Tea for You: Experience Tea With the White Lotus Tea Club

September 15, 2014
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tea on mountain

Olivia Oldaker first fell in love with tea in her native Russia, so much so that she enrolled in an immersive tea education at the Club of Chinese Culture in Moscow. “At first I wasn’t even allowed to touch the teas,” says Oldaker, “but by the end I was an expert.”

She’s now passing along that respectful expertise with White Lotus Tea Club, a small, Asian-style tea room in downtown Staunton. How small? Try one table. There, Oldaker welcomes groups of up to six people to experience intimate tea tastings at three different levels, from “First Time Experience” to “Connoisseur of Tea,” which incorporates an elaborate preparation ceremony. In all, she emphasizes the cultural and social aspects of “mindful tea drinking.” “It’s amazing what happens when people learn more about tea and making it,” she says. “Time slows down, and they start talking more from the heart.”

To obtain what Oldaker proclaims are “the best teas you can find, especially on the East Coast,” she regularly travels to China to establish personal connections with small growers, and has friends who supply wild-growing teas from the mountains there. Even with such effort invested toward quality, she embraces the differences in every cup. “Life is always changing,” she says, “and that’s also the nature of tea.”

whitelotusteaclub.com

Article from Edible Blue Ridge at http://edibleblueridge.ediblecommunities.com/what-drink/tea-you-experience-tea-white-lotus-tea-club
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