As many of you know, I’ve been working in a teahouse in Berkeley since April. Every day I’m at the shop, I attempt to teach people small cup brewing. Please note my precise language here. I'm not kidding myself that I am teaching them Gongfu Cha, which is a discipline. Gongfu Cha, as I have come to more deeply understand, is not simply brewing tea “with a small gaiwan” or “with a small clay pot.” So for the purpose of this piece, I will use the term “small cup brewing.”Read More
If you're a tea enthusiast who is interested in learning more about the world of tea read this first! This book is quick read, well written, and responsibly separates opinions and facts. The unique way the author contextualizes the proliferation of black tea and commodity tea in the West is a particularly interesting presentation and treatment of the history of the spread of tea for those who don't want to read through all the dates, facts, figures, and personalities involved.
I've reviewed two more tea books recently. First was Jane Pettigrew's "The New Tea Companion" - a pretty ambitious book covering several world tea terroirs and teas produced there. Second was "The Little Book of Tea" which was a tea miscellany book with an interesting brewing and "time of day" recommendation guide in the back. Both reviews are available on my Tea Book Review page in more depth. Happy reading!Read More
I've had a few people ask how I've learned how to brew tea. Do I have a rule of thumb? Guidelines for tea styles? In this post, I will share my basic process for brewing tea by myself.
Before we begin, I will readily admit that brewing tea well is something that comes with experience-- and I still have so much to learn. You really do need to practice often and take note of how you like the results to improve. Even with the guidelines I provide in this post, there is no "hack" or "shortcut" to go from looking at a gaiwan for the first time to extracting the exact flavor elements you are looking for in your tea.Read More