Right in the heart of San Francisco, I found a gem of a shop that carried precious tea from China and Taiwan. Unlike how we describe wine through different terms like being full-bodied, fruity, etc.; I still cannot put a finger on how to describe my green tea experiences in life. Let’s put aside all the different teas of the world for now and just focus on the humble teas from China and Taiwan. I could relate it to fine tobacco in that only connoisseurs who really take the time to go through the different kinds of leaves and how they are processed get to appreciate the beauty of it.
It’s not the same as getting a bag of widely distributed Earl Gray tea and knowing that every first steep or cup would taste the same, because the flavor is measured to taste the same. When you’re dealing with rolled tea leaves, sometimes the flavor comes gradually and only gets stronger after having a first rinse. Thus the phrase “good things come to those who wait,” applies well here.
Although it does take a little more effort and time to prepare Chinese tea leaves compared to easily dipping a tea bag into a hot cup of water, it only makes sense to enjoy the slower process of it. The art of slow living… as some may call it. If you fancy doing a tea tasting or want to get some good tea in SF, head on over to Lower Pacific Heights and visit Song Tea & Ceramics at 2120 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115.