Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chinese Tea Ceremony & Tea Tasting with David Duckler / Verdant Tea

Tools of David's Trade

We had an amazing opportunity to sit down and have tea with a group of fantastic individuals, led by David Duckler, owner of Verdant Tea.


If you've never been to a tea tasting you'd never understand what a spa-like experience it can be. We had two and a half hours of tiny, individual relaxing moments - punctuated by the aromas and flavors of David's tea collection. There were nine of us attending and each person was given a small tea cup - smaller than a clementine, larger than a thimble, as their own vessel for our tea.


We sipped tea together as David wove through stories of Chinese folklore. We learned about the tea called Tieguanyin and the Iron Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin. We heard stories of how true Jasmine Tea is made and heard about his good friends, the tea farmers, and their very real appreciation of the craft of farming and preparing tea.

We went through about 7 different teas, each one with a different flavor profile. Some buttery, some floral. After each sip, we'd scribble our tasting notes as best we could onto our tea tasting cards. I found it hard to come up with the right words, but scrawled what I could down.

I'd liken watching David preform his tea ceremony to watching ballet. It looks so effortless, but I know his performance comes from the accumulation of years of practice. He's exceedingly graceful about how he makes each cup, how he pours it, and how he and his wife Lily serve it to everyone. It's calming.


We are looking forward to the next opportunity we have to invite David in to Light Grey. Until then, I'll stumble through my own cave-man-esque tea making process and wish for a brighter future.


  1. This sounds fantastic! Wish I lived close enough to take this class. I'll have to see if there is anything similar offered in Milwaukee!

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