“I love tea because…”
Hear from women of tea and entrepreneurs Cheryl Teo (Flag and Spear Tea Hunters), Lisa Westcott (Tea at Henry’s), Coco Zeng (Wild Yunnan Tea) and Effie Gidakos (International Tea Review) as they share their love of tea.
What shines through is how tea nurtures the soul. Stories too nurture and sustain us. Stories from childhood, and memories shared across generations.
I love tea because…
1. Tea Nurtures and Sustains Me
Cheryl Teo, Flag and Spear Tea Hunters
There is a beautiful passage in a book on tea which perfectly encapsulates how I feel about the different types of tea. (I wish I could tell you the name of the book, but I can no longer remember!)
“Men of letters used to compare tea to romantic relationships. Green tea is often associated with our first love – we have little idea of what love means but suddenly find ourselves in love.
Oolong reminds us of the most unforgettable relationship in our life, in which we have exhausted all our passion.
Black tea is often identified as the spouse, or lifelong partner and companion.
Pu-erh impresses us in a different way. We are bonded to it in a way that we ourselves cannot clearly explain. It is not exactly kinship, nor friendship, nor romance. We cannot remember when and where we met for the first time and feel no loss at its absence. However, looking back years later, it will suddenly dawn on us that it was in fact the one who knows us best, who always puts us at ease, and effortlessly helps us rise above the trivial concerns of life.”
Green tea has a special place in my heart. I fell in love with tea through green tea and I still start every day with a bowl of Matcha, or a pot of Chinese or Korean green tea.
The most memorable and incredible teas I’ve had the privilege of tasting have almost all been oolongs. I tend go through phases of being totally obsessed with a particular style of oolong. Last winter I couldn’t go a day without drinking a roasted oolong…
But then the obsession fades, I go back to the old favourites and after some time a new obsession begins.
Growing up in Australia, black tea is deeply familiar to me. I drink black teas most afternoons, the current favourite being a sweet and floral First Flush Darjeeling tea.
Puerh doesn’t make its way into my cup that often, but when it does, it’s a full day commitment. I’ll resteep it over and over until the leaves are completely spent. I usually choose to drink Puerh for the soothing comfort and energy, rather than the flavour.
Different teas play different roles in our lives, if we’re open to them. Cheryl Teo (@flagandspear) on how tea enhances our lives. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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I Love Tea…
2. For Health and Well-Being
Coco Zeng, Wild Yunnan Tea
I love most Pu-erh from Yunnan.
I grew up with this tea from Yunnan. This tea being from the birthplace of tea, has its origins from the tea horse road trade from which my ancestors traded this tea for horses.
There are many different types of Pu-erh and each provide different tastes and varying degrees of health properties. I believe drinking Pu-erh long term is the most healthy tea option for your body in so many ways.
Tea is virtually in my blood! Coco Zeng (@wildyunnantea) on why tea is a natural choice. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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I Love Tea Because…
3. It Has Always Been There
Lisa Westcott, Tea At Henry’s
My earliest memory of drinking tea is as a child. I was probably around 6 years old.
We would visit my grandparents in the evening on a weekend and strong black tea was served to everyone from a big teapot. My memories involve lots of sugar and milk.
Tea was also a big part of my daily routine when I was studying at uni. If it wasn’t for the shared pot (that is all we could afford) of a dark smoky brew at the uni café with a lovely friend, I don’t think I would have got through half as much as what I did.
For my Mum and I, tea is also very special. It is always the first thing we do when we see each other. We’ve cried, we’ve laughed and we’ve celebrated over tea.
But for me it is not just the habit of drinking tea that is special. It is the sense of ritual and calm and relaxation that comes with its preparation. Choosing the tea for the moment, finding the right pot, measuring the tea, heating the water to the right temperature… often chatting along the way. Brewing the tea for the right amount of time, choosing the right cup to serve from, the first hint of the aroma and then the taking the first sip. All of these things are such an important part of the process.
My tea obsession for a long time now though has been Earl Grey. It is always what I order in a café and it is usually the first tea I look at when I am buying in a shop or online. I’ve tried so many different Earl Greys. Earl Grey is traditionally a black tea base blended with Bergamot which has been extracted from the rind of the Bergamot orange which grows in Italy.
More recently tea blenders have added orange and lemon peel and even flowers to blends. In my view it is probably not all that easy to find an Earl Grey that is widely appealing… For me it is about a perfect balance of a good strong black tea base coupled with just the right amount of Bergamot.
I have recently extended my tea passion in a more formal way and have studied Certified Tea Mastery and Certified Tea Blending through the Australian Tea Masters. The exquisite diversity and versatility of the tea plant never ceases to amaze me.
I’m intrigued by so much about tea: the gentle delicate nature of white teas like Pai Mu Dan in contrast to the soothing marine and vegetal notes of say for example a Korean Woojeon; the complexity presented by oolongs depending on their level of oxidation; and the range of aromas and flavours presented by black teas like Golden Bud from China in comparison to an Assam from India are constant reminders of how much there is to know and learn about tea.
Fortunately for me, becoming a mum has given me the space to explore ways to give life to my passion for tea. To find ways to allow others to experience the beauty and serenity that comes from tea. Over the last year I have been creating our beautiful boutique tea store, Tea at Henry’s which is due to launch very soon.
In our tea store we will specialise in a range of beautiful single origin and single estate loose-leaf teas as well as delicious loose-leaf blends that I have come to love and enjoy on my tea journey.
Just like family and friends, tea accompanies me through life’s moments, big and small: Lisa Westcott (@teaathenrys) on going into the tea business. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
You can also connect with Lisa here
And I Love Tea…
Effie Gidakos, International Tea Review
[I love] Every cuppa with my aging mum on her front porch
(Usually a Chinese black tea with cinnamon and honey, it’s her specialty brew that she makes).
I am a fervent believer of the power of sharing, loving and healing over a cuppa.
Tea with mum: there’s nothing like it. Effie Gidakos (@internationalteareview) on an important part of her day. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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I love tea because it is more than just a drink. This formidable product of nature forms the basis of a healthy lifestyle. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.