Not often that I leave a review, but of all the tea shops I’ve visited – and trust me, as an explorer, I’ve been to quite a few – this shop is one that I cherish above all others.
Let me first explain the situation in which I found myself at this shop, or Crescent Island at all. As an explorer, my charge has been to explore the ocean to the east of the islands at the center of the South Sea chain, where the Oki family of Sirens have historically made their home. The Oki family are wondrous Sirens, generous and kind, with spirit and mischief to spare. If you ever see their silver shimmering form while out on the water there, do take a moment to talk with them. You will undoubtedly make a friend who will change your life.
This time of year, however, the Oki family travels north to the Crystal Island to catch fish along their migration path. It’s more of a tradition than it is a necessity and during this time, I’m usually left to my own devices. Every year, I try to visit a different island in the area during this time and Crescent Island was the next on my list.
As is my habit, I went in search of the tea master on the island, who I had heard had transitioned a few months ago and, interestingly enough, was part Siren. That, combined with my own loneliness drew me to the tea shop like the tide to the moon.
I should have prefaced with this earlier: If you are hoping for an extravagant place, this would not be the tea shop to visit. My recommendation instead would be the Capital or Diamond Island, as they craft some of the most elaborate experiences in all of the South Sea Islands.
That is not to say that Master Miyo’s tea shop is an inferior experience. It is one that serves a specific purpose, not to challenge or pamper, but to provide a reprieve, shelter from the storm of life.
Tea may seem to be a simple thing but in the hands of a master, it not only becomes a pathway to the drinker’s soul, it also reveals their soul. And in that small shop with but a handful of stools and a counter that is more reminiscent of a bar than a teahouse, I felt my soul gently revived.
Because what you may not know about explorers is while we are able to see many things and meet many new people, there are many more that we leave behind and never see again. And sometimes, we have the urge to join them.
Master Miyo shared a number of teas with me that day, explaining each in depth and with a passion that stirred in me what I had forgotten in my darkness, and what I believe to be the one of the most powerful forces of the universe.
We talked of many teas, their histories and the journey they each take in being transformed from leaf to liquid. As the day drew to an end, Master Miyo started to draw up a diagram of the teas we had discussed. But I stopped her and told her that there was no need for it.
Because I would be coming back.
So please, if you find yourself on Crescent Island, and you see an old explorer at the counter of Master Miyo’s tea shop, do say hi. I’d be happy to share more about how this tea shop changed my life.