jamie goode's wine blog: Not wine, but tea

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not wine, but tea

Instead of a glass of wine, I'm drinking some tea. It's Flowering Dragon Eye Tea from specialist importers JING. It's certainly the most visual brewing experience I've had: the hand tied balls of green tea open up in the pot to reveal flowers - in this case, a pot marigold in the base, an arch of pure jasmine blossoms and a globe amaranth flower on top.

The taste is attractive: mild, tea-like, and quite subtle. I haven't got a decent vocabulary for tea, so describing my perception is a little tricky. On the main site, I have just written up (rather belatedly) a tutored tasting of Chinese tea organized by JING. There are quite a few parallels between tea and wine.



At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The taste is attractive: mild, tea-like, and quite subtle.

No shit, Sherlock!

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Jason Witt said...

"Subtle" isn't really too bad. The way to develop a tea vocabulary, I suppose, is to compare different teas. But realize that one thing a lot of tea people realize is that often the vocab is borrowed from wine tasting people. That's not necessarily a bad thing since they're often good words and concepts. If you know wine, describing the tea will come easily. --Spirituality of Tea

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous andyincayman said...

Not a tea drinker myself, but I have seen this tea before in a great little place for lunch on St Johns called Pho. As the name suggests this is vietnamese street food and is wonderfully light and aromatic.

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Nerval said...

Nice to see you posting on tea Jamie!
I think a very important similarity between wine and tea that you didn't mention is terroir. The differences between the 'classic bushes' of the Wuyi region in Eastern China or the tea 'appellations' of central Taiwan such as Lishan, Alishan, Dayuling, are really not unlike subtle differences between Burgundian crus.

"Focus on quality in an agricultural product" that you mention on the main website article is important, but coffee, cocoa or even tomatoes are not different. These crops, however, reflect terroir to a much lesser extent than wine or tea.

The influence of the teamaster in processing the tea might be bigger than that of the winemaker, although some processes (like IMHO, firing vs. oak ageing) are interestingly similar.

Jing in London is nice, and another vendor I really recommend when you happen to the Borough Market at London Bridge is Eastteas.


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