Monday, June 30, 2008

a tea discovery

The Taste of London festival also featured loads of food and drinks suppliers and manufacturers. In the Taste of China section I came across Chinalife’s stand and they were giving out tastes of their various teas.

I absolutely love everything about tea, it’s history, folklore, manufacture, its rituals – making it and drinking it. Although all tea is good, I generally prefer Chinese teas. The black teas from Yunnan are my current favourites.

I was completely bowled over by Chinalife’s white tea “Amber Mountain”. Apparently, this variety was reserved for the exclusive use of the Emeror. It’s pretty gorgeous. From their blurb:

”Highest grade rare tea produced in very small amounts. It creates a beautiful, glowing infusion that tastes like pure dew from an early Spring morning, with a subtle complexity of flavour that is intense and mesmerising.


White tea is made from new growth buds and young leaves and derives its name from the tiny, silver white hairs on the dried tea. White tea is a specialty of the Chinese province of Fujian. It can only be picked for a short time each year, making it rare and more expensive than other teas but connoisseurs love the pale colour, delicate, sweet flavour and silky finish. White tea is the closest to the natural state of the tea leaf and contains high amounts of anti-ageing antioxidants.”

The tea leaves are pretty amazing - unfurled in boiling water, they look like they've just been picked from the camellia sinensis bush.

So now I’m happy drinking like a Chinese Emperor! :-)

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