My uncle Victor Ferretti is celebrating his retirement from a career as a tea importer. Having started in the profession fifty-one years ago working his way from taster to president of Kentea, he has certainly seen the development of globalization and international trade, as well as watching beverage trends. A couple of years ago, he sent my students and me a series of different teas to taste-- from black to green to oolong-- and via a conference call, explained not only the tastes we were experiencing, but also the harvesting and fermenting process. It was a revelation to us all that tea leaves are all the same, but it is in the processing after being harvested that creates the variation. Seems like an important metaphor about life to me.
This morning I woke up extra early to put together a special gouache based on House in Flight to commemorate his departure from the tea industry for points unknown. May the journey be blessed.