January 8, 2019

Food for Thought

This is pu’er tea, fermented and aged for 6 years. The great thing about pu’er is that you can get many infusions out of it all day long while retaining a robust flavor. In theory, you can do the same with any tea, but, in practice, I never do because the subsequent infusions taste too bland. Pu’er is the only exception I know. Since caffeine easily dissolves in water, most of it would be gone after the first few infusions. By evening hours, it should conveniently turn into decaffeinated tea.

Like with cats and dogs, people tend to love either coffee or tea, not both. Coffee is not suited for pairing with food because it has a strong ego; it dominates anything you eat with it. Tea is great for pairing as it has innumerable varieties of flavors. Coffee lovers would argue that coffee has a wide range too but no; not compared to tea. The problem is that all varieties of coffee are playing at volume 9 or above. So, even if there are countless variations within 9 and 10 (or 11 if you have Spinal Tap’s amp), you are still confined between 9 and 10. Tea has the full dynamic range from 1 to 10.

Two people with big egos could get along well if they happen to be compatible, but it’s rare and risky. The subtlety and the dynamic range of tea allow us to explore and enjoy limitless pairings with food.

It makes sense that Americans love coffee because they love heroes who single-handedly save the world, like Superman. Japanese love tea because they love teamwork, like Seven Samurai.

#tea #puer #puerh #coffeevstea #caffeine #ego #nycfoodie #nycfood #heroism #teamwork