I was happy to be invited to Seventh Tea Bar‘s unveiling of their new piece of tea-making machinery, Alpha Dominche’s Steampunk. The AD Steampunk was originally developed as a new tool for quickly producing consistent cups of coffee, but it turns out that the same machine can put out a great cup of tea, too. No single drink takes more than two minutes, and most don’t even take one minute.
As an avid fan of science fiction, I love the Steampunk. It’s a great example of technology and artistry aligning to both benefit and enhance each other. The Steampunk actually looks pretty steampunk itself, with its glass cauldrons, wood details, and integral touchpad. It’s quite entertaining to watch while you wait, too. I tried two teas from Mountain Tea steeped in Seventh Tea Bar’s Steampunk, FengHuang GuiFei Oolong and Dragonwell. The FengHuang GuiFei oolong has quite a story behind it, involving disaster, a triumphant return, and remembrance, but my favorite factoid about this tea was that a rare species of leaf hopper (or “tea hopper) is allowed to bite the leaves to begin the oxidation process on the actual plant! As for the Dragonwell, the first infusion had a rather distinctive taste. I loved the sour and bitter notes, and it was by no means short on aromatics and richness. Multiple infusions dulled Dragonwell’s initial edge, of course, bringing it down to a a flavor one usually expects from this type of tea, but I’d drink it at any number of infusions.