The Faerie Imp, to my mind, is one of the most cultured persons I know. She has more culture than me and unpasturized yoghurt. When she started taking tea lessons, I didn’t bat an eyelid because it’s just a natural progression for her.
But when she mentioned in passing that she’s organizing a pop-up shop serving and educating people about tea, it’s time to take serious notice.
I believe one of the earliest recorded cases of industrial espionage involved tea. It’s remarkable how from a single species of plant, we get a whole gamut of tastes where the diference is in the processing of the tea leaves and buds.
And now I see a slow but steady groundswell of tea appreciation that is probably a backlash of all those “artisanal” coffeeshops that are reminiscent of those Japanese Sampuru displays: beautiful but inedible. It’s incredible because 3 out of every 5 I visit, they screw up a simple Americano which is essentially an expresso with hot water added to it. But that’s OK because most people can’t tell the difference.
While it does not have the high-tech gadgetary pretentions of coffee, making tea is fairly simple, relying on temperature and steeping time as the main factors. In a pinch, making good tea just needs the ability to count “One potato, two potato, three potato, four…”
Twenty-five or so potatoes later, you get a beverage where wars were fought and empires were built and lost over.
With several thousand years of culture behind it, to say that tea is simply leaves in a cup of hot water is to say wine is merely fermented grape juice: it is simple-minded reductivism.
This is where Pekoe & Imp come in: two ladies who take their love and appreciation of tea and share it with everyone. The tasting sessions aren’t as stuffy as a formal wine tasting and they aren’t as prescriptive as a tea school. Pekoe & Imp keep it light and fairly New Age-y (read: Modern).
I particularly enjoy the sessions because I cannot think of a better way to spend a lazy Saturday morning sharing stories and experiences about tea while drinking tiny cups of exceptionally fine tea.
[…] there is. With a new wave of modern tea sharing sessions coming up, especially those run by Pekoe & Imp, gaining tea knowledge is getting easier and less fussy, and certainly none of that […]
Say we hipster lah! Hahahaha. We can count 25 potatoes. Heh.
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