Last year I found out the Glenferrie Tea House started to offer organic chinese tea appreciation sessions so I booked myself in as I have an obsession with tea.
The appreciation session lasted for about 2 hours and was set in the master tea makers home complete with traditional tea table and chairs.
The different types of teas we tried were white tea (top near the small tea cups) and in order from left to right (bottom near prosperity pigs) were oolong also known as red tea, green tea and black tea.
My favourite was the Green tea which was the Green Puerh and the Oolong tea known as Red Puerh was perfect for my constitution (love it when my natural medicine knowledge can be used). I found the Black Tea known as Hei Cha was the longest fermented we had at 10 years old which had an interesting flavour, since I’d never had black tea before. All teas were from the same region in China – Yunnan Province and other than the loose non fermented White and Green were packed as disks.
I learned so much about Traditional Chinese Tea I never knew before. The things which stood out for me was the first brew of any tea is the tea wash to remove any impurities from the processing of the herbs and should not be drunk. Also white tea and green teas only make about 5 good brews whilst red and black can make up to 10-15 and the notes change drastically with each brew. Lastly White and Green tea shouldn’t be kept past 1 year after its been exposed to the air as its worthless unlike black or red tea which can last longer due to the fermentation (similar to wine).
The great thing is I have confirmation that my palette is still delicate as I could definitely taste the notes in the various teas (flowers in the green, chocolate in the black etc) and asked about them which impressed the tea master even though that was not my intention – just wanted to make sure I was tasting it right.
All images (C) T. Georgitsis 2016