I bought this cute little tea pot for 50p at the car boot sale last weekend. I love tea, and I love teapots.
It’s Danish made, so it is.
[warning: this is gonna get a bit geeky. I love tea. Love it. If you think tea chat is boring, maybe skip the rest of the writing and just look at the pictures].
I used this thrifty purchase to make decidedly non-thrifty tea. This is Pu Erh tea, which is lovely and delicious and costs £5.60 per 50g. I got it because I was asking the guy in the tea shop (Anteaques, by far the best tea shop in the city) for Ooolong. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, but I have been searching for the perfect tea for a long time. My friend brought some stuff back from Thailand years and years ago, and in my mind that was perfection. I am now about 95% sure it was Oolong, after another friend who has been to Taiwan made some for me. But there are many many types of Oolong and in the shop thy only had one, and it really wasn’t what I was thinking of, much more smokey.
So the tea man recommended this Pu Erh instead. I love that man, he talks about tea with such passion and has travelled and lived all over Asia so he properly knows lots about it. It’s substance, not style as with the other tea shops in Edinburgh, who have gone for a vintage fun afternoon tea approach (though nowt wrong with that either).
Anyway, he was telling me… Pur Erh is Chinese tea and like Oolong it sits between green and black. There are two types, raw and fermented. The fermented stuff is harvested, then put in a big heap and left to compost. It’s then dried and sold and it does distinctly smell of compost. Which is too much of an acquired taste for me.
The raw Pu Erh is loosely packed into tea bricks (not like the decorative tea bricks you sometimes see which are completely compacted) and is then left to stand in a damp room for 3 years so it naturally ferments a little bit and darkens. You can see in the photo that the leaves are still stuck together from the brick, but you can grind them apart so it looks more like normal loose leaf tea.
Oh, and googling for the Wikipedia link I discovered that the tea is supposedly have slimming properties, although quite how it’s meant to do that I don’t know.
You make tea in the same way as you do Oolong, in a tiny tea pot. The proper pots are even smaller, and the cups are very small bowls. You stick in the leaves (same amount as you would any other tea), then you pour boiling water over it and immediately pour it away, keeping the tea leaves obviously. This gets rid of any sharp taste from the fermentation. You then top the leaves up with fresh boiling water straight away. You can keep topping up a few times and you get different flavours and colours of tea. It tastes flowery and delicate and beautiful!
Any other tea geeks out there? Or unusual tea stories? Or coffee stories?