Pai Mu Tan
I have been watching Queer Eye, the Netflix reboot. I never watched the original show, because I was in high school and had no interest in watching men getting made over. Clearly, as I have aged, my appreciation for real life Hans Christian Anderson tales brought to life has grown. (I didn’t just want to say ‘Ugly Duckling’, because the point is the swan at the end, both in the story and on the show).
Without being able to say anything about the original series, I adore this reboot. It makes me think, it teaches me greater compassion, and I learn more about fundamental human needs the more I watch. The show has very little to do with outward makeovers, and much more to do with being your genuine self. If you boil the show down to one aspect, it’s that all men need a space where they can be vulnerable with other men they trust.
These men demonstrate a beautiful model of what true community can look like. A group of marginalised individuals (in this instance, gay men), bring together their professional strengths and their authenticity, asking the world to accept them as they are. They find someone who generally is not in the same marginalised position they are (though it’s not always the case), and share their skills so that the subject can learn to embrace authenticity. This is a group of people, sidelined by society, who say, “We would like to offer the best of ourselves, and for you to connect with the best of yourself.” In doing that, they bridge the societal divide, and prove that they are no different, no less acceptable, and no less loveable because of a single, inconsequential aspect of themselves. It’s pure poetry.
Another rich, complex, and enjoyable thing I have been getting into is the white tea, Pai Mu Tan. This white is smooth, and smokey. It has a leafy aspect that gives it a green tea like quality. The flavour is woody and mushroom, with rich earthy notes in every sip. This is a savoury white with a strong umami aftertaste. Pai Mu Tan is the earthy white tea answer to White Flowery Pekoe. If you want to try both sides of the white tea coin, this is the dynamic duo you’re after.
Pai Mu Tan: 5/5
Enjoy with: The Queer Eye reboot.