Today while I was working, an imposing man of about six foot three bombarded me with questions about our tea. He wanted to know about everything. Which tea was the healthiest, what jasmine tea was, what the difference between green and black tea was, what it was to have bubbles in your drink, and eventually he settled with a melon jasmine tea with bubbles. It was unusual and I could tell right away something wasn’t right; he had an unusual smirk on his face as if he knew something I didn’t. A few minutes later my boss walks up behind me and lets the man into the preparation area. It was Steve from Art of Tea. He was brought into Dallas to educate the Fat Straws employees on teas. You can imagine I felt like a genius…
Later that night we began our tea clinic. We started out with white teas, moved to green teas, to oolong teas, to black teas, to pu-erhs, to tisanes. We were inundated with information. About halfway through our lesson we came to the most interesting tea to me. It was the Pu-erh. The leaves are steamed quickly and then stored in caves where they ferment. Steve informed us that Pu-erh is similar to a fine wine and that it grows and changes as it ages.
And in a similar way it is a connoisseurs tea. It can be stored over fifty years old. I’m in love with it. It has an earthy taste that changes slightly with each brew. I’ve steeped the same leaves three times now and it is evolving every time. The first brew was my favorite, but it relaxed my body and managed to clear my mind every time; the perfect way to wind down a long day. Pu-erh is the perfect evening tea for me.
This post is written by Jake Windahl, an aspiring tea enthusiast and team member at Fat Straws in Dallas, Texas.