Life Beyond the Teabag

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Yes, some love affairs do last a lifetime. The way of tea is a romantic journey filled with great love affairs, betrayals and intrigue, or as Henry Fielding says in Love in Several Masques, “Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.”

More than just a beverage, tea offers us amazing love stories, spy adventures, artistic grandeur, folklore and enduring philosophies, as well as countless selections of flavors. Whether you call it tea, thé, chai, or cha, tea is so much more than just a drink. For many, its mystique is living art, steeped in ceremony and thoughtfulness reflecting the things and people we love, our concept of ourselves and what we have meant to this world. Tea satisfies not just our thirst but also our spirit, helping us feel a bit more civilized and sophisticated.

With the vast array of tea choices, how does one know good tea from mediocre, or even bad, tea? Although the study of tea might seem intimidating, learning tea basics is really quite simple, delightful and fun. There are only five steps – looking at the dry tea leaf, brewing the tea for the correct time and at the right temperature, examining the wet leaf, smelling the aroma of the infused tea, and finally, tasting the tea liquor. With a bit of practice, you will quickly acquire an aptitude for discerning good tea, increasing your enjoyment of your daily cup, whether it be green tea, herbals, oolongs from Taiwan, or fine quality black tea from China or India. And who knows, you might even find a tea you can love for a lifetime.

On Wednesday, February 17, Diane Eddy, Certified Tea Professional from our Chandler tea store, Global Tea Mart, will lead a tea tasting class in exploring the differences between delicious Chinese and full, rich Assam and Darjeeling Indian black teas. While you sniff, sip and slurp teas from these major tea regions, Diane will regale you with famous and infamous love stories inspired by tea and scandalous intrigues surrounding our favorite beverage — tea.

Tea should always be a pleasing experience. If you find a tea that makes you smile, then indeed, you have found love. The joy of a love affair with tea begins with knowledge and this tea-tasting class will give you a more nuanced understanding of tea, aiding in your search for teas with which you can fall in love.

Come join us in exploring the complex world of fine black tea. Whether you are a tea enthusiast or a tea novice, Diane invites you to join her February 17 tea tasting class at the Sun Lakes Country Club Navajo Room.

Class is from 10:00 a.m.-noon. The cost for the class is $5 and each student should bring a teacup and saucer. Reservations are necessary. Please call Diane at 480-266-5562 or send her an e-mail at [email protected] to reserve your place at the tea table.