How To Enjoy A Cup of Tea
How many times have you heard people say that they are coffee drinkers and that they don't really enjoy tea? These people are also the ones who tried a Lipton's or unknown brand tea bag once. Although I know people who drink Folgers coffee, more people walk around work places or early morning events with Starbuck coffee cups. You do not see people walking around with disposable Folgers coffee cups. Maybe this article will convince you to give tea another chance.
Making The Tea
In traditional Chinese tea drinking, people used Yixing clay teapots and small teacups roughly two inches wide. The leaves were used many times, and the reason for such small teacups was for ease of cooling of the tea. In modern times, there are two methods of heating the water. Some will maintain the boiling method, while others have accepted microwaving for convenience. However, if one were to microwave a container of water, it is advisable to use a shorter period of time to heat or drop a wooden chopstick into the cup so that you can see the bubbles rise if the water were to boil.
There are various methods to steep the tea. The quick and easy method is the tea bag. However, not all tea bags are equal in quality. If you are a frequent tea drinker, you will tend to stay away from the tea bags because you will notice that the taste of the tea bag is not neutral. Traditional tea pots are used where the leaves are poured into the cup. Once the tea is cool enough, you drink the tea until you have only the leaves at the bottom. Other teapots have a strainer built into the spout or a metal or plastic insert to seep the tea. For a single brew, you have single strainers or infusers which come in various shapes and forms. Discarding the tea leaves afterwards is a little bit cumbersome because the leaves stick to the infuser, but it is all part of the preparation.
Interestingly, the amount of time needed to steep tea corresponds to the cool down time so that you do not burn your tongue. Personally, I make sure that the tea is cool enough to drink. I steep my tea and then do other things until I know that the flavor has been drawn from the tea. Some tea such as black require a higher temperature compared to other tea such as green.
Types of Tea
Black: Traditionally, black tea is made by fermenting and cooking the leaves of camellia sinensis. There are a variety of different black tea, ranging from Darjeeling to Oolong. The flavor is strong.
Green: The tea leaves derive its color from the steaming process. When brewed, the flavor is milder and grass-like.
White: The leaves are young and with minimum processing, this is considered the most delicate of teas and with the least amount of caffeine.
Flavored: There are so many mixes that it is so difficult to name them all. The popular ones are Jasmine flavored as well as Chai. But if you go to any fine tea shop, there are traditional blends with oranges, but now you can find blueberries, strawberries, melons and other fruits.
Herbal: This tea does not use leaves from camellia sinensis but instead uses a variety of ingredients including dried fruits, hibiscus, and rosehips. Some popular ones that come to mind are mint, chamomille, and rooibos.
In order to keep tea tasting best, keep the tea away from light, air, and moisture. Most will keep them in canisters.
Reasons To Drink Tea
Aside from great taste, drinking tea (not herbal) has a number of health benefits. Not only does it have less caffeine than coffee, tea has a number of health properties. It is known for its anti-cancer properties, metabolism boosting abilities, and mental alertness boosts. These are just a few of the positive benefits. Just thinking about tea makes me want to have a cup.
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