Tasting Tea with Nerds

Written by Arielle F.
A few months ago, I joined a meetup group for nerds in Houston on a quest to meet some nerds and make new friends. At the group’s first ever meetup, it became clear that many of us were into tea, so I was thrilled to find out the group’s third meetup was a tea tasting at Path of Tea.

Path of Tea is an organic tea shop nestled in the Upper Kirby area of Houston, the only completely organic tea shop in Houston. As I have never seen another organic tea shop in Houston other than this one, I suppose I’ll have to believe it, though I do hope more tea shops follow this trend. As much tea as I drink, it’s nice to know IMG_5957.jpgmy leaves aren’t infused with pesticides.

Heading to this meetup, I didn’t know what to expect. I know what tea tastes like. At this point, I’m no longer a level one newbie. I’ve gained enough experience to level up to amateur tea drinker at the least. I do have a silver level two Explorer badge on Adagio. That means I have purchased more than enough tea from them for the time being and my husband, Brandon, wants to put a ban on my account. To be shown the different types of teas by someone whose whole livelihood is based on tea, well that’s something else. We weren’t just given a cup of tea and told, “Okay, here’s a green tea. Yummy, yes?” We were given each type of tea and given an explanation, not just about the tea and how it’s made, but about what the tea does for you, health-wise (tea gives enough health benefits that I’ll have to discuss that in a few posts later on), and the proper way to brew it. Going in, I already knew things about different water temperatures. I IMG_5969.jpgknew that you had to brew white tea at a lower temperature than green tea and green at a lower temperature than black, but this tea tasting gave me something entirely different to think about: the type of water I use.

One of the main things I’ve heard about brewing tea is to use a good quality water. In an effort to brew more tea at work, which would allow me to re-steep leaves throughout the day, I bought a small teapot and a refillable glass water jug filled with reverse osmosis water from my local Whole Foods. I figured I might as well use nice, clean, filtered water. The teapot and glass jug work great. The water, however, hasn’t been very satisfying when it comes to the taste of my tea. It may be due to my own personal tastes, but I don’t like it. It gave the tea a terrible flavor. You know when you leave Continue reading