Monday, November 19, 2007

Tea Tastings and Tea Parties

Hello, All! I've had some very enlightening comments on my previous post about a tea tasting that I did recently! The enlightening part is that the phrase "tea tasting" is being interpreted to mean"tea party" while the two are quite different. Here's my attempt to explain the differences.

Tea Party - Traditional British-style afternoon tea, often with three courses (savories, breads, sweets). Brought into fame by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford. This can be a very fancy affair, but it can also be a very humble and simple event. Both varieties - and all those in between - are lovely. I've written before about hoping more men in the US will learn to enjoy this experience, as they do in Europe.

Tea Tasting - Very much like a wine tasting. The emphasis is on the tea itself - the variety, where and how it is grown and processed, the look, flavor, aroma, body, finish. I don't serve food during the tea tasting so that it does not interfere with the tea. These are unfrilly events - I tend to use glass teapots (to showcase the steeping leaf) and handleless cups. This is the type of event I blogged about yesterday. I find tea tastings to be a great way to introduce men to the joys of tea because tea tastings are unfrilly and unpretentious.

1 comment:

crescent said...

i'm so glad you took the time to share this post. i went back and re-read your earlier post and I think the fact that it was a birthday gathering... leapt me to the word PARTY even though it wasn't there!

my bad. but i'm glad this came up cause i like the idea of tea tasting.

i also like tea ceremony... the asian style of really honoring tea... and tea tastings sound like they might be a secular form of tea ceremony?

i would welcome a taste of tea.

i'm curious about the politics of tea. i know some teas are grown in more sustainable ways, organically, fair labor practices, all that. do these factor in with your tea appreciation? i know that things created in ways that create distress often leave a bitter taste in my mouth. i wonder how that might impact a tea tasting.

i am raising this as a theme in my own life... and in no way to disrupt anything anyone else is doing. i often find that these layers of concern make it hard to simply enjoy the abundance of life's offerings....

so i'm interested in finding some teas that are delightful, grown honorably and well, and that sustain health and wellness....

i'm learning a lot here... and am glad i've met you, steph. keep going... i'm enjoying reading and viewing the images.