Welcome to the last of our series on tea lovers’ favourite teas. This post features two prominent women of tea from different parts of the world: Linda Gaylard, Toronto-based tea sommelier and author of The Tea Book, and Harumi Oshitani, founder of Okei-san, Japanese Tea Plus, based in Melbourne. Let’s dive in.
Linda Gaylard, The Tea Stylist
As a tea sommelier, I try to keep an open palette, so I don’t have just one favourite tea but many teas that I enjoy and even more that I hope to experience in the future.
I seem to have a preference for teas from China – the birthplace of tea culture. As I look at my daily routine, there are patterns for my tea preferences throughout the day, beginning with my morning cup. I frequently start the day with one of this year’s harvested green teas. The sweet clean flavours make for a breezy start to my morning. Some of my faves: Bi Luo Chun, Anji Bai Cha, Guzhu Zi Sun, Korean Wujeon.
If I’m feeling groggy or I need to get myself into focus for the day, my ‘go to’ teas will be Liu An, a Hei Cha from Anhui province or Bai Mu Dan white. There’s something about these 2 teas that my body and mind respond to.
Afternoons are often spent tasting teas for clients or checking out new samples that I’ve been sent. I get myself into a mood and space to be open to discovering the flavours and make notes so that I can refer to them in the future. If I have an appointment or errands that take me away from my studio, I fill a flask with tea and bring along a porcelain cup. It’s comforting to sit on a park bench and sip from a real cup – and I love to see people’s faces when they notice the porcelain. I really don’t know why more people don’t do this – it’s so easy!
In the late afternoon I stop and take a real tea break and for that I’ll go to my tea chest to look for either Darjeeling, Himalayan black or Da Hong Pao Oolong, because any of these three will be very refreshing on their own, but also they pair well with the kind of snack that I like to have around that time of the day – cheese, plums, walnuts and chocolate etc.
In the evenings I’ll switch to a tisane. My favourite is a blend that I make on the spot: grated ginger and turmeric roots, lemon zest, black cardamom and chamomile. It’s soothing and calming, slightly smoky and is a good prep for winding down at bedtime.
Tea punctuates my life; in fact I would probably say that my day exists in tea’s orbit. I’m always looking forward and anticipating my next cup of tea and whatever the choice might be – at that particular moment in suspended time, that tea will be my favourite tea of all time.
Pay attention to your mood and the time of day: there’ll be a tea to match it. Linda Gaylard (@theteastylist) on why her day revolves around tea. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
Click here for more from Linda.
You can also connect with Linda here.
PS Linda’s The Tea Book is available from Amazon (click or tap the icon below). It’s a terrific read!
Harumi Oshitani, Okei-san, Japanese Tea Plus
I enjoy brewing and drinking kabusecha (shaded tea) because it has a good taste and is fun to brew.
Generally Japanese tea is rich and well-balanced with a sweet, umami, astringent and bitter taste. Each sip brings a refreshing taste with a fresh grassy aroma. When I drink a well-brewed tea, I think it won’t need any food and stands out by itself.
Brewing kabusecha is interesting. The method can be changed to match with the purpose of consuming. For example, before going for a walk, I’ll take a slightly warm tea to help stimulate muscles. On the other hand, I brew it with lower temperature to relax.
So kabusecha is delicious as well as interesting to brew. That’s why I choose this particular tea on top of the others.
Shade-grown is the way to go: Harumi Oshitani (@okeisan.japaneseteaplus) on what’s great about Japanese green teas. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
Click here for more from Harumi.
You can also connect with Harumi here.