Life Beyond the Teabag – December 2014

Diane Eddy

Have you ever wondered about the differences between the tea rituals known as “high tea,” “low tea,” and the much beloved “afternoon tea”? How does the Chinese tea ceremony differ from the Japanese or Korean tea ceremony — and why? Did you know that those little dried leaves called tea have engendered legends and stories that captivate and appeal to both men and women? Behind those withered Camellia Sinensis leaves lies a world of romance, war, elaborate ceremony, poetry, religion, international trade, heart-stopping clipper ship races, smuggling, health benefits, entire civilizations, and the much-beloved afternoon tea.

The rituals of tea are a celebratory journey with friends, or as Okakura Kakuzo so eloquently states in The Book of Tea, “humanity has met in a teacup.” More than just an ancient beverage, tea enchants us with ritual and a sophisticated way to entertain family and friends. What better way to rejoice in the holidays than to correctly serve tea with lovingly prepared, delicious holiday fare? December is also the month in which we remember the Boston Tea Party and the little known tea history behind that historic event.

Pure tea’s popularity is enjoying a booming renaissance today. With better quality teas and a wider range of choices available, learning tea basics is really quite simple, delightful and fun. When you find a tea that makes you smile, then you have found the perfect gift for yourself. It’s the holidays — why not give yourself a lifetime present—the gift of learning about exceptional teas. Whether you are a tea enthusiast or a tea novice, come join your friends in exploring the complex world of fine tea and its intriguing story.

Once a month this winter in a series of tea tastings, Diane Eddy, Certified Tea Professional, will tantalize your nostrils and taste buds with a selection of exceptional loose-leaf teas, all the while regaling you with amusing tea stories and little known facts about the world’s favorite beverage.

Each month brings a different a two-hour journey on this exciting exploration of marvelous teas. Our December 16 class will find us exploring the exotically subtle Chinese tea ceremony and mouth-filling white and black teas from that country. We will also learn a few secrets about the Boston Tea Party.

The December 16 class is from 10:00 a.m.-noon in the Sun Lakes Country Club Navajo Room. The cost is $4 per class. Students need only bring a teacup and saucer along with a sense of adventure and good humor.

Class size is limited and reservations are necessary. Please call Diane at 480-266-5562 or send an e-mail to [email protected] for more information and reservations.