Glass Infusion: A Key to Exploring Chinese Green Teas
Consumed by the millions of tons annually, green tea has reigned in China for several centuries. Infused and drunk by all, at any hour of the day or night, green tea remains the favourite everyday beverage of the Chinese population. While preparation with a teapot or the use of a Gaiwan might enable a more refined service, another method, adapted to the lifestyle of the population, has established itself progressively over the years by its simplicity and aesthetic appeal!
For each choice of tea it is enough to put a just a pinch of leaf in a glass or a tea bottle, then add the hot water. The leaves opening from the effect of the heat captivate the eye even before satisfying the taste buds and the thirst! This visual assessment of the quality of the leaves is of crucial importance in China, often more so than the taste aspect, and has resulted in a fashion of 'beautiful tea'
The liquor is then sipped from the the same glass and filtered using the lips. The trick is not to over infuse the tea but simply top up with a little more water, as and when required. Taste a quarter or a third of the glass, then top up again ... and so on, until the leaves are used, maybe add some fresh leaves to prolong the experience! This method, in addition to being visually interesting and easy to perform, can extract the richness of tea flavours, fully and progressively, in order to further our understanding without diminishing our appreciation.
This method works so well for the Chinese green teas but why not rediscover some of your other favourite teas this way be they white, semi oxidized or black!
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