Mighty Leaf News
Like wine or chocolate tasting, tea tasting provides an opportunity to engage with the senses. Discovering your favorite tea is a personal journey that will constantly surprise, as you encounter endless complexities of flavor, aroma and color. The more tea you taste, the more you will learn to appreciate the nuances between tea varieties and tea types. And to get started, all you need are tea leaves and water.
Fourteen years ago founders Gary Shinner and Jill Portman started a teahouse in the posh San Francisco area of Pacific Heights and named it "Tea and Company." This name conjures up one of the best elements of the tea experience. Tea is synonymous in many cultures around the world with hospitality. If you are a guest at someone's home, inevitably out come the teacups and teapot.
Green tea, which has been consumed for more than 4,000 years, has been the focus of many health claims. The earliest recorded book extolling the virtues of green tea is the Kissa Yojoki (Book of Tea), which was published in 1191 by a Zen priest, Eisai. The first sentence of the book goes like this: "Tea is the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one's life more full and complete."
Steeping loose leaf tea in water has not always been the dominant method of tea preparation. Prior to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in ancient China, the tea brick, compressed tea made of ground or whole tea leaves pressed into a block form using a mold, was one of the most popular forms of tea produced and consumed. People also commonly used tea bricks as currency. Today, the legacy of tea bricks lives on - you can find a variety of compressed black teas, green teas, pu-erh teas and more.
I've been a bartender and mixologist in San Francisco for 8 years and am involved in running the San Francisco School of Bartending. In my upcoming posts, we're going to learn about how to make cocktails incorporating tea. This post includes a recipe for a Tea Rum Cocktail. But, first let's start by finding out more about how the combination of tea and rum came together to play a role in inciting the American Revolution.
We often hear from customers who are first time tea drinkers that they are intimidated by the thought of preparing loose tea. Making loose tea does not have to be challenging or time consuming. With a wide variety of tea accessories now available you can enjoy loose tea whenever, whether a full pot or single-serving with minimal preparation and effort.
It's that time of year where Uncle Sam is patiently waiting for the tax forms to roll in. I just mailed mine in last week, and am kind of late on the ball. Let's hope where you sit, tax season is now a thing of the past. I have been contemplating the economic climate of the moment, of the last few months and know it's been challenging for some of the people in my life. As tax season sweeps to a close, I want to propose this is a good time to detax with some detox.
Since graduating from the Institute of Hotel Management, Culinary Arts & Applied Nutrition in Mumbai, India 27 years ago, I have nourished my life-long passion for food by serving as a culinary educator. I am currently a Chef Instructor of Principles of Contemporary Cuisine at California Culinary Academy in San Francisco where I have been a member of the faculty since 2005. While teaching hundreds of students how to develop healthy, delicious foods over the years, I have inevitably imparted upon them the tremendous cultural and culinary values of tea, which I hold so dear.
The history of tea reads like a good novel with its share of mythical origins and ancient rituals, tea spies and smuggling, royalty and revolution. Throughout this provocative history, a freshly brewed pot filled with whole tea leaves has always been revered as the richest in character and served as a means for people to connect with themselves and others. Tea connects people, plain and simple. With this blog we too hope to connect with you, one cup at a time.
The genesis of Mighty Leaf Tea came in 1996 as a result of a shared passion and dream envisioned by husband-and-wife team Gary Shinner and Jill Portman when they founded their teahouse, Tea and Company on Fillmore St. in San Francisco. From Tea and Company, Mighty Leaf Tea was born for the sole purpose of infusing life into an ancient indulgence by creating tea products that reached new heights of quality and innovation.