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Taking time for tea

By: Susan Belknap Placer Herald editor
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Rocklin Library 5460 5th St. Rocklin 624-3133 While most people know a library is the go-to spot for finding a good book, the Rocklin Library has also lately been the place to go for a cup of tea. Anne Evans, certified tea consultant, recently visited the Rocklin Library as part of the Second Saturday of the Month programs sponsored by the Friends of the Library that take place each month at 1 p.m. “We have all types of programs to offer our patrons,” said Eve Nyren, library branch manager. “We always strive to offer fun or informative programs.” Evans’ recent visit was the third time the tea expert had visited the branch. She told the group that filled the community room recently that tea is a beverage enjoyed by cultures throughout the world with a variety of riturals and ceremonies that represent each one. “The most sophisticated kind of tea tradition takes place in Japan,” she said. “In Japan, where the teapot is placed on the table, what type of posture the pourer uses and how to fold the napkins are all part of taking tea in Japan.” Evans said for the Japanese, harmony, respect, purity and tranquility are more important to this Asian culture than the tea itself. Many Japanese tea cups do not have handles as Evans said they are not necessary as Japanese tea makers always know the correct temperature the tea should be as not to burn one’s hands. “Everything in the ceremony has a purpose,” she said. Evans also discussed tea traditions in India where Chai tea is enjoyed. Evans said Chai is a tea flavored with cinanamon, ginger and cloves coupled with milk. The tea is drunk from earthen terra cotta cups that are usually discarded on the road. “There is no waste as it all gets worked into the soil eventually,” she said. The people in Tibet enjoy a different type of tea that uses milk from the yak that is made into butter. This butter added with a bit of salt and some toasted grain are mixed with the tea. “They make the tea this way because they need something that will give them energy since so many of them are nomads,” Evans said. In Turkey tea is a bit sweet as it is drunk as cubes of hard sugar are held in the mouth. Evans said blackberry jam is also placed in the tea of those who live in Turkey. Evans also discussed how tea is drunk in England with the tea leaves often left in the teapot, which she said can sometimes produce a bitter taste. In an effort to make up for the bitterness many English people add milk, sugar and lemon to help to soften the tea’s flavor. Even though throughtout the world tea is experienced in a variety of ways according to Evans what ties it all together is people showing hospitality and being gracious to one another. For more information about tea customs visit ww.teachingtea.com. The next Second Saturday program at the Rocklin Library will take place at 1 p.m. Oct. 10 featuring a presentation by Janis Jacox who will dicsuss “Travel to Scotland.”