Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tea as a whole

I've always enjoyed tea.  I used to drink tea from teabags.  Things simply labelled "green tea" or "Ceylon Tea".  Not because I had no appreciation, but because I had no idea how deep and complex a thing tea is.  Tea is not only a drink.  Tea is a pastime, a tradition, a culture, a way of life, a connection to one other, and a drink. Tea can put us in touch with deep transcendental values that are worth much more than, caffeine value, health benefits, and weight loss.  

Last fall I stumbled upon Teavana.  I was fascinated by whole leaves and these new teas I had no idea existed.  At that point I didn't even know what oolong was.  I wasn't however, fascinated with the prices.  They were prohibitive and I didn't end up purchasing anything.  

I went home, started reading and interest turned into obsession.  I would devour every scrap of information I could get and ordered loads of samples of unblended tea from adagio.  I couldn't get enough! I started searching for a local tea shop to fuel my new found addiction.  I found Tea Harbor and discovered how good Chinese tea can get!  Then I discovered The Green Teaist where I learned about Japanese tea.  

Now I get most of my tea from specialty websites because I'm always searching for something new and unusual or just really good tea.  That's not to say that non-specialty shops don't have good tea, or that good tea is limited to the exclusive or rare.  In fact I wouldn't consider tea an exclusive thing whatsoever! Many people obsess over this saying that "True tea only comes from the camellia sinensis,".  I say as long as it's steeped in water, and you enjoy it, it's tea!  I'll add that I like to say that coffee is arguably a type of tea, however heretical it may be.

The tea was good by the way!  It was Tie Guan Yin from Tea Harbor!  I think it's not oxidized enough, closer to baozong style than Tie Guan Yin.  Great none the less!

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