It has been almost a year since I began working in the tea industry and during that time, I have managed to persuade a few people to change their drinking habits. The most important person I have influenced is my wife. She is Mexican and was an ardent coffee drinker.
We import tea from some of the most prestigious tea gardens in the world, from India to Sri Lanka to Kenya. I drink four to five cups of tea a day, initially without the addition of sugar or honey. I then evaluate each invoice and enjoy another cup, this time with some honey. Generally I avoid adding sugar because all tea tastes the same once sugar is added; the same is not true when I add honey.
My wife now drinks five to six cups of tea each day; in fact, she even has a teapot in her office. She finishes her day with an astringent Assam. I feel elated talking with her about grades, flushes, body, taste, flavors, and level of astringency. Now she is becoming an amateur tea taster! Yesterday we tasted and evaluated a first flush Makaibari; from my wife, I learned that the tea has the flavors of biscuit, almonds, and roasted nuts, that it is medium to light bodied with a lingering finish, and that it has a near perfect first flush balance. My wife is an example of how a person can change.
However, my work is not finished here. A few days ago, I received a message from celebrated chef and author of Cooking with Tea, Mr. Robert Wemischner, who is also a T Ching contributor, suggesting a collaboration with a culinary arts school in Mexico. I have been in touch with the chef and director of Le Cordon Bleu in Mexico City, Mr. Patrick Martin. Our tea company is hoping to collaborate with Le Cordon Bleu and Mr. Wemischner to continue the transformation of the Mexican palate when it comes to tea. In addition to serving tea in restaurants, we look forward to introducing main course recipes that include tea as well as desserts that are infused with tea. We see this as a small step toward a new tea culture in Mexico.