Playing with Matcha at the Office

Jan 27, 2012|

Kris Houser is Director of Marketing Communications for BUNN. She is Level 1 and 2 certified through the Specialty Tea Institute and feels fortunate that she is able to spend time at the office each day embracing and building an appreciation for beverage culture.

No, the headline is not a typo for Playing with Matches at the Office. January is National Hot Tea month. Actually, Im interested in celebrating this intriguing beverage every month. After taking the Level 1 and 2 certification courses offered by the Specialty Tea Institute last year at World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, Im now looking at tea with a laser focus. Working at BUNN, the conversation often centers 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. At the 2011 Expo, Joe Simrany of STI reported recent statistics show, for the first time, the United States imported more tea than the UK and Germany.

Most recently, weve had fun discussing the merits of the trifecta and H5E/X precision water dispenser when it comes to adequately addressing the needs of tea rooms. What would you like to see from BUNN?

If I were writing this blog post this time last year, I would have been contemplating different varieties on my grocery store shelf to spotlight. Nothing wrong with that, but I've learned about so many more options. 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.

Interestingly, my mini-lab gathered the attention of department colleagues who couldnt resist the vibrant green appearance (see photo above 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 (see the whole leaf on top?!).

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 Im 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?


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