Thursday January 31, 2008 | 5 comments
As part of T Ching’s quest to turn teens on to tea, a matcha tasting was scheduled for Thursday, January 17, at noon at the local high school. Eleven students signed up; eleven invitations were sent; and seventeen eager teenagers showed up.
Never dismayed by variations from routine, Sandy and Michelle calmly set up their collection of beautiful matcha vessels and began sieving tea. Two girls watched every step of the process with wondering eyes, asking questions about the utensils and the tea. In the meantime, three boys had a vocabulary contest:
“Agoraphobia,” one challenged.
“Too easy: fear of open places. Try sycophant.“
“Isn’t that a self-serving brown-noser? I guess ‘self-serving’ and ‘brown-noser’ are redundant. EASY!”
The words verisimilitude, specious, and prevaricate suffered similar evaluations before Sandy called out, “Hey Patrick, want to try some matcha?” As soon as Patrick volunteered, there was a line up. Sandy showed the whisking technique, which was interpreted by each student a bit differently: one student used his entire body, from the knees up, to whisk; one used his entire arm, from the shoulder to the middle finger; and one used just wrist action. All commented on the froth.
“I like the froth!”
“It’s pretty strong stuff, but I like it!”
Thankfully, most teens have little to no reservations about sharing matcha bowls. Some tried just a sip; some finished a whole bowl and waited around for more. No one said they did not like it.
Six months ago, I thought getting kids turned on to tea would be difficult, but it is proving otherwise. Kids LOVE tea – the real, the whole, the unsweetened thing. I’d like to see tea in schools become part of a national wellness mandate. What do you think?
[ photo credit: main post image by Baobee at www.flickr.com; making match image fromwww.worldatlasoftea.com ]