World Tea East is going to be very exciting this year, with a multitude of excellent classes from top-notch tea pros and so many exhibitors! One of the really neat things is that all the finest teas, tea accessories and specialty tea items that won this year's competitions will be showcased. Won't it be fun to see and hopefully taste what's on the cutting edge in the tea world? There will be things like a BUNN at home tea and coffee maker, tea infused ice cream, Northwest Glass's fine Euro cup and saucer, exquisite packaging winners, such as Vintage Tea Works, just for starters. And, of course, lots of teas to taste. I hope you have all made plans to attend. If you get tired of tea, there is Philadelphia to visit, as well. Hop on a purple bus and hit the highlights.
You've probably all heard of the Slow Food Movement, well Italy has founded a Slow Tea Movement, dedicated to preserving tea cultures around the world, as well as working to improve the working conditions on tea estates, including biodiversity. Raise your teacups to them! Did you know that there is also an Italian Association for Tea Culture? Check it out at www.aictea.it
I was making a salad that called for grilled red peppers I didn't have and I wanted that smokey flavor - what to do? Lapsang Souchong to the rescue! I ground some up and added it to the dressing until I liked it - carefully, of course. Yum. It's also wonderful in a rub for grilled meats. Oh yes, you can drink it, too.
In fact, I think that is what I will have today, since I have a lot of it and it is again cool. All I need to do is decide which one. I am using a mix of Traditional and Superior, as there is not enough of either for more than a cup. They are both from Life in Teacup. Both come in small red sample packets, the traditional a dull, somewhat plain red, the superior in a highly decorated shiny foil. The traditional is darker, with smaller leaves and heavily smoked. The superior one has longer, more twisted leaves and the barest hint of smoke overlying a leather/woodsy aroma. I brewed them at 212 degrees for 3.5 minutes. To do them justice, I know I should have brewed them separately and compared them, but I am impatient today.
The taste is so different from what I expected. It is very smooth and delicate, with only the barest whisper of smoke. The body is somewhat thin. There are hints of vegetativeness about it and all in all it is a lovely tea.