Our NYC adventures continue! Grab a cuppa and join me as we talk about tea.
There’s nothing like a nice cup of tea in late afternoon, after the day’s work is done. And, as we’re discovering, our East Village neighborhood is loaded with places to drink all kinds of tea, from organic herbals to bubble tea to the real deal, as we found at Tea Drunk, a local establishment.
Tea Drunk offers genuine teas, hand harvested from China. The menu is extensive and not cheap — fine tea ranks right up there with fine wine. With all the options available, we opted to do a tasting.
We selected the fall teas, which included a yellow, white, and oolong. The menu admonishes: no herbal teas here. Personally, I love herbals and drink them all the time, but I was eager to sample the genuine teas.
We were each presented with three tiny cups. Our server poured boiling water into each of the teas; the first steep is discarded. We then sampled each of the teas. Periodically he would come around and do yet another steeping. With each one, the flavor of the tea awakened more and more.
To steep the tea, he poured water in, let it sit for just a moment, and then strained it into little pitchers. I was surprised to find the teas full of flavor, even with the “instant” steeping.
I asked what makes tea black, white, green, or yellow. He explained that the leaves are the same, but they are processed differently. Green tea is heated immediately upon harvest, making it the freshest of the teas. White tea is not heated at all, while the oolong is heated but undertakes several shakings to wake up its enzymes.
By the end of the leisurely tasting we were relaxed yet happily buzzed from the caffeine (not great for sleep, but oh, well) and learned more about real tea. No doubt I will return to sample one tea at a time, to get to know them better!
Nadine Galinsky Feldman is the author of The Foreign Language of Friends and the upcoming What She Knew, available March 2016. If you enjoy this blog, please consider purchasing a book or signing up for the newsletter to be kept informed of upcoming promotions and giveaways.