Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tea Things

So the madder was fun, and it produced a beautiful brick orange, but it wasnt' the colour I was hoping for so more experimentation is in order (I want RED!!!). We dyed a bunch of roving as well as a skein of 100% cashmere slated for The Pretty Thing
I have developed a tea obsession. Mom and I went to Foxglove (a garden store on Saltspring) and bought a couple of tea bushes, which caused a exploration into the mechanics of tea making (Wikipedia is the greatest website on earth!) I learned a whole bunch of cool things about tea, like how it is processed and that Black, Green, White and Gun Powder tea are all tea from the camelliea sinensis plant but processed differently. This caused me to go to the local tea store and buy some fancy black tea, because I have had good tea before, but never had REALLY good tea. I bought some estate (estate means it's all from one place and not blended from a variety sources) TGF-OP1 Darjeeling. TGF-OP stands for Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe, the 1 means it was 1st flush, or the first harvest of the very first buds. There are MANY acronyms to denote the quality of tea and this is one of the higher ones (although 2 or 3 levels down from the highest, that's pretty good considering there are about 20 levels of quality in tea, tea bags like Lipton or Tetley are just about lowest level of quality you can get by the way).
It was the most amazing tea I have ever had in my entire LIFE. It didn't have that bitter taste that most black teas have and it was juicy and delicious. It was so good that the next day I went back to the tea store and bought a bag of Assam tea and 2 bags of White Tea. I didn't get any green since I am not a huge fan of green to start with.
White tea is the fanciest of teas, and I bought the fanciest of the white teas (pretty fancy shmancy eh?) it cost a bundle but I wanted to try it. It's called Dove Silver Needles. This tea is picked from the first buds only from the very ends of the first leaves of the tea bush. There is only a 2 day window in which to pick this type of tea before it gets too old. The tea leaves are procesed minimally and don't got through the fermentation process that black teas go through. Most tea looks like little black sticks but this tea looks like fuzzy white tea leaves. It is the best tasting beverage I have ever had in my entire life. I can't even describe except that it's incredible. It's expensive as hell, but the really good, expensive tea leaves can be brewed multiple times and often don't come into their flavouring until the 3 brewing. White tea can be brewed a max of 4 times (the 4th time isn't that grea tbut passable), black tea can be brew 5 times. So at $16.50 a 25gm bag really good white tea seems insanely expensive for dried leaves. But at less than 2 gms of leaves per cup of tea and 3 brewings per, it ends up costing 46cents a cup of tea. That's not bad for the best beverage on earth. Really good blakc tea costs less than 25 cents a cup.
Plus you feel super cultured and foofty woofty when drinking expensive tea, and you can't put a price on that.

1 comment:

LoriAngela said...

You've inspired me. I drink so much Red Rose, but I've broken out the Silk Road Darjeeling and Sea Mist teas I bought in Victoria last year.