What Tea Lovers Drink, and Why
This is the first in a series of exclusive interviews with tea lovers and entrepreneurs.
Hear from leading tea traders and educators about what kinds of tea get their groove on. What kinds of tea enhance their well-being, help them focus at work, bring them closer to friends, and help them make new friends.
The secret is out: tea does all these things, one sip at a time.
It’s really exciting to be sharing the passion and experience of other people in the tea industry. This post includes insights from respected tea masters Scott Rogers and Hannah Dupree, among others.
So enjoy the read, and perhaps these tea lovers can inspire you to approach tea with a fresh perspective or to try something new. Feel free to add your email to our list (on the right-hand side) to receive updates.
1. Matcha and Sencha for Well-Being
Scott Rogers from Tea Drunk Studios
In large part this is because of my study and lifestyle centered around Chado, the Way of Tea.
There is something special about drinking the finest quality hand crafted teas from the Uji region in particular; you experience something clean, pure and rich. Almost medicinal – and believe me, these teas do contribute greatly to one’s well-being and spiritual health.
The means of putting these teas together too is very important. From the ancients the knowledge and practice has been transmitted. As they say, Tea & Zen are of The Same Flavour!
Japanese teas are great for mind, body and soul: Scott Rogers on matcha and sencha from Uji, Japan. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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2. Oolongs for Complexity and Flavour
Adeline Teoh from Tea Shirts
I love the unfolding nuances of oolong.
I particularly enjoy the Taiwanese high mountain oolongs and used to say my favourite was jin xuan (milk oolong) but I recently became addicted to some sublime traditionally roasted tie kwan yin I picked up in Singapore, so I guess you could say I have an open palate.
Oolong teas reward patience and an open mind: Adeline Teoh (@teashirtsau) on Jin Xuan and Tie Guan Yin. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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3. Oolongs for Sheer Variety
Pascale Sameli from Travelling Samovar Teahouse
This is an impossible question for me to answer!
Why? Because depending on the day, I will choose to brew a nutty Chinese green tea, or a buttery, aromatic Taiwanese Oolong, or a brisk & savoury Japanese green tea, or an earthy Puerh, or a light high-grown Black…
I can easily tell you what tea I will never enjoy and why! Give me some artificially flavoured teas, and I’ll pass them straight on…to the bin.
You see…I’m a purist. Maybe even a tea-snob. If I had to choose only ONE tea to have for the rest of my life, I would probably beg to be allowed ONE STYLE of tea. And that would be OOLONG.
Oolongs are simply fabulous! Oolongs can be aromatic, herbaceous, floral, toasty, fruity, woody, milky, buttery, etc…
You NEVER need to add anything to an Oolong because Oolongs won’t hit you with an overload of tannin. Give me an Oolong and you’ll be my friend!
My favourite tea? Tough choice, and worthy of oolong discussion! Pascale Sameli (@travelsamovar) on the beauty of oolong teas. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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4. Pu’er for the Way it Brings People Together
Gary Sigley from the Tea Exchange
I enjoy any good quality tea, but especially when doing so with friends and family.
But if I need to name one tea then I would say I most enjoy a good raw Pu’er tea (生普).
Although I’ve been drinking some form of tea most of my life it wasn’t until I started exploring the tea hills of Yunnan that I discovered the virtues of ecological Pu’er.
I was introduced to this tea through associates and friends in Yunnan who were also keen to share their passion with others, including foreigners.
The drinking of your favourite tea in the company of close friends and associates is the best thing you can do.
But this was only the beginning. Once you start to follow the trail of Pu’er tea your legs will take you on a journey across hills, streams, meadows and mountains. In this way I began my research on the Ancient Tea Horse Road of Southwest China.
After many years of hiking and research I’m now excited to offer the opportunity for others to walk these ancient trails with an accompanying mule team. In this way we not only get to experience the beauty of the natural environment but also contribute to the maintenance of cultural heritage.
Pu’er tea offers friendship, travel & a window onto southwest China: Gary Sigley from TeaExchange.com.au. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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5. All of the Above, Plus Much More
Hannah Dupree from Storm in a Teacup
I could not possibly ever say I have a particular tea that I enjoy most often.
I love all tea, I am even recently breaking out of the strict embrace of Camellia Sinensis and falling in love with many different herbs as well.
I love Japanese Tea, I love Chinese Tea, I love Hawaiian Tea, I love Indian tea I love Kenyan tea, I love Sri Lankan Tea, I love Australian Tea, I love Korean Tea, I love Arabic Tea, I love all styles of tea.
For me the most important things with whether or not I love the tea has nothing to do with what sort of tea it actually is but it’s more about how it was grown.
What was the farmer like? What happened to the tea in the factory? Who did I buy it from? What sort of mood was the tea maker in when they brewed it? What sort of water did they brew it with and what did they serve it in? Where on earth am I when I’m drinking it and why do I want to drink it now?
All tea is better when you can appreciate its journey from farm to cup: Hannah Dupree (@TeaShopandBar) on the art & science of tea. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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PS: Comments are welcome, and don’t forget to join the Cloud Nine Teas mailing list for more high-quality content, including part two of this series.