Fall in New York has its own romance – crisp air, the sound of rustling leaves, and the aroma of spices wafting from kitchens. For many, this season is a symphony of sensations, and for Cody Wade, the man behind “The Oolong Drunk”, it’s a chance to dive deep into the nuances of tea that evoke the very essence of autumn.
“The flavors of tea reflect the fall season marvelously. A single cup can conjure up cozy memories of a youthful version of oneself diving into a pile of freshly-raked leaves,” Wade shares with a nostalgic glint in his eyes.
Tea, however, is not just a product of flavor and sensation, but also a culmination of thoughtful planning and sustainable practices. “For major tea producers, fall releases are meticulously planned months in advance, encompassing everything from seasonal tea manufacturing to the creation of holiday teaware,” Wade elaborates.
A Brief Primer on Teas
To appreciate Cody’s profound connection with tea, one must understand its varieties:
Green Tea: This is the least oxidized of all teas. It retains a green hue and boasts a light, fresh flavor profile. Popular in countries like China and Japan, green tea undergoes minimal processing, preserving its natural antioxidants.
Black Tea: Fully oxidized, black tea has a deep color and robust flavor. From the brisk English Breakfast to the malty Assam, black teas offer a rich tapestry of experiences.
Oolong Tea: Landing between green and black teas in terms of oxidation, oolong offers a vast range of flavors and aromas. From the floral notes of some Taiwanese oolongs to the roasted tones of traditional Chinese varieties, oolong is a journey in itself.
White Tea: With gentle processing and minimal oxidation, white tea retains a light, delicate flavor. It’s often described as having a subtle sweetness, with notes that can remind one of honey or fresh hay.
As we transitioned into the topic of sustainability, Wade’s commitment to Mother Nature became clear. “Re-investing in nature yields a greater return on investment. Climate change is challenging tea farmers globally. Some grapple with extreme rainfall, others with droughts. It’s a testament to their resilience that they continually adapt and produce these exquisite teas.”
A significant portion of Wade’s mission is to educate his followers on the sustainability and lifestyle aspects of tea. “Drinking tea isn’t just a daily beverage choice,” he expresses passionately. “It’s a rooted ritual, a testament to longevity in lifestyle. It’s about incorporating tea into every facet of one’s life and understanding its origins.”
One of the delights of the fall season, Wade notes, is the arrival of autumn harvests from tea-producing nations. “Countries like Taiwan stand out for their fall harvest of high-mountain oolongs, which are, without doubt, some of Earth’s finest teas.”
When it comes to choosing teas, transparency is paramount. “It’s crucial for consumers to vote with their dollar. Support companies that take pride in their farmers, that share their stories and histories,” Wade advises.
And for those looking for an eco-friendly brewing tip? “Simply turn off the kettle,” Wade says with a smile. “It’s a small act, but imagine the collective impact if all tea enthusiasts adopted this habit.”
As we concluded our conversation, it became evident that Cody Wade isn’t just The Oolong Drunk. He’s a fervent advocate for sustainability, a storyteller of the tea world, and an ambassador for a lifestyle rooted in tradition and mindful consumption.
Author: Natasha Patel