Thursday, 14 May 2015

Steeping Tea

Our tea-steeping instructions are established with the guidance we have been constructed by the artisans who produce our teas and the Tea Masters we visit during our tea sourcing trips. Our methods are theirs, and the variations we suggest coming at their encouragement. Tea preparation is both collaborative and evolutionary, so in your experience it may switch from time to time and tea to tea. Finding out how to steep each tea successfully is part of the fun of tea drinking!
Until we are familiar with a particular case of tea, we terminate it according to recommended steeping parameters. If we make a conscious conclusion that we would rather love a tea steeped differently than that, we attempt a variation or modification and see what fails on. We suggest this practice for all of our customers as well.
In the final stage, however, your cup of tea is your cup of tea; and you should enjoy it the way you choose to cook it.
     Tip #1:  Know yourself - whether you are a  ‘supervisor’  or a  ‘wanderer’.
If you are a ‘wanderer’, you should select and enjoy teas that offer a substantial margin-of-error
regarding temperature and timing.
Neither steeping style is ‘better’ – what is important is that you enjoy your tea!
Tip # 2:  Steep your tea with awareness and purpose.
If you really desire to get the word about tea and feel comfortable navigating your way amidst the hundreds of tea choices in the marketplace, we advise that you keep track of what you are drinking. Jot down the responses of your tea drinking experiences in a notebook, your laptop or on a smart phone. In fact, when you find a tea you really wish, take a picture of the software program or the label. Use this reference guide as your list of  tea drinking experiences grows
Hint # 3:  Explore several different steeping methods.
Recognize the differences between steeping tea Western-style or Asian-style as this will permit you to appreciate the nuances that each method brings to the flavor in the cup. Western-style steeping uses large teapots (24-32 ounces) and more water than tea. Steep times tend to be 2-5 minutes, depending on the tea. Asian-style steeping uses small teapots (350 games) or a Gawain (3-5 games); a bigger quantity of tea to a smaller quantity of water and very short steep times of 30 minutes to 1 min. This method allows tea to be re-steeped several times, whereas Western-style tea steeping does not.

It doesn’t consider long to realize the singular characters of these two distinct steeping methods. Yet one can pass a lifetime becoming proficient at the art of infusing tea.