In March I promised to write a little more about tea here and I was thinking of the cold-brewed tea I make year-round – too delicious to have only in the summertime.
This is one way, using loose green tea.
To make 1 liter (1 quart), measure one heaping tablespoon of tea leaves and place inside an empty teabag or tea ball, then cover with filtered water. Shake/stir. To maximize the taste, let sit at room temperature for 30-40 min but not longer, otherwise the tea’s bitterness will come out.
Above I used a Chinese “silver tip” tea but I’ve also used others, including this “bilochun”.
Then, overnight in the fridge and, voilà! Fresh, grassy and not a hint of bitterness.
Lovely with yoghurt (plain Greek blended with wild blueberries, a little bit of honey, ground flax seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds), a banana and, naturally, mint. Santé!
For a great example of oral story-telling, check out Radio Deluxe’s broadcast of John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey’s concert at the Valley Performing Arts Center on the campus of Cal State Northridge in Los Angeles, recorded live April 9th, 2016. Download Show. After the first two songs, John tells the story of how he came to record Midnight McCartney.
I’d previously heard him tell the same story on the Radio Deluxe program taped at John and Jessica’s home in New York, but this live version is even more hilarious. John lays it on thick and hits all the right notes.
A shout out to Jazz FM 91 in Toronto for airing this program every Sunday morning at 9 am.
Here is a slightly edited excerpt from Journey in Search of Korea’s Beauty, by BAE Yong Joon, containing an uplifting view on drinking tea. I have rendered the last sentence as a poem, although it appears as prose in the book:
The Venerable Choui, the Korean “sage of tea,” wrote in Ode to the Tea of the East that drinking tea alone was godly, as it was in the realm of the divine and the profound. Two people drinking tea was victorious, as it was refined and tranquil. Three or four people were “pursuing,” as it was in the realm of mirth and enjoyment. Five or six people were “wide,” and more than that were “giving,” as it signified the sharing of food.
I prefer to drink tea with at least one other person, a like-minded companion if possible. When I do drink alone, I do not go to great effort but if I have at least one person with me, I am motivated to put more care into conveying the flavor and aroma of the tea. I think that:
One person drinking tea can achieve meditation;
Two people, communication;
Three, shared sympathy;
And four, harmony.
— BAE Yong Joon
More on tea, this time from me, in the months to come.
I have to get it done.
Someone’s waiting for it.
I always do it.
Nobody else can do it.
Nobody else will do it.
It’s my job.
I’m good at it,
Heck, I’m brilliant at it.
But it’s teachable, OK?
It keeps piling on.
The more I do the more they want.
Just when I think it’s finished, there’s more.
I want to do lots of things.
Must squeeze those in:
Gotta be there for the boys.
Must do it well.
Must get their thanks.
What if I didn’t do it?
What if I didn’t do the laundry this weekend?
What if I let everyone fend for themselves?
No schlepping baskets down the stairs,
No shifting loads: washer to dryer,
Dryer to basket.
Actually it’s the other way around:
Gotta have method.
No folding in front of the TV,
Using my time well.
So what if we have dirty laundry?
Maybe I could do my own
But then they’d be small loads.
Waste of water.
But wouldn’t it be nice just one weekend without laundry?
Time to write,
Take it slow.
Watch life unfold.
Let the world flow by.
Now wouldn’t that be nice?
Handkerchief in the breeze
The station left behind
Lines of clothes in the sun
Backs of houses say goodbye
Water towers name the towns
Wild flowers everywhere
Clouds above, tracks below
Wind and dust and letting go
Rows of corn in a field
Herds of cows on a hill,
An owl perched up a tree
A deer still in the shade
Stream rushing under bridge
Children racing for a bus
Wheels chugging over steel
Down my face run the tears