Getting experimental and what do hammers have to do with tea? (from the August 2019 Newsletter)

August 14, 2019 3 min read

I don’t want to bury the lead so as not to do that…..we’re having a sale! 

All black, white, pu-erh and Heicha teas are 15% off in the online store now through Friday 8/9/19 11:59 pm CST. The sale prices will automatically populate in your cart and at checkout so no need for a code.This offer cannot be combined with other discounts.

Why only those kinds of teas you may ask? Because they pair up nicely with our upcoming tea classes scheduled in August and September. If you haven’t had a chance to peruse our tea class schedule it is here.  

I’m particularly excited about a new class we’re offering called Gong Fu Tea Skills - if you’re newish to gong fu or sort of stuck in rut with your gong fu or just wanting to have a space to use someone else’s wares to run some experiments this might be a great class for you. 

This last year or so I have been pushing myself to be more experimental in my tea making – not just using the parameters that have been passed down to me in one way or another, but to dig in and see what happens when I use different temps and times, different vessels, different steeping methods, and/or different amounts of tea.  

Being experimental has really helped me hone my skills and have greater comfort with challenging or unfamiliar teas. It has also just simply put me more at ease and become more inquisitive about each specific tea that I encounter. There are many folks giving instructions about how to steep tea (this business included), but in truth it’s really been fruitful for me to take each tea on its own terms and come to it with the least amount of assumptions that I can have about it just because I know it’s ‘type.’ 

Here are some examples of what I mean by getting experimental:

*Boiling tea. Seriously… some teas are truly meant to be boiled (if not initially then certainly the spent leaves)
*Western steeping green teas with the lid off versus with the lid on
*Side by side comparison of teas steeped with different water temps and different durations
*Steeping black teas at a less than boiling
*Re-steeping teas that really aren’t designed to be re-steeped to better understand why that is so
*Steeping more astringent teas in slightly cooler water with a slightly lower volume of tea to determine what might be lost or gained in the overall tea experience
*Cold steeping tea to make ‘iced tea’ versus hot steeping it and adding ice

But back to the sale….
In the spirit of MarhsalN's famous "Hitting Hard with a Hammer" blog post – meaning if you find a tea you really love, buy a lot of it because you don’t know if you’ll be able to find it again or find it at the same price or in the same condition – below are some of the teas I would grab were I to get out my hammer for this sale.

This is one of my favorite teas on our list and I use it a lot in our tea classes to illustrate how good aged teas, and aged whites in particular, can be. This tea is a Paul Murray find and bless him for it and for selling a good amount of it to us.

I truly love this tea. It's not flashy, but it is a beautifully made tea from a pristine environment. Charcoal roasting is unusual for a black tea and makes this tea even more appropriate for putting some away to age.

White Magic
I snuck this tea back online just for this sale. This a favorite tea for many of our customers so you might want to grab some now to get you through til November when we put it back on the list for the holidays.

We have a large amount of this gorgeous tea in stock, but I don't think it will stick around for long. Once people discover this tea it goes quickly. Additionally, Swedish Hill just put it on their opening tea list and I know they're going to be bonkers busy when they open, which is soon.

Rich, smooth, mellow, earthy. Good liu bao teas are a treasure as they are deeply satisfying and have a really lovely energy to them. This particular one is great for newcomers to the genre as it sweet and well balanced.