Welcome to the first installment of a new feature - Desert Island Tea. From time to time I'll be badgering various tea fanciers, industry figures and so on, trying to get them to reveal what tea they'd want with them in the rather unlikely event that they're stranded on a desert island.
A difficult choice, to be sure, but our first participant seems to have come through the ordeal relatively unscathed. Tea lover Brian Smith serves, in his official capacity, as "Teavangelist" for The Tea Smith, a tea merchant with two locations in Omaha, Nebraska and a little corner of WWW-land located right here.
Many thanks to Brian for agreeing to take the first shift on our desert island.
If you were stranded on a desert island (an island with clean, fresh water and tea making equipment, of course) what one tea (only one) would you like to have with you and why?
Brian Smith's Answer:
I hesitate to put such a limit on my life, even if isolated. One of the greatest aspects of tea is the wide variety of flavors. That being said, I would take a Jade Oolong which I would carefully prepare in gong fu style since I would need to wring every last drop of every infusion from my presumably limited supply. The time alone would allow me to concentrate on the shifting profile of each short infusion. The interplay of floral tones and development of body would occupy my attention, to the neglect of an escape plan. After all, if you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are stranded, it will cheer you…