As promised I would like you to take you with me on exploring tea finds in this wonderful part of Southeast Asia. I would to start with small daily observation. I noticed that in contrast to Italy, were I had to made quite an effort to find good tea, here in Myanmar tea will find me.
As a new tea sommelier my willingness to find new, exciting things about tea is omnipresent. As part of my journey with you I would like to share interesting little items I came across, some you might be well familiar with and some might come as a surprise to you.
Everywhere you go, there is an opportunity to drink some awesome tea. One amazing drink I discovered are matcha smoothies, a bright green colored drink with a strong presence of matcha flavors.
Mixed with ice cream and whipped cream, it was a temptation I could not resist. Normally I have a matcha tea by itself but the high quality of matcha in tea drinks here lets me explore other options. I became a big fan of this drink and it really gives you a nice ‘pick me up’ boost.
I made it my habit to order tea at airports, at hotels and in the airplane. I am travelling quite a bit in recent weeks visiting different offices for the World Food Programme here in Myanmar, but tea is always my travel buddy joining me at different stages of my trip.
I am amazed with the free use of loose leaf tea wherever I go. Sure, you will get a tea bag tea at many places, but when I asked got loose leaf green tea, I was often served just that. And most importantly with no big tea filter operation or equipment, but just put in a cup or a tea pot, -super simple.
And even on a 1 hour domestic flight, they will make sure that you get your ‘tea fix’ before landing. During my trip to the border of Bangladesh with very simple living conditions, I was able to taste some tea from there. It wasn’t bad at all, even if just from a tea bag!
I really started to appreciate tea as an ingredient in food, which comes here in many different shapes and forms. I was really excited to taste a Green Tea Kit Kat (<—they have it on Amazon..), chocolate mixed with green tea. Should you have the chance to see it I would recommend you drop everything and taste it immediately – it is amazing.
There is something about the flavor of green tea and chocolate melting together, just mmmm…..
I almost every week have to have the pickled tea salad – Lahpet Thoke. It is normally served in a salad bowl with lots of crunchy things. It was interesting to see it used in an Asian fusion dish as a side – quite elegant with crispy prawns and a very nice presentation in a restaurant.
As my journey continues I will share my observation on my finds with you. I am sure I only scratched the surface on what awaits me here and I am happy to report on that. My next blog will take you inside a Myanmar supermarket and you will be surprised what you can find on an ordinary shelf in the tea aisle….