For as long as I can remember tea has always been an accompaniment to Chinese food. First at various suburban restaurants it was bags of Swee-Touch-Nee orange pekoe. Later as I began to enjoy yum-cha at dim sum houses in Queens and elsewhere, the tea was decidedly better. I never gave all that much thought to the nuances of tea though until I went to a tea tasting at Yumcha Yoga with tea expert Theresa Wong from Fang Gourmet Tea.
That day Wong poured pu-er tea. The most striking thing about my first tea ceremony was the method in which Wong prepared the tea. First she warmed the teapot discarding the first batch of leaves. Then she brewed the tea. Everything was done in a measured almost meditative manner. I honestly don’t remember exactly what the brew tasted like, but I know I liked it and recall it was a relaxing experience that left me wanting to learn more about tea. (more…)