person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject, or pastime."aficionados of the finest wines"
synonyms: connoisseur, expert, authority, specialist, pundit, cognoscenti.
tra·di·tion·al -- trəˈdiSH(ə)n(ə)l/ -- adjective -- existing in or as part of a tradition; long-established.
synonyms: long-established, customary, time-honored, established, classic, accustomed, standard, regular, normal, conventional, usual, orthodox, habitual, set, fixed, routine, ritual;
Several recent tea experiences have lead me to realize that I am definitely a “traditional” tea aficionado. I am most comfortable attending an English-style afternoon tea, with ladies in hats, crustless small tea sandwiches, warm scones with jam and clotted cream with pots of steeped loose-leaf tea — now who could ask for anything more traditional.
I am also a traditionalist in that I feel it is necessary to become educated on a subject to go from an Enthusiast to an Aficionado planning to provide advice or education to others on a subject, i.e. Tea. An education that is a combination of book/classroom learning, experience, and in the case of tea cuppings/tastings.
When traveling with tea I choose to enjoy my daily tea Grandpa Style. (Grandpa style means the brewing of tea in a large cup, with no filters or teaballs or bags or anything else in it, with water constantly refilled without much regard for infusion time or temperature.) The difference for me is that I do my traveling tea in a tea traveler for convenience and personal choice.
Looking over what I have just written about my personal style for enjoying tea I realized that I am one who prefers to have an abundance of tea available without constant re-steeping or brewing. Although, I must admit that I have enjoyed some very exceptional teas prepared Gong Fu style, this method is not normally my style for preparing and serving tea.
Probably my absolute favorite way to enjoy tea is
- to steep a flavorful lightly steeped Taiwain Oolong Grandpa style,
- pour the tea into a favorite tea cup (In my house there are coffee mugs and tea cups and the two should never, ever be mixed.)
- Grab a cozy mystery
- And head to a quiet outdoor comfortable chair to enjoy my tea and book.
Provide me with the traditional ways to enjoy tea and I am a very happy Tea And Hat Lady. Most importantly although I have my favorite way of enjoying tea -- there is no absolute right way to enjoy tea. However you enjoy tea is the right way for you.
Enjoying Tea today and every day -- The Tea And Hat Lady