An Excellent Green Tea

I might have said, with modest certainty,
Though good for you, green tea has little taste,
and been confirmed by what my friends have said.
It did seem thin and bitter, with a hole
where flavor should have been, an exercise
in lowering taste by making bland the norm.
But now a gift, a fabric-covered box
of delicately scented jasmine green from China,
has taught me not to define a tea
by sampling an array of lesser forms.
It delights and teaches me that tea
can launch a lively journey through the senses.

Each packet, an ornamental gilded sachet,
opens to a tiny tea-bud womb.
The teapot’s water shakes the buds awake
and swells them to a sturdy, blooming shrub
that wafts its floral scent around the room.
And then—a taste eclipsing sweet aroma.
This tea bears gifts that humble me—to see,
to smell, to drink such excellent green tea.

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