Over the Teacups

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Puer Tea – Tea Class

Posted on | January 24, 2014 | Comments

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Tea Class – Puer Tea

In San Francisco, Phil Parda is teaching the Specialty Tea Institute’s Level III, Pu-erh Tea class.  The class is precise, hands-on, and includes pu-erh tea tastings. Phil knows his tea stuff. The first time that I heard him speak about pu-erh was at the STI tea symposium in Seattle about ten years ago.

Classes with the Specialty Tea Institute, STI, are progressive with Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Electives. Registration and membership information can be found at TEA USA.

 Puer Tea, Ancient Caravans and Urban Chic

Pu-erh Tea Class San Francisco 2014

Puer Tea
Ancient Caravans and Urban Chic

Pu-erh? Pu-erh cha? By any spelling, its origins and processing are fascinating.  Thanks to a recommendation by Tony Gebely, I bought the new book, Puer Tea, Ancient Caravans and Urban Chic, by Jinghong Zhang. It’s a worthy addition to any tea library.

Published by the University of Washington Press in 2014, it contains excellent information about Puer Tea. How I judge a good book’s retention value: author credentials, content, references or bibliography. Puer Tea is excellent in every way.

Puer Tea – “This is an engrossing study of the Puer tea industry and the many cultural spheres that surround it.  It will be of keen interest to the Western tea trade as well as historians, connoisseurs, and enthusiasts.  Tea publications rarely, if ever, discuss the complex relationships that quite literally bring tea to the table.  Never has the anatomy of tea been dissected in such a wide ranging, thorough, and engaging way.” Steven D. Owyoung, co-translator of Korean Tea Classics. 

Pu-erh Tea Class

I skipped to Chapter 7, “Tea Tasting and Counter-Tea Tasting” to see what she had to say about tea tasting comparisons and methods. At a pu-erh tea tasting event where more than 50 people were attending, six kinds of Pu-erh tea, aged from six to nineteen years, were served.  Three were aged raw and three were artificially fermented.

The tea class and tea tastings at the STI class are similar but one-on-one due to a smaller class size. There is more trainer/student interaction.

Thanks, Tony!



About the Author

Jennifer Petersen is a tea enthusiast, Certified Tea Professional, teaches various aspects about tea as a business, and a marketing consultant to the beverage industry. Always fascinated by other people who love tea, she is a life-long student and admirer of those who choose tea as a lifestyle.