The romance of tea is unmistakable. Whether it is a special Valentine’s Day teatime with your loved one or just a special tea moment all to yourself. Or maybe a special tea (some vendors offer flavored teas as “romance tea”). But also, the romance of tea is its appeal, the way it draws in your attention and captures your imagination. This has been true for thousands of years. You might think of it as a “love affair with the leaf.”
Part of romance is pace, that is, slowing down and feeling unrushed. So, naturally, when you enjoy a tea that is best enjoyed gongfu style, you will slow and feel unhurried and therefore get more deeply involved in the steeping process.
Another part of romance is the visual. Some think of soft lights, flowers, lace, and frills. But where tea is involved it can often mean steeping in a glass gaiwan, teapot, steeping mug, etc., so that you can fully enjoy the view of tea leaves expanding and opening as the water tugs at them.
|250cc Double-Walled Glass Pitcher (Cha Hai) gives visual appeal|
The other senses come into play, too, with the aroma of the tea leaves before, during, and after steeping being companion to the flavor and aroma of the liquid that changes with each new infusion of those leaves.
Beyond that is the mystery of trying a new tea — like meeting a new love and learning each others essence, the nature of the flame within the soul. Or retrying an old favorite — like meeting a former lover after a decade’s absence. You reminisce on the past and all that transpired between you back then and catch up on everything that has happened during the years since then.
Some teas to stir the heart and delight the senses to inspire in you that awareness of the romance of tea:
- Keemun Hao-Ya B black tea — Rarely available outside China due to its outstanding, beautiful, and wine-like quality; second only to Hao Ya A in Keemun grading. Fine buds with a prominent amount of golden tips. The bouquet is said to be like an orchid or even bread hot from the oven. The flavor is mellow, sweet, and suitable for people who seldom drink black tea as well as for the love of your life.
- 2011 Spring Imperial Yunnan Fengqing Golden Buds Black Tea — A Gongfu black tea that requires a lot of work/tea making process to create. It’s from the traditional black tea making area of Fengqing, which has over 150 years experience making black tea. High freshness and sweetness with little or no astringency at all and no need to add sugar or honey. Besides your love will be sweet enough.
- Premium Anxi Old Tie Guan Yin – 10 years old — Famous for its old flavor and thick taste that warms stomachs and refreshes you in the early morning. This tea is about 10 years old so its liquid is very soft, mellow, very thick, sweet, and with no bitterness at all. Thanks to its growing region, this tea’s highlight is its ripe fruit taste and flavor (personally I think it has a flavor or ripe plums). Perfect to convey the fruity sweetness of your sentiments to that special someone!
- 2009 Wuyi Shui Xian Rock Tea-Zheng Yan — Shui Xian (narcissus) is famous for its mellowness and light narcissus floral aroma. For Zheng Yan Shui Xian, its mellowness and thickness is very strong; the rock (cliff soil) taste is heavy and thick and very pleasant. This tea has a very strong and sweet aftertaste and deep throat feeling. You will find this tea soup extremely soft.
- 2007 Xi-Zhi Hao “Huang Shan Lin” Wild Arbor Pu-erh — Made by Mr. Chen (a Taiwanese man with a passion for Pu-erh), this is a single-estate stone-pressed cake. It is composed of wild arbor material taken from Meng Hai Da Huang Ya in the south part of Menghai County. The name “Huang Shan Lin” means Desolate Forest. The raw material for these cakes comes from just this small area. The packaging design is by Mr. Chen himself. A little pricier, but less than a diamond and yet as conveying of your love.
Take your pick and have a great romantic teatime!