I want to be like David Lee Hoffman. He has a nose for tea the way the best sommeliers can smell a hint of lavender in a glass of cabernet. He travels the earth and finds farmers who grow the most fragrant tea the world over. David and his passion was the subject of the documentary All In This Tea.
With good tea- the water is so hot it takes quite a while to cool. This is when you can take the time to really talk to someone. And when I take a sip of tea, I catch myself listening. I’m in the moment. I’m sharing a piece of time that is connected, with tea.
The study of tea can be a lifetime- but here’s the skinny on the basics:
1- Start with cold water that tastes good
2- Ideally use a warm mug or teapot
3- Measure the right amount (2 teaspoons per 6 ounces of water)
4- Use the correct water temperature
- Black, Dark Oolong, Herbal – These types are best prepared with water that has come to near boiling. Don’t let the water boil too long or the oxygen content will be reduced and the tea will taste flat.
- Green, White, Green Oolong– These types should not be prepared with boiling water as this will cook the leaves and destroy their flavor. 170-180º To brew green tea without a thermometer: pour the water at the moment that bubbles begin to rise from the bottom of your kettle, or bring the water to a boil first and then let it cool for two to three minutes before pouring.
5- Steeping time
- Japanese Green Teas: 1-2 minutes
- Chinese Green Teas: 2-3 minutes
- White Teas: 2-5 minutes
- Green Oolong Teas: 2-3 minutes
- Dark Oolong Teas: 3-5 minutes
- Black Teas: 3-5 minutes
If you like to geek out The Royal Society of Chemistry actually has a 3-page method. But that’s strictly for the hardcore folks.
In this crazy world a cup of tea can make you slow down and breathe.
This is yoga. And I slurp it.