blog from the ceo & superbarista of phoenix coffee, home of the best baristas in cleveland, ohio

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

From Earl Grey Green to Sweet Ginger Peach

We started with the Earl Grey Green. I steeped it for two minutes, according to Steve's timer. When I removed the bag, drippy and full of bright sodden green leaves, aromatic in their wetness, I poured the tea into sampling cups. And Mary sipped. Steve sipped. I sipped. We remarked at its lightness, its fragrance, and enjoyed. The table was round, the conversation was light, respectful. Round tables are good for meetings, softer than square. I explained to Mary that we flavor the teas ourselves now, using and Oil of Bergamot that we chose from several others, for its fragrance, flavor and also power of endurance. The Oil that we use is the real stuff. Its fragrance endures. Oil of Bergamot is made from an Italian citrus fruit in case you didn't know. The Earl Grey Green is made from Japanese Sencha. Sencha has to be removed from the hot water after two minutes or it puckers your mouth. It lent a grassy, subtle flavor to the unmistakable Earl Grey flavor.

Then we moved on to the Sweet Ginger Peach. That steeped for longer than the Earl Grey Green, since it's a black tea. The liquer was light and somewhat fragrant. I dripped on the table as I poured from the steeping cup into the sample cups. But spills and drips are part of coffee and tea tasting. That's how the coffee and tea spirits get their libation.

The other teas we had brought, White Coconut Breeze, Irish Breakfast, Peach White, Ruthie's Herbal, were spread on the table. The aromas were astonishingly refreshing, the lemongrass from the Ruthie's, the Coconut, the Peach, and the soft round black tea aroma. AAAH!!!

Tea. The spirit of tea is a benevolent thing to taste on Tuesday afternoon at a round table.


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