Learning the Art of Tea Drinking
At The St. James Tearoom, we’re keeping traditions alive—specifically the art of tea! We love helping people discover the wonders of well-brewed tea and its soothing effects on the body and mind. We want all our guests to enjoy their tea to the fullest.
If you’ve never visited a proper tearoom, take heart! Here are a few tips for making the most of your experience, whether you are visiting our Tearoom, or having a simple cup of tea in your own home.
How To Enjoy A Wonderful Cup Of Tea
1 – Observe the leaves
Great tea begins with great tea leaves. Take a moment to appreciate them, before they’re steeped. High-quality teas use whole leaves, which are sturdy and have distinct colors. Green teas are earthy, while white teas have clear white veins in the leaves.
The best teas include the tips of the tea leaves because those have the most pronounced and subtle flavors.
2 – Steep the tea
Tea water should always be pure and filtered, and it shouldn’t be over-heated, or else it could scorch the leaves. White and green teas, in particular, need water that is stopped short of boiling. More robust black teas should go into water that has just boiled.
Also, people tend to over-steep teas. Even the strongest blends should not steep for more than 6 – 7 minutes. Lighter teas, like green and white, only need 2 – 3 minutes for whole-leaf blends.
3 – Appreciate the color
A great cup of tea should have bright colors, with minimal clouding or visible flakes. The color will vary depending on the blend, but you should always be able to see to the bottom of the cup.
4 – Smell the tea
As you wait for your cup to cool, bring the cup close to your nose and inhale deeply. Take a moment to note the scents that stand out. Is the tea earthy, fruity, or floral? As your nose becomes keener, you’ll be able to pick out more specific scents, such as smoke or vanilla.
Advanced tea-drinkers may prefer to take several short quick sniffs.
5 – Taste the tea
Finally, it’s time to relax and enjoy. Your first sip should be a bit of a ‘slurp.’ Don’t worry about manners—you want plenty of air to come in with the tea, which aerates the liquid and improves the flavor profile. Swirl it around your mouth, and see which flavors match the scents you identified earlier.
Then, sit back and enjoy your cup!
Yours, for the return of Grace, Civility, Beauty, Gentility, and Excellence,