It’s been a while since I worked on this series, but this one cannot be missed. If you’re interested in the other three tea experts I profiled, here they are: Jane Pettigrew, Elizabeth Knight, and Dorothea Johnson

Remember yesterday’s study setting with the leather wingback chairs?

I invite you in to take tea with one of the most revered tea experts in the tea community, James Norwood Pratt, from his leather wingback chair. Mr. Pratt first wrote about tea twenty-five years ago in “The Tea Lover’s Treasury” and continues as a writer and lecturer to promote it today. I love how he educates tea professionals and the public about the heart of tea. He is quoted as saying,

“Tea is one of those things that always makes you feel just a little bit more civilized,” Pratt says. “In this time and in this society that demands more and more of us and delivers less and less, people are turning to tea, in part, out of a thirst for beauty.” —, emphasis mine

Amanda Hymson, from the website CHOW, invited me to share their well-done video interview with Mr. Pratt with you. Always wanting to filter the best from the good for your sake, I admit I thoroughly enjoyed it! Captured in seven short sessions, the highlights of the interview can be viewed in less than ten minutes.

Without giving away all the treasures, here are five reasons I’m convinced you would enjoy taking the time to watch this interview. Mr Pratt…

  • was a wine expert before he became a tea expert and compares the two beautifully, showing what the tea and wine culture have in common.
  • completely justifies tea as the most affordable luxury, a term I think I plan to use often.
  • tells a story of drinking tea with the man who prepared tea for the Japanese Kamikaze pilots before they went to their deaths. Fascinating story one would expect from someone who’s tea travels over the decades took him around the world.
  • comments on Starbucks and teabags, two of the most controversial topics in the tea community with clarity and diplomacy.
  • taught even me a new tea brewing technique (can you find it?) to optimize access to the leaf’s flavor.
  • But dear Mr. Pratt, my favorite moment was when you compared learning about tea to learning about lovemaking. Did I discern a slight blush? It was a classic comparison I won’t ever forget.

    Don’t miss it.