So the first seminar that I attended at the Toronto Tea Festival was An Introduction to Tea. I know I am quite savy in things concerning tea, but there is always something new to learn, even in an intro session, and boy did I learn. If you didn`t get a change to read the Tea Festival post, you can read it here.
So first things off, the speaker was a very nice lady by the name of Karen. My fiancee and I chatted to her before the presentation and didn’t even realize at the time that she was the presenter till she informed us.
Some things that I learned in this seminar:
- Tea vs. Tisanes: Tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant, the herbal teas are not actually teas, they are tisanes.
- Tea is the second most consumed breverage after water
- In the 17th Century, Russians would have smoked tea, due to the long travel on the tea road. So teas like Lapsang Shuong are smoked to get this flavour that the Russians just love.
- Tea first came to Canda via the Hudson Bay Company
- Today, most of the world’s tea comes from China, Japan and India, with India being the largest producer.
- Tea, just like wine, has unique flavours depending on the region and how it is produced/processed.
- Between March-early October, it is considered the first flush, which is the best quality of tea
- Fermentation is for wine and Oxidation is for Tea
- Green and White teas are delicate and aren’t steeped in boiled water
- Tea tasters are like wine tasters
- Due to the amount of tea tasted in one day, tasters do the “slurp and spit”
- Who brews the perfect cup of tea? We all do. Everyone has their own way of doing things, so it is up to us
- Chinese teas are better enjoyed when you use smaller cups; big mugs are a western phenomenon
- Each tea should have it’s own teapot, so as to not get the different flavours invading your tea
- In China, Jasmine tea is the everyday tea, and In Japan Sencha is used for everyday purposes
- In Morocco, Mint tea is the everyday tea and is poured from a height to create foam in the tea
- Tibetans like buttered tea, though it is considered more of a nutirent broth
So there are all the facts that I thought were interesting to pass along. I hope you learn at least one new thing from reading this post.