Dao TeaPosted by Matt SamyciaWood on Thursday, December 17th, 2009
Growing up in Northern England we drank PG Tips (Orange Pekoe Tea), anything else (especially fruity tea) meant that you were an “artsy fartsy weirdo”, who probably wore paisley silk shirts and enjoyed dancing to the Brotherhood of Man.
Teas meant black tea, ‘mashed’ (steeped) until it was a good strong colour and then a good heaped teaspoon of delicious dried milk was added. Dip a nice chocolate digestive into ya cuppa and you were on your way for a cracking good night.
Nowadays I am more of a coffee drinker and a picky one at that. I like good coffee, fresh coffee and ever since I kicked my caffeine addiction it also has to be decaffeinated.
Therefore it was very surprising when I was asked to write this post about a tea tasting event by Pedro Villalon, the President of Dao Tea.
He visited our office at Industrial Brand the other morning & I was invited to this event. As a confirmed coffee drinker I wasn’t too interested and to be honest didn’t know much about what was going to happen. All I knew was that a guy was coming to the office to serve us tea. That being said I do like to learn, especially about cultures that are far away. When Industrial Brand rebranded Elysian Coffee I was fascinated to learn about all the intricacies of how coffee is grown, picked, processed and shipped to our local coffee shops. I also learnt how to appreciate the different notes of flavour that make up a coffee and how to correctly roast, grind, brew and store the coffee for the premium coffee experience.
This previous experience was repeated by Pedro from Dao Tea. He arrived with a beautiful Chinese hand carved wooden basket, complete with kettle, glass tea pots and four types of tea for us to sample. He was a very relaxed and personable gentleman which was wonderfully reflected in the patience he showed when preparing the tea. The glasses were warmed with hot water as well as the teapots. When the water was added to the tea he gently circulated the water while he continued to give us an insight into how as a Mexican he ended up selling Chinese teas in Canada.
It was when working for Proctor & Gamble in China and that he stumbled across tea culture one day while hiking. He became friends with small farmers who produced great teas, many of which had never been exported from China before Pedro created Dao Tea.
My favourite was the ‘Sejak’ green tea that we sampled. It was unique and delicate. My previous experience of green tea has been at most Asian restaurants where tea tastes like it has been sitting in the pot for a long while. The tea we sampled was subtle, light and very palatable. It was interesting to learn that you can use the tea leaves three or four times over and then actually eat the leaves (on vanilla ice cream, with eggs, or paste).
The brand and packaging design is striking, thoughtful, appropriate and sustainable. I thought the stories on the packaging about the master artisans who grew the tea were a great touch. They were informative and made a personal connection between your cup and the originating source.