This is the very first post of Miro Tea's informational tea blog. For those reading this blog who haven't visited our tea bar, we're located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA. Our mission is to reinvent the way people experience tea, which can be a challenge in Coffeetown, USA! We aim to combine respect for tea traditions from around the world with a modern, urban spin--you won't find stuffy, tea cozy tea service or doilies here, but you will find a vast array of different high-quality teas from around the world (over 250!), and a staff that is enthusiastic and eager to help you explore and learn more about the beautiful, ancient simplicity and potential of the world's most popular beverage (second to water, that is).

As Miro's Tea Specialist, I've been studying tea for long enough to learn that there's always something new, more advanced, and more mind-blowing to learn about tea--no matter how much you think you've learned! It's with the attitude of a constant student that I intend to share as much information about tea as possible--from brewing and tea fact basics for readers who are new to the exciting world of tea to some more advanced topics for tea fanatics who are interested in refining their knowledge and tea experience from the bottomless well of Asian tea culture and history.

The most important thing to remember about tea is that there's no single right way to do it; every tea culture has different ways to get the most flavor out of premium tea leaves, and the best way to learn about tea is
by personal experience. By trying new teas and new tea brewing methods, you can find the solution that works best for you and suits your personal tastes. I'll do my best to provide clear, accurate information, but please keep in mind that I'm constantly learning new things about tea as well! There is a wealth of information (and misinformation) about tea, and I try to draw my tea knowledge from reliable sources and personal experience. Feel free to ask specific questions regarding tea and I'll tailor my blog posts to your informational desires. I'm always on the lookout for more info myself, so if you've got 2 cents to chip in, feel free to comment on a blog entry!

Please stay tuned for forthcoming blog entries; I hope you find them stimulating and enlightening!



ally said...

I was wondering if you could tell me how quality of tea is distinguished and personally, what makes the "perfect cup of tea" to you?

Elliot said...

Hi Ally,

Thanks for your comment. Quality of tea is distinguished in different ways for different tea types. In general, though, I'd say that tea quality is distinguished by leaf grade and time of harvest. Once an ideal leaf profile for a certain tea is set (i.e. buds only, bud and two leaf, mature leaf, etc.), the leaves will usually be graded based on their appearance, uniformity, and quality.

Tea is also graded by harvest period; the best Chinese green teas are harvested pre-Qing Ming festival (around April 5 each year), which guarantees their freshness and tenderness. Oolongs are generally harvested in Spring, summer, and fall/winter, and pu-erh is usually harvested in spring and autumn. Precedence is usually given to spring teas, but there are often very desirable (though different) qualities in later-harvested teas; autumn-harvested pu-erhs usually have larger, more mature leaves that yield rounder flavor, for example.

As for what makes the perfect cup of tea for me, I can say it doesn't happen every day--although it's relatively easy (with practice) to be able to make tea well, the "perfect cup" is usually a combination of just the right leaf amount, water temperature, steep time, mood/state of mind, time of day, and tea selection. Sometimes, I just pick the right tea for the right moment, the leaves brew up perfectly, and my palate is in just the right place to appreciate the tea. When you've made yourself the perfect cup of tea, you'll know--those perfect cups are what keep me coming back for more.

Thanks for your interest and questions; I hope my answers helped you out.

See you at Miro,

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