Last week I experienced my first pot of Jasmine Pearl tea. I say “experienced” because it was like watching performance art: dried leaves as tight as tiny ballbearings, doused with boiling water, slowly unfurling into something more akin to seaweed as the clear water turned a pale shade of green. Nice.
I’d sourced the tea from Jeremy Lopatin of Arbor Teas, so I emailed him to say how cool it was to watch the tea transform in my glass pot. He emailed me back and said that among tea enthusiasts, there’s a term for this process: the “agony of the leaves.”
The agony of the leaves. Maybe because of the week The Chronicle spent steeped in controversy, it struck me as a perfect metaphor for other transformations, too. In this monthly milestone message – our 14th for The Chronicle – I’ll touch on a couple of those.