Fast food has gone the way of the twentieth century. In the 21st century, time is the true luxury and we’ve dedicated ourselves to all that is slow. Interest has surged in “tastings”, moving beyond being sensory assessments to become a cultural experience, better yet if guided by a professional sommelier, no longer just for wine. Ancient rituals like those around tea are back in style. The only thing that matters is attention to detail.
Tea is the oldest and most popular beverage in the world. Over its long history tea has been developed into many types with countless subgroups. All, though, are made from the leaves of the same plant, with the only difference being how they are harvested, stored and prepared. The rituals accompanying tea drinking are fascinating and every place has its own way of drinking it. In the sizzling hot North African desert, it’s fresh mint; it’s invigorating citrus in Russia; elegantly strong in England; and sweet and spicy in India. These days tea is adapting to new uses that stretch beyond the bounds of tradition. Its versatility lets it be used in cooking to enhance flavors, in ultra sophisticated alcoholic drinks and with meals, like wine, with pairings suggested by chefs and sommeliers.