Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Tea For Sunny Weather

In Paris this weekend, I stopped by one of the finest tea shops in the world, La Maison des Trois Thés, to pick up a few things and to have a chat with Gilles, my tea guru. We usually talk about wine as much as we do tea—Gilles loves the champagnes of Selosse, the reds of Philippe Pacalet and just about any other wines that are terroir-driven and full of character. Today, after we speculated a little about Drappier's Sans Soufre, he showed me several of the new green teas from this season, and, well, I could hardly resist.

I tend to be seasonal about my tea drinking, choosing lighter teas in the summertime and more substantial and complex teas in the winter. With the cold weather that has persisted throughout this spring in northern France, I've continued to brew a range of oolongs and pu-er quite late into the year (I almost never drink black teas, aside from the occasional estate-grown Darjeeling). I hadn't even given a thought to green tea yet until Gilles mentioned it today, but since the sun has finally come out this week (24°C, or about 75°F, here in Paris at the moment), it seems highly appropriate.

Thus I found myself in possession of 50 grams of brand-new 2009 Anji Bai Cha, a green tea from Zhejiang province in eastern China. Bai cha means white tea, although it refers to the name of the cultivar rather than the tea itself, as this is pungently, unmistakably green. Bai cha always makes me think of spring—it's typically picked in early April (sometimes late March), and its fresh, snappy flavors are brightly lively and refreshing. This is the Hirsch Grüner Veltliner #1 of tea, its brisk aromas of pea shoots and young green asparagus touched by a deft, subtly honeyed sweetness, its vivacity and lightness of body concealing a discreet complexity. Even just the color seems vivid and vibrant. In this area of Zhejiang the soil is rocky and mineral-rich, and while it may be as difficult to conjecture about a mineral character in tea as it is for the average layman to wrap his mind around minerality in wine, there is a certain tautness and urgency here that feels distinctly stony—Muscadet grown on schist, riesling planted on the Wachau's Urgestein terraces or assyrtiko found in Santorini's volcanic soils might be cognate. Right up my alley, of course. I'm going to enjoy drinking this all summer long.


David Fang said...

Peter, love your posts on tea. I was in Hangzhou a few years ago, tasting through Long Jing tea...very fascinating.

I learned that the tea picked in the first week of April is the most expensive - it's the tea picked before the Qing Ming Festival, and is the first harvest of the year. The farmers also had this tradition of pouring out the first cup brewed, to cleanse the farmers of the hard work required to harvest the tea.

Very fascinating stuff. I'm Shanghainese, and I'm delighted that you're so interested and knowledgable about tea! Tea is becoming a lost art in the mainland...people just don't want to take the time to enjoy and appreciate its subtleties anymore.

Peter Liem said...

Thanks, David.

I was in Hangzhou many years ago, when I was young, but have never been back since. I would love to drink real Long Jing there. Like Long Jing, Bai Cha is also often picked before Qing Ming, as you say, and those first lots are highly prized.

It's true that tea is becoming a lost art, not only in China but in the rest of the world. We need to do all we can to introduce it to more people. I think that tea and tea culture have a strong affinity with wine, and I always encourage wine drinkers to explore the possibilities of tea. The major obstacle is sourcing it—the vast majority of tea that is sold in the world is either of inferior quality or of false provenance. (If Da Hong Pao is sold at US$5 an ounce, do you honestly believe it's the real thing?) These days, it's even more crucial to find a serious, high-quality tea merchant than it is a wine merchant.

Hot Myra said...

Have tea in rainy season for the best feelings.
Hot Call Girlsin Gurgaon
VIP Calll Girls in Gurgaon

Hua Cai said...

puma outlet
coach factory outlet
rolex orologi
ferragamo shoes
michael kors handbags
nike roshe run
ferragamo shoes
louis vuitton sunglasses
nike free run
mizuno shoes
ray ban sunglasses
cazal outlet
mbt shoes outlet
nike roshe run shoes
converse shoes sale
adidas outlet
michael kors uk
nike air max 90
coach handbags
true religion outlet
uggs outlet
coach outlet online
ugg clearance
tiffany and co
true religion uk outlet
coach outlet online
michael kors outlet clearance
rolex watches,rolex watches,swiss watches,watches for men,watches for women,omega watches,replica watches,rolex watches for sale,rolex replica,rolex watch,cartier watches,rolex submariner,fake rolex,rolex replica watches,replica rolex
mulberry outlet
giuseppe zanotti outlet
cheap jordans
ghd uk
ugg boots clearance
ugg outlet
christian louboutin outlet

slither io said...

Let’s keep are safe place to play the very best free games for kids! Please click: wingsio | slither io | abc

Unknown said...

Let’s keep are safe place to play the very best free games for kids! Please click: | | happy wheels | abcya | happy wheels the game free | pokemon go to play for free games for kids!

sarah saad said...

اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بمكة

sarah saad said...

شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة الجوهرة من افضل شركات تنظيف الخزانات بجدة حيث ان تنظيف خزانات بجدة يحتاج الى مهارة فى كيفية غسيل وتنظيف الخزانات الكبيرة والصغيرة بجدة على ايدى متخصصين فى تنظيف الخزانات بجدة
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

Aapki Saheli said...

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
Escorts in Gurgaon, Gurgaon Escorts | Female Escorts in Gurgaon, Escorts in Gurgaon | Free Classified Ads Site | Free Classified Ads Site in India

chenlina said...

ray ban sunglasses
ralph lauren outlet
christian louboutin chaussures
michael kors handbags
adidas yeezy
lunettes ray ban
coach outlet
adidas stan smith
mavericks jerseys
oakley sunglasses

Anamika Sharma said...

Thank you! It was a wonderful chance to visit this kind of site. I hope you will publish more on this topic. Totally lovely homepage. Looks nice!

Mahipalpur best escorts services

mohit sahu said...

bu bhopal result
gauhati university result
bamu result
gndu result
rmlau result
mpbou result

mohit sahu said...

vbspu result
magadh university result
tndte result
jiwaji university result
bnmu result
mpbou result

Aapki Saheli said...

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for discussing this outstanding article! That is fascinating Smile I really like studying and I am always looking for useful information like this!
Roshni Khanna Gurgaon Escorts, Escorts in Gurgaon | High Profile Escorts in Delhi, Independent Escorts in Delhi | Independent Escorts Delhi, Escorts in Delhi

Aapki Saheli said...

This web website is great and so is how the topic was described. I also like some of the opinions too. With tolerance anticipating to the next publish.
Blog Escort | Content Blog | Escort Blogs | Escort Contents | Escort Texts | Free Classified Ads Site