90-minutes with Christian Horn will get you the full tea on tea. Being subjected to tea school sounds a bit unorthodox for a sunny Mexican getaway, but the upscale session hosted in the lobby of Grand Residences is actually quite neat. Students are seated at an elegantly dressed table with attractive tools and fragrant tin cans while Horn, a German tea sommelier who’s lived in Mexico for 20 plus years, educates on everything from the camilla sinensis plant, the source of ALL tea, to the proper way to ingest the warm liquid—slurping is encouraged, loose the sip.
With only two other tea schools in the world, one in Germany and another in Los Angeles, catch Horns interactive lesson while you can.
Five Tea Tenants
1) Invest in quality tea, preferably from a reputable distributor. Lychee, the haute couture of the pack, is a personal fave. Visible gold flecks on the tea’s leaves confirm its revered status. So does the taste.
2) Use Mountain spring water, according to Horn, the mineral-laced H20 is ideal for brewing a potent pot. If you’ve been using tap you’ve been loosing out. Time to make the switch.
3) Allow dry leaves to steep for two to three minutes for white tea, blacks and infusions, no more than five.
4) Temperature matters. Water should be approximately 158 degrees fahrenheit. Any thing hotter will “kill the tea,” says Horn. Colder, you won’t access the full flavor.
5) You wouldn’t dare drink champagne from a coffee mug, so refrain from offending the tea masters, and whip out that fine china when enjoying tea time solo or amongst friends.