Yes, that's correct. I know this may not be what you expect. But is it a joke? No, definitely not! There are a few reasons why it's ok to do so. And after reading these you will understand why and don't have to feel guilty about it.
Time to wake up!
Let's say you're asleep. In a cozy warm bed. Covered in two blankets. Dreaming of this wonderful place... When suddenly someone wakes you. It's time to get up. And you're like "What the hell...I was just sleeping so well?!"
We've all been there (several times). And I don't know about you but if it were me, besides the swearing, I also need some time to get in my 'active-mode'.
The same counts for your tea leaves. They have been inside a sealed bag for a while. Once you drop them into the water they have that same "what-the-hell-feeling". So to help your leaves waking up, we first rinse them.
Pour hot water over them (temperature may vary depending on the type of tea). And throw the water away after a few seconds. You can use a strainer to catch the leaves. Or a gaiwan if you have one (and if you have... good for you! That means your getting pretty serious about it).
This way your leaves are getting prepared to give away all their flavors. They know what's coming. And start opening and unfolding.
Time to wash!
Another reason is to wash the leaves. This way all the leftover dirt or dust gets washed away. All that's left is just pure high-quality tea flavor.
Time to warm up!
Not only your leaves benefit from that first throw-away-brew. But also your teacup. While your cup warms up it will bring more aroma and flavor to your next cup of tea. Just have a smell! I bet you can't wait now to have that first sip.
(No) Time for caffeine!
Some of you can't handle too much caffeine. Another reason why it's ok to throw away that first brew. Again, pour some hot water over the leaves. Let them soak for a few seconds and throw the water away.
Congratulations you just served your first cup of naturally decaffeinated tea!
So you see. It's ok to throw away that first cup of tea. It's been part of the Chinese tea ceremony for years.
Don't feel guilty. It's no waste of good quality tea. Instead, you're helping to get the maximum out of your cup. You're leaves are now ready to give away their deepest secrets.
Experiment with each cup. You'll discover new very interesting flavors. And that my friends again, brings us one step closer to that perfect sound of tea.
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