Tuesday, December 11, 2007

On Brewing

One of the exciting things about tea as opposed to, say, wine, is that I get a say in how my tea tastes. The taste of tea depends on time, temperature, vessel, and water, to name a few. Whenever a cup is unpleasant, I assume that it is my fault and whenever a cup is amazing I spend subsequent brews attempting to reproduce those same conditions. I usually fail, of course. The temptation is to get scientific: thermometers, timers and the like can make things consistent. Unfortunately, they can also make things a bit sterile. It is wonderful to count to 30 and smell the pu-er steam rising to your nose. It is less pleasant to wash dishes until a timer goes off. I do employ some brewing aids, and I may even purchase some more. I am sympathetic to Marshal's warning though: brewing tea should be more relaxing than a chemistry experiment.

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