Springtime is tea time in china. The time most of the green tea is plucked and roasted for the coming year. This time is so popular for picking tea that the approximately 3 month period is broken down into four different “growing seasons.” Some of the best, top end teas are plucked right now, for only a short period of time before they are left alone to grow until next year.
It’s pretty well known around my school that I’m tea crazy. So during a recent short break I had several students come back with bags of tea for me. And not just any tea, but hand-picked and roasted green tea made by their mothers. So far I have only had one handmade tea (by my friends grandma) and honestly, I think it is one of the coolest gifts I could ever get.
So I was extremely excited when not one, but TWO students gave me some homemade tea. Both are green tea and both are special kinds of tea from their local area.
Now fresh homemade tea is a little different than the store bought stuff. This is made to be drunk, and drunk quickly. One friend told me that I should store the tea in the fridge to keep it from spoiling and try to drink it within a few weeks. Of course, just one of these bags is enough green tea for me for a year, but I’ll try to use as much as I can in the next few months (who want’s to come over for a tea party?)
You can tell this tea is fresh just by looking at it. No bitter, broken leaves in these bags. Just total fresh leaves.
As this tea is so fresh, it is totally strong. A bit too strong in fact. I like my green tea quite mild so I have to be careful not to put too many leaves in it. This is potent stuff and to me, can taste like a cupful of kelp if I’m not careful.
So what about the virgins I so salaciously added to the title? Well, these teas were picked by students parents, so obviously not virgins, but some tea, especially the higher end stuff, is actually still picked by virgins. And not just picked, but plucked by their teeth and placed in a basket nestled between their perfect c-cup breasts. (Don’t believe me? Check out this article. It made quite the stir last year.)
It sounds positively medieval and it is. It is the way the tea leaves were picked for the emperor in ancient times. Some emperors had virgins pick it with their mouths while other allowed them to snip the leaves with golden scissors and place them in golden baskets. (Woven out of the hair of unicorns?)
Well, whoever picks my tea, I’m quite happy to enjoy it. And if you get a chance to try some hand picked, fresh roasted tea I would suggest you try it too (even if it tastes a little like kelp.)