The Story of Tea

workshop series

Sundays: March 24th, April 28th, & May 19th

11:30am – 1:00pm (PST)

In-Studio Only at Breathe Together Yoga

The drinking, preparation and growing of tea, the world’s most popular beverage, has been a cornerstone of intellectual and commercial societies for hundreds of years. Once a month throughout the first half of 2024 we will step into the epic story of tea, joining tea-sipping poets of the Tang dynasty, Japanese ritualists, drug peddlers, emperors and revolutionaries in appreciating the power of this simple drink. In our first month we will sample a variety of green teas and focus on the early history of tea in China and Japan. In the months that follow we will showcase, black, oolong, and specialty teas while exploring different eras of global tea culture. Join us one Sunday per month for a rollicking ride through the history and enjoyment of leaves and water, one of life’s simple pleasures.

March 24 Session: Oolong Tea – Subtle Tea

Oolong tea spans the realm between black and green teas. The many types of oolong are created by making careful changes to the oxidation process, adding a range of subtlety and nuance beyond what is available from the simple dried leaf. As the benefits of tea drinking have caught the eye of the scientific world, some oolong teas, such as the GABA oolong, are now processed with health specifically in mind. Iron goddess, a famous oolong tea that is often presented as a gift, is actually named after a male Buddhist deity from India that eventually became a widespread symbol of feminine compassion and motherly protection. Other oolongs, such as those from Wuyi mountain, are known for their specific region. There are simply too many oolong varieties for us to sample, but on Mar 24 we will do what we can.

April 28 Session: Yin/Yang Tea – Puerh & White

White tea is made from the youngest leaves of the tea plant, while pu-erh tea is generally fermented for years or even decades. The silver soft leaves of white tea produce a bright sweet drink with an abundance of health promoting polyphenols. Pu-erh tea, named after a town in southern China, is generally thought to have digestive benefits, which is why it is sometimes combined with orange peel, a digestive even in European traditions. This month we will sample several varieties of each – it’s up to you to determine a favorite. Regardless of whether that is the fresh liquor of white tea or the dark aged depths of pu-erh tea, you will not forget these drinks.

May 19 Session: Herbal Tea – Enjoyable Medicine

A basic range of herbal teas can be a mainstay in any kitchen. While tea by itself is both energizing and soothing; add some tasty medicinal herbs and you can change your physiology and your mood in almost any direction. In order to cool themselves in a hot climate, The classic Indian chai includes ginger and other warming spices. Morrocons added mint to their tea, while in Thailand they mixed tea with lemongrass for the same reason. We will also learn about several non-caffeinated teas. Come sample these teas and more for this last class of The Story of Tea series.