A Cool Summer’s Evening…
By my way of thinking, the sweltering inferno that is often Sydney summer, does not call for abstinence from the joy of a nice cup of tea, but rather an opportunity to sample the more refreshing brews in our stores. Besides the fact that research has suggested that a hot cuppa can actually help to cool you down in the heat (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/a-hot-drink-on-a-hot-day-can-cool-you-down-1338875/), it is just so delicious that I couldn’t bear the thought of giving it up over something so trivial as a hot day. It’s going to take a lot more than that to drag me away from my tea.
So, after the brutal heat of late which had kept me sipping on my invigorating green teas Dragon Well and Bi Lo Chun, a slight cool change gave me the excuse to (literally) dig into a beautiful ripened pu-erh Toucha. Before settling into this warm and cosy cuppa however, I got to try my hand at one of our new bamboo trays!
Usually, I would just use my cake knife and gather the tea on a piece of paper- putting the leftover leaves in a paper bag to keep them fresh for next time. Although this method works just fine and won’t affect the quality of your tea, the convenience of these trays really does speak for itself. While their dimensions mean that you do not have to constantly worry about your tea flying off into the sunset when you break it, they also have a small gap in the corner where you can easily empty the contents into a mug, or Gaiwan as I did. When combined with a fitted bamboo drawer, you can easily store the inevitable leftovers in a box that will simultaneously make a complimentary feature in any kitchen or living room. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, your leaves will be kept in a well ventilated space where they are protected from being crushed by the copious domestic forces which threaten their fragile peace.
While using the Gaiwan does involve a little more effort than say a mug, the small serving size makes for a much richer experience.
The tea is brewed to perfection as it is not stewing in a large body of water for extended periods of time, and the small mouthfuls provide a more acute conception of the delicious flavour.
The rich, woody flavours gained from its fermentation provided exactly the wholesome warmth I had missed for so long (despite loving my summer teas, a change is always welcome).
Indulging in some shortbread on the side, it was this Pu-erh tea that made my cool summer’s evening into brewed perfection