October 08, 2010

Tea tasting

Yesterday night, Val and I attended a tea tasting class at Chez Pauline. I’m a tea lover, so when I found out that this tea house occasionally offered these classes, I immediately entered their waiting list. I’m interested in learning about all kinds of delightful concoctions and would like to look into wine tasting a little more, but I hate the snobbery around it.  I took a brief bartending course while in college and attended an introductory seminar on wine tasting, that was when I realized that I definitely did not belong in there (mind you: I never feel I belong anywhere anyways). So who knows? Maybe tea tasting is a good hobby for me to take up! =)

I won’t bore you with information you’re probably not interested in, so I’ll just explain the pictures.

When the class started we were introduced to the different kinds of tea: (from left to right) black tea, oolong (a.k.a. blue tea), pu-erh, green tea and white tea; they’re ordered from the least healthy to the healthiest. All the varieties are made from the same species of plant, that’s the Camellia Sinensis.

The teachers showed us different graphs, maps and pictures and also talked about myths and the history of tea.

These are pictures of some of the varieties we tasted.
They all look the same, you can only see the teapots and the treats they came with.

I totally forgot to take pictures of the teapots without their lid, but here's one I took last month when I went there to try white tea. I love this system.

After the class we got goody bags =p.

The blond girl is Pauline, the owner of the tea house.
She had the cutest French accent.
At the back, you can see the cans with all the different kinds of tea leaves you can buy.

They also sell sweet treats and crockery.

Before we left, we played a little.
Val is a talented fortune teller.
See? I'm not that short! Haha.

Interesting facts:

* You should never use boiling water. Turn the furnace off right before it starts boiling. And for white tea, the ideal temperature is 75 degrees Celsius (167 degrees Fahrenheit).

* Steep time is usually 2-3 minutes, except for white tea, which takes 7 minutes.

* Red tea (Pu-erh) is a good diuretic and suitable for diets to lose weight. You should not drink more than two cups a day, though, since it has high levels of caffeine; that’s why is it’s the ideal kind to drink in the morning.

* White tea is the healthiest (and most expensive) kind since it has antioxidants. And what is an antioxidant? It’s a molecule which has the power of eliminating free radicals, also molecules. Free radicals are generated by our own body and by smoking, pollution, radiation; they damage our cells and excessive amount of these can result in diseases such as cancer.

* If you have a favorite kind of tea, do not drink it non-stop. Switch it with other varieties every now and then, because your palate will get used to it and eventually, you will not find it as good as it used to be.


Alice said...

Oh wow! What a great tea house. I'm a tea-lover too!:) xx, Alice from bells and whistles

Ashley said...

growing up there was only one tea, sweet tea. Basically just sugar water. This is why I am not a big tea fan. I'm completely ignorant to all things tea related.

Chrissy said...

I love tea as well! Especially green & white tea! Did you get my email!? Excited!!

Audrey (hkittygirl) said...

That looks like so much fun! ^-^

Rose said...

ooo how interesting. I love the 'idea' of drinking tea, but unfortunately im more of a coffee drinker and only really like the herbal teas like peppermint.
Looks like you had a fun time anyway, the teapots look cute too :)


nophin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sweet T. said...

Like Ashley, I grew up with one kind of tea - sweet tea. It wasn't until I moved away from home that I tried any other kind. My first job away was in a massage parlour and the therapists began making me different kinds on our breaks. At first it was totally bizarre to me, but I eventually grew to love them all!

gleenn said...

Sounds very interesting. I received a tea in a jar imported from China and I have not yet tired it. :)

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Rachele said...

Interesting tea facts! I always use boiling water and it destroys the tea bag sometimes.

Naka said...

nice advice ^^ and the tea tasting class looks like fun ^^

babalisme said...

I never knew there even such thing as tea tasting! Sounds like fun, and I hate alcohol so must be better than wine tasting.

daisymay aka Chantele said...

Tea tasting!! Thats awesome! It looks like lots of fun!

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danniekate said...

i LOVED this post! being british, tea is around a lot, but i never have more than 2 cups of breakfast tea a day on principle. i love peppermint tea, mm :)

Oh, My Darling said...

A tea tasting class?! Seriously awesome.