Tea – How Tradition Stood in the Way of the Perfect Cup

Tea – How Tradition Stood in the Way of the Perfect Cup

Part 1 was about a short e-book by Ian Bersten that was written with the intent of lifting tea drinking up into the marvels of the 21st Century. But who is Ian Bersten? Good question, and I have an answer for you.

About the Author
Bersten lives in Sydney, Australia, is a graduate of the University of New South Wales, and a long-timer in the world of hot beverages, starting with coffee in 1968 and then progressing into tea and finally giving up his coffee business in 2008 to found his tea business. Forty years of delving into the science of these beverages. I guess he knows a thing or two about both.

Another book by Bersten is Tea – How Tradition Stood in the Way of the Perfect Cup. Saying something is the perfect cuppa tea is a big statement. I find that these days it’s the perfect cuppa black tea or the perfect cuppa oolong. No, wait, make that the perfect cuppa Assam or Keemun or Yunnan or Ceylon black, and the perfect cuppa Tie Kuan Yin or Imperial Formosa. Actually, what is perfect when it comes to tea is what you think is perfect.

Two more of Bersten’s works: Coffee Floats, Tea Sinks: A Connoisseur’s Guide to the History, Technology and Techniques of Coffee, Tea and Cocoa Preparation (for which he won the distinguished author award in the Specialty Coffee Industry by the Specialty Coffee Association of America 2001) and Coffee, Health & Sex.

In addition to writing about and selling tea, Bersten travels to India, Sri Lanka, China, and even London to attend and speak at various coffee and tea expos.

It might be Bersten’s beginning in coffee and in inventing related items such as a one kg coffee roaster (which can roast a kg of coffee perfectly in five minutes) that led to the development of a steeping system for tea that is akin to the way coffee is brewed: from finely ground pieces (tea leaves, of course, instead of beans) placed in a filter and then boiled water poured over it. You end up with a strong cuppa that you then dilute with additional hot water. Reminds me of the Turkish method and the Russian Samovar. And certainly looks worth a try. More about this in Part 3.

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