June 30, 2006

A Higher Class of Tea

There are so many teas and many methods of preparing tea. So why then are we still using either a tea cup (English or Asian) or the utilitarian mug?

I like boiling my water in a glass kettle, and often I use a glass tea pot to steep my tea. But rarely is my choice of drinkware made of glass. They do make glass tea cups, but I don't happen to own any. But being the MAD tea lady that I am, I decided I would experiment in employing some of my more stylish barware as a substitute to my usual teacups.

It can be said that the appreciation of tea is similar to that of wine -- the unlimited varieties, growing regions, complexities, descriptions are all very similar - which makes it accessible for people to understand. So, with that, I tried using a wine glass with a Lapsang Souchong the other day. I loved the way in which the wine glass offered me the ability to inspect the the color and liquor of the tea, the shape of the vessel allowed for true olfactory stimulation, allowing me to take in the full smokiness of the tea.

*Suggestion: Please make sure your glassware is made of tempered glass or is not "too delicate". To mitigate cracking, prep the glasses as one would with a teapot (that is to run and fill with hot water. Also, I would insist that the water temp not be above 180 degrees.

Surely, this was a successful experiment in sensory experience.

So then I tried a different type of tea in a different type of glass.

I took a more delicate floral Jasmine Green. I brewed it in my gaiwan set, and then sipped it out of a martini glass. An inspired pause took hold of the moment. The delicate nature of the glass and the tea. Really, you must try it - I'm not saying I'd start off my morning sipping from a martini glass, but I would jazz up my evening pots with a touch of class or when the occasion called for it...

Ideas are most certainly brewing....

No comments: