Brewing? Steeping? Infusing? Which one is it? I’ve seen tea people cringe at the word “brew,” partly because that is what you do to that dreadful c#@fee stuff. I’ll try to straddle the fence by using the word “make.”
However you call making tea, there is the concern that doing it wrongly will stunt the expansion of tea culture in the US. TChing and Heidi Kyser chronicle the events that start with improperly made tea and ends with a person who swears off tea because of a bad cup.
Many voices are chiming in:
- Erika of LA Tea Examiner would advise you that proper tea-making equipment includes a thermometer and a timer.
- TeaCast.org came to the rescue with a radio show that shed light on the matter.
And then, one can pick up tidbits of info when others make tea:
- Rishi Tea posts about preparing Japanese gyokuro. They give a hint that the author’s personal preference and experience trump printed instructions when making tea out of the public eye.
- Tea making becomes an internal, meditative experience. TeaGuySpeaks presents a video that includes Roy Fong, founder of Imperial Tea House recounts how his entry into tea business began around definitive, tea-making moments.
Whatever approach you take to making tea, the relational connection between the maker and the tea determines the outcome. Cha Dao reminds us of the many parts of our life that affect our response to our tea, and therefore our future tea-making habits.
Finally, there is the comfort of ritual that adds validity to whatever way you make your tea. Dr. Tom Stafford of Sheffield University conducted studies revealing we believe tea tastes better when served in our favorite cup.
So, I guess the real questions are: How do you affect your tea and consequently, how does the tea impact your life?