Araksa Tea Garden: The Ultimate Guide to Tea Basics

A sensorial awakening through tea.

In recent years, I have come to appreciate the art of slowing down at my own accord. Coming from a world where I ran fast and ate everything that was on my way, tea has especially played an essential role in calming the spirit by invigorating all my senses. Now, unofficial tea ceremonies are a luxurious ritual I wholeheartedly appreciate and wish to share.

Earlier this year I discovered Araksa Tea Garden. The century old tea sanctuary is located in the lush greenery of the hills of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Here,  holistic collaboration between tradition, nature and her People delights in the revival and preservation of the endangered Camillia Taliensis wild tea shrub. 

In short, Araksa’s true teas can be termed as a delicacy in today’s world. It is therefore integral that this journal explores white tea, oolong tea and green tea – the true teas lovingly grown and harvested in the whimsical Thai hills.

Sayun White Tea

Sayun: Sunset. The time the tea is harvested.

Araksa Sayun White Tea is the epitome of elegant minimalism. Made using only the youngest and healthiest leaves of the tea plant, this 100% silver tips brew yields a subtly sweet, lightly golden cup with  a long finish.

To fully enjoy the soft aroma of this delicate tea, pair it with very light foods – think mild cheeses, white fish and desserts.

Nutritional value: high in antioxidant catechin.

 

Girl Gone authentic - Araksa tea whie tea sayun
Girl Gone Authentic - Araksa tea whie tea sayun
How to brew:

Mood: a seat under the warmth of the golden hour as it softly caresses your bare skin.

The longer the tea steeps, the stronger the flavour.

Careful not to bring the water to boil,  heat water to just below 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep for 1 to 5 minutes, cheers to the sun and enjoy.

Preserve Green Tea

"There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea."

Araksa Preserve Green Tea relishes in the age old wisdom of northern Thailand’s hand roasting process. This smooth amber brew delights with its earthy, chestnut and slight sweet pea notes. 

To really bring out the green flavour try pairing a cup with parmesan cheese, shiitake mushrooms and oysters. 

Girl Gone Authentic - Araksa preserve green tea
Araksa preserve green tea mood - girl gone authentic
A tea ceremony.

The pot and cups that serve your green tea play an important role is bringing out the flavour.

Traditionally, green tea is best served in small ceramic cups that are white inside to better see the tea colour.

What better way to slow down in ritual and enjoy a nice cuppa’ – from preparation, indulgence and clean up – than with a tea ceremony at home. 

Lhong Lai Oolong Tea

Lhong Lai: 'longing for'

Dark beauty,  Oolong Tea leaves are harvested between late spring and early summer. The leaves are then lightly bruised and sun dried on bamboo mats where they are occasionally turned to ensure even oxidation. Once the tea leaves reach a desired oxidation level, they are pan fired and ready to pack.

The Lhong Lai Oolong Tea is a bit on the lighter side of Oolongs, with a deep golden brew and sweet floral notes and a soft long finish.

Pair it with dark chocolate to savour its smokey flavour.

 

lhong lai oolong green tea araksa tea
Araksa tea garden oolong tea
Cold Brew Lhong Lai Oolong by Araksa
Step 1: Add 2.5 grams of tea leaves in an open vessel.
 
Step 2: Place four medium sized fresh water ice cubes ontop of the tea leaves.
 
Step 3: Wait for the ice to completely melt in room temperature, this should take about 4 hours.
 
Step 4: Enjoy a sweeter and flavourful brew.

Words by Khumoetsile Seamogano

Images are courtesy of Morima Tea and Best Ceramics.

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