The Adventure: TEA
I honestly don’t even know where to begin. I want this story to reflect how much I love and adore tea. It is, quite simply, one of my greatest pleasures in life. So how can I reflect that in the words that I write today?
I just don’t know.
Drinking tea and breathing air are pretty much on the same level for me.
Where it all began:
This adventure all started because I decided I wanted to spend $2500 on becoming a Tea Master.
Yes…that’s right. That’s how much I love tea. Like air.
$2500.00 is nothing. NOTHING.
So when Mark, the owner from The Granville Island Tea Shop, offered to train me to become the equivalent of a Tea Sommelier, I leapt at the amazing opportunity.
Not only is the Granville Island Tea Shop my favourite place in the whole wide world for tea, but it’s an amazing place to meet new best friends.
Now…I already knew quite a bit about tea…but Mark properly trained me on how to make a proper cuppa tea, how to blend different types of teas, where they came from, how they are processed – not to mention its history.
I learned about the pricing of tea, too. A high priced tea doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better quality tea. If anything, it’s all about Economics: Supply and Demand. If a particular type of a tea is on short supply, it will inevitably drive up the cost of that tea. And it doesn’t mean the tea will automatically taste better because it has a high price tag. So when you purchase that tea at $20/100 grams…it doesn’t mean that the cheaper tea at $7.99 is low grade or crappy.
No matter the quality or how tasty the tea, it will consistently always taste like serious crap if the water is not at the correct temperature for steeping.
In fact, I’d take a cup of Red Rose Orange Pekoe tea steeped with smoking hot water any day over those fancy-schmancy organic gentrified teas in restaurants or cafes that use hot water machines with the tap. It’s like that whole red pill blue pill thing. Once you know how something is supposed to be, you can never go back. I always remember the places with hot water.
Be seriously irked if the person serving you tea has not even bothered to put the tea bag into the water. That water has probably been sitting there for a while because the server had other customers to deal with. I guarantee you that the water is probably even too cool to steep a decent green or white tea. Not to be a tool, but I’ve sent water back way too many times because of this. I figure if I’m going to spend the stupid money, I might as well like what it is that I’m consuming.
Just because the price of a particular type of tea is exorbitantly priced doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s any good. More importantly, just because something is expensive, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll actually like the taste of it. The price of something rises simply because there is very little of it. It all comes down to economics: supply and demand.
REAL tea drinkers KNOW that the current tea fad is pretty redonkulous. Places like David’s Tea and The Urban Tea Merchant serve high priced teas…but really…it’s all about marketing and brand name. Their high prices guarantee that a tea fool and his money are soon parted. Real tea drinkers know exactly how much tea costs and where to get it. The bottom line is this: don’t waste your money going to expensive places unless your intention is just to simply keep up with the Joneses. I have no pretentions with respect to tea. I either like that shit or I don’t. Now granted, I do love the Chocolate Chili Chai at David’s…but I won’t waste my time or money by getting any other tea there.
I am ever so thankful to Mark and Deb, owners of the Granville Island Tea Shop. I have had some wonderful experiences there, met all sorts of interesting people, drank all kinds of teas, and met some of my closest friends there. Your shop is like a home away from home for me – and my happy place.
© Monthly Adventure, Patricia Taylor, March 2011