A good friend of mine is right now in Nuwara Eliya, a tea growing region of Sri Lanka (commonly referred to as Ceylon in the tea world). He just completed agreements with a number of tea gardens and we are going to partner to bring back sickeningly awesome quality tea from Nuwara Eliya, and uber flavourful fair trade and organic Uva (another tea growing region in Sri Lanka) teas.
My friend’ss father is native to Sri Lanka and the two of them have been visiting family. They brought two empty suitcases and will be bringing back the tea on their return to Victoria.
Samples have been sent. I am anxiously awaiting full leaf Nuwara Eliya, silver needles from Adam’s Peak, and a very small, small amount of golden needles for Miyu and I to assess. Some magic is in the works right now, I can feel it.
Miyu and my move to include a limited offering loose tea line in our offerings was a very exciting and remains a very rewarding twist to our maccha company. Brenden Waye (the “tea guy” of www.theteaguy.com ) once aptly stated that what we have is a maccha bar with loose teas also available. However, if we are going to offer loose teas, I still want them to be to the same psychotically unattainable standards we pride ourselves on. lol.
DHL should be by any minute with a very exciting present…
I was at Buon Amici’s today, dropping off some beautiful Dragonfly grade maccha, and Casey (a passionate barrista at the shop) made me a traditional cap. He made it single shot and I have to tell you, my palette is liking mild flavours.
When we first started JagaSilk, I remeber in a fit of tea snobbery, that I felt green tea and milk would never happen on good terms. However, when I got to thinking about it, maccha is used in ice cream, milk chocolate, etc. There was a culinary flavour pairing happening.
So 5 years ago we made the decision to go ahead with the maccha latte, using super quality ingredients. When you steam the milk just perfectly, pour a rosetta into pure, fresh, unadulterated maccha, the results are fantastic.
The dialogue with Casey at Buono’s about mild flavours and the traditional cap (5.5oz total drink size) had me immediately make a 1/2 tsp maccha cap in a traditional tulip ceramic cup. Arguably close to the same ratios as a full tsp 12 oz latte, something about the size made the drink so much more memorable. The mildness allowed the palette to really experience the flavour pairing.
It also came to mind that everything we do at the Teabar, insofar as lattes are concerned, is in a 6 oz peice of pottery. I no longer look down on a 1 shot (1/2 tsp) small drink. I actually love it.
The tea sieve has taken me down the path of trying to understand what is involved in devloping the maccha flavour consistently.
Borrowing from our friends in the specialty coffee industry, we experimented with what it might mean to time the whisking. We found that if we can get a semi-consistent whisking speed, then watching the clock when you begin, and ending between 13-17 seconds allows for optimum flavour release.
We were able to have multiple baristas confirm this feat, and we finally figured out another reason why “training maccha” tastes so tannic.
So there it is: Next time you whisk, try timing your whisking speed so that it is within this window of 13-17 seconds, even if it is just glancing at a clock that counts the seconds.