In 1983, Mr. Wu acted as a Judge in a national tea competition held in Nantou, Taiwan. In each stage, after Mr. Wu finished his evaluation, he would let his 3 apprentices to give a try of the teas. When it come to the final 5,
Mr. Wu asked “How do you feel?”
The 3 apprentices said “The third cup is the best”
Mr. Wu said “Very good! You guys have learned quite well.”
But, later when it come to decide the championship, Mr. Wu chose the 5th cup. All three apprentices was surprised and asked WHY?
Mr. Wu said “It is true the third cup was the best. But, it was blended by tea merchant. The 5th cup was made by tea farmer himself. As tea farmers are relatively weak than tea merchants in both financial and marketing aspects, I choose the 5th cup of tea in order to encourage tea farmers.
One apprentice asked “How could you distinguish the differences?”
Mr. Wu said ” Usually, in order to win the competition, the tea merchant will send his best blender to buy the best aromatic tea in the market (but, such tea is less in flavor naturally), and the most flavored tea (but less in aroma). And then he mixed them and roasted together in order to improve its overall quality. On the contrary, the tea farmer will only choose the best tea made by himself for the competition. Look at the tea leaves and you will know. ”
The apprentice’s skill of evaluation was improved significantly hereafter.