One of the great benefits of meeting somebody live for tea, rather than say just sharing samples through the mail, is that when you’re actually talking to the person, you know exactly what’s going on in the cup at the same time and can respond with meaningful comments, rather than having to guess what “fruit” or “astringent” means in any particular context. I always find tea meetings to be useful, even when it’s a tea you already know inside out, because somebody else’s tongue (and words) are always going to be different than yours. Today I had tea with dogma and the tea I made was an aged baozhong that I have had on many occasions, and which I find is great for traveling on the road. Among the qualities of the tea which I find are interesting are 1) the bitterness is nonexistent and, 2) it can taste a bit like hongcha. Both of which are confirmed without me needing to really say much of anything about it.
But of course, confirming what you know about a tea is not the main point of having tea with somebody. It’s just a side benefit. Like any addictions, I think this one’s best shared with others who truly enjoy in partaking in it.