In Pursuit of (Green) Tea
In the more recent past, I have been putting my efforts into a unique, upcoming solo project that involves food, of course, and a green tea program. After doing a ton of my own research about green tea, I came across this incredible company called In Pursuit of Tea. It is a 17 year old tea company that works mainly with wholesale, and sources its tea directly from traditional production regions throughout Asia, such as Japan and India. The company devotes a lot of its time to the farms from which they get the tea, and the tea they sell is hand picked and hand processed, as all tea was traditionally until quite recently. Since beginning to work with this company, I have learned more about tea than I’ve ever known before.
I went into In Pursuit of Tea with a specific goal — I wanted only green teas for my program. One of my main specialties is Japanese food, after all, and green tea is the principal type of tea served in Japan. I got to sample a wide range of green teas with bright, almost grassy, flavors and learned about the production and history of green tea along the way.
For example, did you know that green tea began to be produced in Japan around 800 AD? Apparently, it was brought to the region by Chinese Buddhist monks in powdered form. It was then cultivated by Japan to become the leafy tea we know today. Also, get this, green tea comes from the plant Camellia Sinensis, which is also the plant from which all other leafy teas originate. They’re all from the same place! It’s the way the teas are cultivated that makes them different from one another.
It was difficult to decide which teas exactly to use for my new program, but the great people at In Pursuit of Tea gave me direction. Together, we came up with the following five teas to be a part of my green tea program.
Sencha — This green tea has a light and grassy flavor, that is also somewhat sweet.
Hojicha — This is a widely popular tea in Japan. It is nutty in flavor and has less caffeine, as it is made by roasting bancha leaves and twigs.
Matcha — Most people will recognize the name of this powdered form of green tea. This is the type of tea that the monks used to stay alert during meditation for decades, and it is featured in the classic Japanese Tea Ceremony.
Greenish Oolong — Oolong tea lies in the ether between green and black tea. While green tea is unoxidized and black tea is fully oxidized, oolong tea is anywhere in the middle. Because of this, its flavor profile is quite unique. Oolong is usually floral, sweet, and fragrant.
Lemon Ginger Herbal Blend — I learned at In Pursuit of Tea that herbal blends such as this one should not be referred to as ‘tea,’ because no part of it comes from a Camellia Sinensis. Instead, this particular blend is made from lemongrass, dried ginger, and linden flower. It is naturally decaffeinated for those who would prefer a hot beverage without caffeine.
It has been such a pleasure working with In Pursuit of Tea, and I am excited to continue our relationship with my green tea program in my upcoming solo project!