There is plenty of tea content on YouTube, but if you also like to watch documentaries on the subjects you are interested in, this is my quick review of the documentary “Mr Tea” that came out in 2009 and has a 61 minute runtime. I found this on the streaming service IndieFLIX, when T-Mobile Tuesdays gave all T-Mo customers a free 3-month subscription. So of course the first thing I searched for was tea 🙂
Reasons to WATCH
It is a fairly organized home-made style documentary with distinct sections, breaking down teas in multiple categories. It is not a classic breakdown of categories as there is a “Russian Teas” section in addition to the usual categories. Some teas, like black and green get a further breakdown (eg Chinese Black Teas). It is by no means comprehensive in the variety of teas and regions covered, but it is not intended to be so, it’s only an hour long.
For each tea mentioned, there are general brewing instructions for western-style brewing that can be a starting point for a total beginner. The focus of this doc in general is beginner and beginner-to-intermediate.
The tea is the star of the show, the human presenting this is not front and center on-camera. This is good in that the teas get maximum screen time 🙂
Reasons to AVOID
Major trigger warning for tea purists, it talks about health benefits of the various teas. The health talk is intermingled with the coverage of the various teas, there is no way to avoid it unless they make a new edit of the doc with those parts cut off 🙂 If such talk drives you mad, do NOT watch this 🙂
The brewing instructions are western-style, there’s no gongfu brewing recommendation for the individual teas and categories mentioned. Some may disagree with some of the brewing instructions, but there are no universally accepted rules unless you get a group of tea experts and lock them up in a room with a specific harvest and have them brew and rebrew until they agree on optimal times and methods 🙂 This may sound like torture to the average person, but it may sound like FUN for a hardcore teahead 🙂
This was recorded almost a decade ago, so some of the price-ranges mentioned are out of date.
The documentary is available to stream on the IndieFLIX streaming service. It is not available on Netflix or Prime. I did not check any other streaming service. The DVD of this is available for purchase in new condition for $10 at amazon.com (Prime eligible).