Life beyond the teabag

Diane Eddy

Whether you call it tea, bohea, thé or cha, tea is so much more than just a drink. For many countries it is a national obsession. Its mystique is living art, steeped in ceremony and thoughtfulness reflecting the accoutrements and people we love, and 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. Exquisite oolong teas are an excellent example of tea that elevates our concept of self.

A cup of fine oolong tea puts one in mind of a summer garden, highlighted with the aroma of peaches, lilacs and gardenias. Lovely to look at, finished oolong teas come in myriad forms, colors and flavors. In their astonishing variety, oolong teas, sometimes called Wulong or Blue Teas, are the most interesting in their complexity. Exceptional oolong teas from China and Taiwan are the most complicated teas to manufacture, being hand-crafted and refined to a greater degree than any other type of tea. Ranging from small compressed balls to long, slightly twisted leaves or loosely folded open leaves, oolong teas require several infusions for the leaves to unfurl and produce the appealing and sophisticated taste for which they are known.

From the light golden color and highly fragrant citrus and floral taste of Oriental Beauty to the stone-fruit taste of the darkest Formosa oolong, these teas came into being within the last 300 to 400 years. First produced to please the Chinese emperors, oolong teas are indeed magical and exquisite, gaining in intricacy and flavor with each successive infusion. Each oolong tea takes just minutes to steep, yet creates lifetime memories. Whether you are a tea enthusiast or a tea novice, you will be awed at how oolong teas transform a beverage from the mundane to an almost spiritual refreshment.

In our continuing study of fine tea, oolongs hold a dear and special place in our hearts. We will explore and discover these complex and intriguing teas in our Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Tea Tasting Class. Come join us in learning about the stories behind the mythical Ti Kwan Yin, the Iron Goddess of Mercy, the Big Red Robe and other oolong teas.

Whether you are a tea enthusiast or a tea novice Diane Eddy, Certified Tea Professional from our tea store Global Tea Mart, invites you to join us on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, for this fun and intriguing oolong tea tasting class. Class is held in the Sun Lakes Country Club Navajo Room from 10:00 a.m. to noon. The cost for the class is $5.00, and each student should bring a teacup and saucer.

Class size is limited, and reservations are necessary. Please call Diane at 480-219-6211 or send an email to [email protected] for more information and reservations.