The Book of Teas

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A look at the notable teas
of the regions of The Silver Moon Empire

by Tironwy Fyr


Forward -

This book is about the most notable teas of the realm. It tells of each tea; how they are properly brewed, what the proper tea leaves should look like and some of their uses. I hope that all who read this gain knowledge and respect for the finer subtleties of a well-brewed tea.

~Tironwy Fyr



With all the different tastes of tea, there is but one plant.

How, do you wonder? To understand this, one must first know that the subtle differences in soil, climate and elevation all effect the character of the leaves. Even how leaves are picked and when they are picked, be it early in the morning or late in the afternoon, can all vary the subtle differences in taste.

Most of the teas in the realm are found in the "gardens" (the given name of the tea plantations), that lie on the Eastern borders of Thermador and the Western borders of Oceanuus as well as on the borders of Arboria. While wild tea shrubs (be in mind these can grow as tall as 60 feet) can be found scattered thoughout the seven regions, this is where the best of the teas hail from.

Most that live in the region of Thermador and Oceanuus drink green tea, but the main export is black tea. These will be the main teas that will be introduced in this section.


Black Tea Varieties

There are four varieties that I wish to address, these are anwhaie, nilgeary, darsara, and a very notable from Arboria called pu'air.

Anwhaie is a robust malty tea with dark liquor. It is often blended with other teas to make morning blends which are very suited for a bit of milk or cream.

Nilgeary is a very black leafed tea that yields a rich golden infusion. It is lighter and more mellow in taste than the anwhaie, neither is it as flowery as darsara. This tea blends well with essential oils and fruits.

Darsara tea is a very fine and rare small leafed variety from the region of the same name. These leaves are intentionally broken during the rolling process so you rarely see a full leaf. The tea being so rare, is almost never sold unblended, be advised that while it will be quite expensive, if you can find it unblended, it will be well worth it.

Pu'air is a favorite among the Elves and Rangers throughout the land. It is nearly always served with milk which cuts its strength. It is found either as a loose-leaf or in compressed cakes. The defining elements of this tea are its age, mold, and slight state of rot. During the withering, some of the tea leaves are permitted to rot and thus the mold. Next the leaves are buried in the ground for a period of time, which can be years, then dug up and sold. Rangers are said to "cook" the tea all night then in the morning mix it with mares butter or mares milk to make a thick but highly prized drink that from what I understand, becomes almost addictive. This is a highly valued tea with an extremely strong smell and taste of the earth. It is reputed to have healing properties for indigestion and the "waters."


Green Tea Varieties

While there are also many varieties of green tea, I will only address a few of them now.

Green teas are withered but never oxidized. When infused its coloring is a pale yellow or green tint. It is recognized for its digestive capabilities as well as its flavor and soothing aroma. These teas come predominately from Arboria along the border, but can also be found in other areas of the same climate.

A few of the teas that I would like to mention here are hi'jicha, gee'koroe, lun'chi and pela'chun, which is highly prized.

Hi'jicha has a large, flat leaf that is roasted over enclosed cook fires to produce an earth aroma and nutty flavor. It is robust in greeting and subtle in its finish. It is reputed to have restorative properties.

Gee'koroe is the finest export of Arboria. Flat leaves that look most like pine needles are picked during the first flush. Only the tips are used and only the bushes that are in deep shade are picked from for this tea. It is sweet and smooth tasting with the liquor being distinctly green. A very refined tea for special occasions.

Lun'chi is one of Arboria's most celebrated teas. It has four unique characteristics: long flat leaves, light green color, expansive earthy aroma and a lingering mellow taste. The tea has a cooling effect and is welcomed in hot weather. This makes this tea the leading import in Thermador.

Pela'chun is a very rare and famous tea. Its name means "Green Snail Spring." When properly hand rolled, these leaves do look like tiny snails. It is planted among various fruit trees and certain flower gardens. When blooms of the fruit trees and flowers open, the leaves of this tea are new and tender, and unfold to absorb the wonderful aromas and pass them on to the lucky person who drinks this tea. Only the bud and a single leaf are plucked and great skill is needed to produce the desired snail shape.


One tea that I think needs to be mentioned is Pai'tan. This is a white tea that is smooth, flowery and when infused has a yellow-orange liquor with a sweet mellow taste. A truly rare produced only in Arboria, the leaves stand straight on end once infused. It is neither rolled or fermented, only steamed, and is made from the buds of a special bush known as "Majestic Silver." It is 100 percent 'tip' which makes this tea the most tender and delicatecup available.


Brewing Tea

One thing that needs to be addressed is the brewing of tea. Making the proper cup of tea starts with: first the water, and then the brewing. The best waters to use is that of either the high mountain springs or the deep well waters that are still quite cold even when brought to the surface. I was pleased to find that at the Crosswinds Tavern, such a well is used.

To brew the perfect cup of tea, heat high quality water in a kettle and bring it to either a rolling boil for black teas or almost a boil for green teas. Warm the teapot by swirling steamy water inside, then pour it out. Place one level teaspoon into the pot or infusing basket. Pour the hot water over the leaves, cover and infuse to taste -- usually from 3 - 5 minutes. Black teas and herb teas brew longer while green teas less. Remove the infuser basket or strain with cheesecloth to remove leaves and enjoy.

On a final note, I would like to remind you that this is far from a complete book of teas. These are some of the most notable in the land and why I chose them to talk about first. Many black teas are combined together to make blends and many greens are combined with herbs or essential oils to make new tastes as well.

I do hope that this brings some of the mystery of tea to you to allow you to experience its subtle yet unique qualities. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the Crosswinds Tavern.

~Tironwy Fyr


Note: This manuscript was donated by the player of Tironwy Fyr (date unknown)


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