Sina Carrol (right) with Angela Justice at Celadon
Continuing from last week, Sina Carrol tells me more about what she loves so much about tea.
What is the tea you can't live without?
Presently: White Peony King, Luu Shan Clouds and Mist, Honey Dan Chong, and my secret stash of 30 Year Pu-erh, but if you must nail me down to only one...it's probably a Taiwanese oolong. Taiwanese oolongs tend to have more floral tones than Chinese mainland oolongs, which are more honey-like. The oolong I prefer is charcoal fire-roasted -- it's really not as smokey as you might imagine. This is a complex oolong that is slow-roasted over bamboo charcoal, which imparts a subtle sweet grassiness to the it and brings out the soft and velvety sugar tones. It is a sophisticated tea that has many layers, is easily palateable, and simple to enjoy. This is a great tea for a Yixing teapot. This particular teapot manages to lend back the flavor of the tea each time you brew it.
Also, I want to say a little more about why should people drink more tea: the reason I have found my passion with tea is that I see it, and the time that surrounds making and drinking, it as the gateway into the last respite of ritual, peace and civility. Tea is a chance for you to take charge of the first few minutes of your day and talk with the inside of yourself. To remember your body, to remind yourself of all your senses, to look down into your cup and focus, feel, be present in the moment. Remember that this ritual is available regardless of class or status, without high ceremony or circumstance -- it is an opportunity every day to remind ourselves who we are as individuals, as human beings.
With company, tea is a celebration. It is a means with which to include old friends, break the ice with new acquaintences, to talk with a lover, make dealings with business partners. It is an important part of creating the Atmosphere of your Life! At this point, I can't see myself not making time for tea in my day. Every time I make tea I offer it to the people around me. It has helped me make friends, keep my sanity, persevere, enjoy the good days and put up with the bad ones. You know you love what you're doing when you wish you could do it seven days a week -- if only my legs didn't ache from nine hours of standing, if only I didn't need to take a break to eat, if only I didn't need to sleep... I'd be making tea for you instead of writing this, wouldn't I? Would you like some tea?
Celadon Fine Teas
1111 Solano Avenue
Albany, CA 94706
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday & Sunday 11:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Friday & Saturday 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM