Hoji cha is the twiggy, stemmy bits and they're roasted. The tea is a medium brown. What I love about this tea is that the taste is serious. It's like Robur Green Signal and lapsang souchong and the other smoke and fire teas in that there's an element of it that says, 'look, life's here. And it's happening. And you better meet it where it is. And it will be ok.' Sort of like a wise but strict grandfather.
The wonderful thing about creating your own world on public transit, with a thermos and music, is that you don't hear the inanity of our shared world. Some of my favourite moments have been listening to my music erase a ludicrous conversation between people that I'd really rather happened in private.
The awful thing is that I mix classical and modern music and tend to conduct in the interesting bits of the classical songs without realising I'm doing it. The other bad thing is that headphones aren't a shared experience. At the moment I'm listening to Haydn's trumpet concerto (trying but failing with the conducting thing - my thumb keeps going off). The senior woman next to me probably loves this song and would appreciate an earbud, to listen to as she's writing a list of 'in the city' tasks on her tiny notepad (she's about to have a very productive day), but it would break social convention to give her one.
So I have to sit here listening to great music and not being able to tap along with someone else.
It's a slightly lonely experience.
I took these pics at Storm in a Teacup last time I was in there, drinking Hoji Cha. I said to Hannah, 'Just taking some more outrageously oversaturated photos for my Instagram,' and prowled around the shop like an intrusive tourist who doesn't know the local customs. She smiled and said , 'Go for it.'
And that is why I like hipsters. It's ok to be your own weird little animal in that pack. It's ok to be obsessed with photography, even oversaturated photography,
Or your own completely obscure musical genre that only grandparents like, or your own mix of sounds that have never experienced the Top 40, or clothes from the op shop that don't make traditional sense. And this is why I love the hipster end of Smith St, and the tea shop, and Northside Records and 3CR community radio. You can learn about tea that's made in Japan to a formula no-one here knows (it's not Lipton's, sweetie), and broadcast anything you want.
May your day be full of deeply obscure pleasures that only you know. And may you enjoy them doubly, because you know you didn't adopt them from others but grew them yourself.