January is National Hot Tea Month and although, BUNN brewers are made for brewing coffee, we have many customers who place tea bags in the carafe or brew funnel to make tea. My Caf pod brewer features a Pulse button to extract more taste from tea pods and tea bags. Since it is National Tea Month we thought of no better way to pay homage to this beverage than to talk with our tea "expert". OK, well, she really isn't an expert, but around BUNN she is getting a reputation for knowing a lot about tea. (Watch out Dr. Brew, you may have some competition.) Read the fun post below on how our very own tea expert, Kris Houser, is celebrating National Hot Tea Month by playing with Matcha in the office.
Playing with Matcha at the Office
No, the headline is not a typo for "Playing with Matches at the Office." January is National Hot Tea month. Actually, I'm interested in celebrating this intriguing beverage every month. After taking the Specialty Tea Institute's Level 1 and 2 certification courses last year at World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, I'm now looking at tea with a laser focus. Working at BUNN, a lot of the time the conversation is centered on coffee. My co-workers now drop their heads and sigh every time I start to roll the tea flag up the pole and begin subtly waving as a reminder that specialty tea is as diverse and, arguably, nipping at the heels of coffee to become the hot beverage of choice in many markets. In fact, at the 2011 Tea Expo I learned that recent statistics show that, for the first time, the United States imported more tea than the UK and Germany.
This time last year, I would have been contemplating different varieties on my grocery store shelf to spotlight. This year, and thanks to my education through World Tea Expo and STI, I played with different preparation methods of Japanese Matcha. Said to be one of the healthiest of all teas, Matcha is the result of grinding the whole leaf into a nutrient-rich superfine powder. It is typically prepared in an elaborate ceremony by whisking the powder into 180 degree water. The premium Matcha is called "Ceremonial Grade".
Of course, my mini-lab gathered the attention of department colleagues who couldn't resist the vibrant green appearance (see photo to the left taken at my desk). Now I feel like the back-alley contact for many of my co-workers who hurry in while looking over their shoulder and say in a hushed tone, "Can you make me some more of that Green Chai?" Or, "Show me how the leaf unfurls again!" As you can see by the other photo of my cupping set, a China Green Tip unfurled magnificently.
I think it is ironic that our Dr. Brew sits at nearly the opposite corner of the building as my office. In some ways, it is like I'm starting my first chess move in the beginnings of a campaign to inch closer in sharing the lab and promoting how equally interesting specialty tea can be. Pawn to e4, Dr. Brew?