In part one of this blog series, we discussed the longevity and timelessness of tea, as well as its increasing popularity in today’s culture. In part two, we examined the role that ancient trees play in the production of tea, and the relationship between those trees and the passage of time. Today, we end this blog series by exploring the artful way in which time affects the tea itself.
From the very beginning of the tea making process, time is of the essence. The tea maker must exercise patience, while at the same putting their whole heart in the production. This passion and meticulous care must be maintained throughout the whole process, or the final product will suffer as a result of it.
Once the leaves are picked and treated, methods of production vary. For Pu-erh tea, whether it’s fermented or unfermented, a crucial step in the process is storage. Proper storage of Pu-erh tea allows for time, the great artist, to get to work. While time is the enemy of many foods and beverages that eventually spoil, time only improves Pu-erh. It is made to bear the molding and carving of the river and time, and in fact becomes all the more mellow as a result of this quiet resting period. Out of this, a work of art is born.
The final chapter of the tea’s life cycle, of course, is when it is brewed and enjoyed.This is the final opportunity for time to shape and perfect our tea experience. Depending on different people’s tastes, tea can be brewed at many strengths. The way to determine the strength your tea is by letting time take its course, and mere seconds can make the difference between a perfectly brewed cup of tea and an inferior tea-drinking experience. Finally, never rush the elegant ceremony of brewing tea. Let time slow down all around you as you enjoy the tea, and hold on to that feeling; The kind of serenity brought on by tea is not easy to come by.
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