Friday February 18, 2011 | 1 comment
Drinking tea is an activity that has been enjoyed throughout the centuries. But for those of us curious about this activity, it raises many questions. How long have people been drinking tea? How much caffeine does tea contain? How is tea processed?
This past weekend I met with a group of students who had signed up through the Burbank Adult School for the “Victorian Tea Experience.” The class started with an introduction to how tea – from the Camellia sinensis plant – is made, including green tea, white tea, oolong tea, and black tea.
Next, using three iron teapots containing white, green, and Jasmine teas, it was time to observe the agony of the leaves as they unfolded and compare the process with that using a regular tea bag. Along with this also came a discussion of the importance of water – both quality and temperature. It never fails – I hear the “ohs” and the “ahs” as the students see, smell, and taste the tea.
Then it was on to tea facts and history. Recently, I came across an article in the National Geographic Magazine entitled “Tea Horse Road,” which talks about the 10th Century trade of tea and horses between China and Tibet. Chamagudao is the Chinese word for the ancient trade route – the highest and most difficult routes in Asia.
The class ended with a trip to Lupicia in Century City, where Charles Kellogg, the general manager and a tea expert – as well as a fellow T Ching contributor – gave an educational talk and tea tasting for the students. All in all, a great introduction to tea.