Brew awakening

Brew Awakening

Brew awakening…

Not too long ago, I drove down Fairview Street here in Boise, Idaho and noticed a coffee shop called Brew Awakening. What a great name for a coffee shop!  Recently, I found this space empty.  I am sorry to see someone’s dream not being realized.   Even if you have the benefit of high traffic street, cars don’t always stop.  Fast morning commuters won’t notice you if moving traffic is over 35mph.  Perhaps the owner found a better location. 

Here I am trying to offer you some simple guidelines on a perfect brew cup of tea.  The way to a perfect cup of tea can be as deep as the history of tea.  The whole process of brewing tea reminds us to be mindful of what we are doing.  It keeps us being in the present moment and pay attention to the detail of the three elements: the temperature, brewing time and serving traditions.  The steps are just as important as the drink itself.  The Japanese has gone as far as to creating a tea ceremony where every move has an intention.  Like mediation, the process slows down the mind and allows wisdoms to come through.

With Chinese tradition, the Kung Fu tea encompasses the reflective spirit, the etiquette, and the skills of making and pouring the tea. Drinking Kung Fu tea is not to crush thirst, but to experience the tea through the fragrance and the taste.  A special miniature clay tea pot is used.  This clay absorbs the fragrance of the tea.  Over time, one can smell the tea without having to brew the tea in the tea pot.

In modern days, the general guidelines are 2 to 5 minutes for steeping black tea.  Oolong tea takes longer, about 5-8 minutes. The recommended water temperature is 180-190 temperature. Green tea takes about 2-4 minutes at 160 to 170 degree water.  White tea steeps for 4-6 minutes at 180 degree temperature.  Second infusion will take twice as long for the flavor to infuse.  Steep time for Rooibos and other herbal tea varies, but most of them needs to steep 5 minutes or more.  Adjust these steps to your personal taste. 

Whatever method or tools you use, be with the process and enjoy the experience.  Make it your time to have a brew awakening.

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