Yesterday I was able to give Lorrie a private tour of the city. These are the tours that are fun, because it gives a great opportunity for one on one interaction and allows us tour guides to “Focus” our attention on what is most interesting to the customer. Though our tour is a very leisurely walk with almost virtually no hills to walk up, it’s always nice to be able to take some time out to give ourselves a break.
As we walked by Vital T-Leaf, I pointed out the store and let Lorrie know she can taste teas, but I had not taken the time to do so. Usually with a group, you have to stay on schedule as most people don’t have much time in the city and want to get in all the travel opportunities that they can. Lorrie suggested we take a break and I was happy we did.
For the next half hour, Tim let us try many different types of tea from Monkey Pick, Blue People, Hibiscus (My favorite) to various Oolong teas. It is an interesting process, first he showed us that you must wash your tea. Wash your tea? “Well you wash lettuce?”, he asked. We nodded. He said that all Chinese wash the tea first. I assumed that it would remove some of the flavor , but this is not the case. In fact we learned you can use your tea leaves over again for multiple cups. I think he said 5-7 times.
We also learned one does not boil the water, but should use a temperature of approximately 170-190 degrees to make an ideal cup. Steep it for 15-20 seconds and you are good. No 2-3 minutes in boiling water? Too hot of water and steeping too long can give it a bitter taste. I learned more in that half hour about tea with Tim, than I had ever known.
I was glad we took the time to stop by. Lorrie and I both walked out with bags of tea and I was surprised to get dried Stevia for only $2.00 a bag. Tim was also kind to let us take photos of the interior of the store.
You’ll never know what surprises you’ll come across on our tours.
Visit Vital T-Leaf
Vital Tea Leaf
1401 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121