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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Whatchu know about teas?

Whittard of Chelsea

I think by now I can go head to head with anyone on the subject of teas. I attended four very different tea tastings as part of my research for my recently published article in the Weekly Dig. You can check it out here.

Here are some pictures from my recent tea tasting escapades:

Timeless Tea's Sri Lankan Tea Seminar

Professional Cupping Set

What is a professional cupping set, exactly? It is a specially designed cup used by master tea blenders in Sri Lanka. A master blender can taste a tea and tell you exactly which tea garden it was grown in.

The Agony & Two Leaves and a Bud

Afkhan Salie, a certified tea expert, stressed the importance of finding "two leaves and a bud" as an indicator of highest quality tea. While we waited for the tea leaves to unfurl, his mother, Haleema, also a certified tea expert, described the waiting as "the agony." How poetic. Sure enough, my leaves unfurled and indeed my professional cupping set came through with two leaves and a bud.

But let's be honest, I'm all over the food. I have been thinking about Saleema's Sri Lankan fish cutlet for days.

Swan's Cafe Afternoon Tea in the Park Plaza Hotel

You know it's time to go home when your leftovers get wrapped up into a swan.

Whittard of Chelsea's Blending Bar.


Tom said...

Loved your piece in the Weekly Dig this week and Dana Zemack pointed me the way of your blog too.

My friend Hana and I review tea options in Boston for fun on our website ( Never done Kaji Aso, though. Thanks for the heads up on that.

Anonymous said...

Hey, really like your reviews on Weekly Dig. But kinna wondering why you only picked these four stores to visit, since there are lots of great ones missed on your list. Anyway, thanks for the report, really insightful. Hope you could do more tasting for us in other cities.