Thursday, December 6, 2012

HAND-ling tea

With a recent batch of spring tea that went bad as a result of poor storage conditions, I decided to give things a 2nd and probably a 3rd try depending on what professional advice I can get.

This is a batch of light roast and oxidised Dong Ding Oolong tea that I very much enjoyed until the brew only yielded a rather watery infusion with very little flavour left. I blame this on the rather cold and dry air that tends to build up in one corner of the room and the experience left me slightly heart broken. One of the techniques I tried out which showed some positive consequences involved holding the spoilt tea in my palm for a few seconds longer than normally before dropping the leaves into the preheated teapot.

From the outset, I normally prepare my tea with bare hands, i.e. without the use of a spatula unless the teas in question involve rather fine needle-like Japanese green teas that tend to stick messily on contact with your hands.

Our hands are like fine tools that should be put into good use during tea preparation. Their warmth prepares the tea leaves for their transition from the bag/ jar into the preheated teapot.  At least, this is the idea in theory and it wasn't until I came across this batch of tea leaves that I to began appreciate more deeply the practice of handling tea leaves with our clean, unscented hands. To a noticeable degree, I was able to restore some of its umami qualities and sugary sweetness that were there once before. Still, I am looking forward to further improvements and welcome any suggestions.


  1. Hello Miss Tea Delight,

    I've decided to feature this post as part of my weekly link-up. Just so you know :)
    You can find the post here:

    All the best!

    1. Thanks for the mention. With handling tea, I do not recommend heavily scented soaps that interfere with natural tea scents ;)

  2. Fascinating! Someone told me not to touch the tea leaves because the oils we secrete from our skin would block the flavour of the tea but I like the idea of being affectionate with leaves :)

  3. It's always good to experiment yourself and then confirm what works best :)