Okay...so with a little encouragement and a lot of embarrassment to get over, I've decided to fall in Paradox's wonderful footsteps with his Beer Blog
and write about tea. I love tea. I've been drinking it since I was a child. Whether it be bag, loose leaf, store bought, or home made...tea is amazing!
Now, to start off, I just want to say that I am not an expert
. My opinion of tea and such is in no way to be take as factual. I will do my best to provide truthful and honest information, but when it comes to the taste of the tea and what I prefer is all my opinion. I do like to think that I know a lot about tea, but there is a world of tea that I've never delved into. I do hope, one day, to sample at least a little bit of everything.
You might be wondering what exactly I'm going to put in this blog, well, I'll tell you. Not just my opinion on the teas I sample, but pictures of them before and after brewing. Also, I hope to do my best to describe the taste and smell of the teas. I would also like to delve into the health benefits of tea. The differences between bagged and loose leaf. Tea balls and infusers. And even try to answer any questions people may have. I'd also like to teach people how to make their own teas (it's not that hard) and what types of herbs and such that you can find right in your yard to make them with.
Tea has a long history, after all, what's easier than finding some plants and tossing them into warm water? I don't wish to go into great detail about it's history, but it's been around for a very long time. There are dozens and dozens types of tea and I couldn't possibly give the exact, historical details of everyone of them...but I will try my best to provide accurate information.
Anyway...most of my tea comes from TeaCo
. They are a wonderful, little tea company that is still getting to it's feet and nestled in the hills of West Virgina. The company was founded by a mother and daughter team that worked painstakingly in their kitchen to create tea blends, mostly specialty dessert and cocktail blends. They are, currently, still expanding and are one of the largest specialty tea companies in the United States. They are currently working on making their first bottles of bottled tea for market. Most of this information can be found on their web page as well as their Facebook
page. They hope that by the end of 2011 that they will have 20 stores open nationwide. You can find a list of their currently opened stores and soon to be open stores here
Now, as much as I love TeaCo, they can be expensive. Good, quality tea is usually a little pricey, but they are not the only options. Grocery stores can offer a wide selection of good, bagged and loose leaf tea...you just have to look hard enough. Always check the ingredient listings on the box. If it has artificial or chemicals in it...put it back!
Also, you should have the right tools for making tea. It's not complicated. A tea kettle, either a simple metal one
, glass one
, cast iron one
(be aware that cast iron does season and develop a taste), or an eletric one
. All of them are good and have their own benefits, but they all do the same thing...boil water. If you're going to use loose leaf tea, you're going to need a tea ball
, these come in many shapes and sizes. I prefer the ones with mesh because there is less chance of any small bits floating out. You can also use a French Press
, but the longer the tea stays in the water the stronger the flavor becomes and eventually becomes bitter. I don't like using them, but whatever floats your boat. I'll go into more detail about infusers and frech presses later on. Last, but not least, you will need a cup! Any cup will do, but I prefer a nice, big coffee mug. Save the fancy tea sets for parties or after dinner when you have a lot of people. The other option is the tea for one
sets. They are cute and useful. I prefer the stack-able ones. Most come with the tea pot, cup, and saucer (though I never use a saucer).
If you're going to make homemade tea, there are a few more 'tools', but I'll get into that later when the weather warms up some more and I can actually find some stuff to make tea out of outside (other than the dandelions, which do make good tea!).
That is all I have to say for right now. I think I've rambled on enough for one post. I will, hopefully, not embarrass myself doing this. If you have any tea related questions, please ask them here or PM me. I will have my first 'review' up soon. As I said before, I am not an expert and I will never claim to be.
~MichiTea Index:Pomegranate Green TeaChocolate Butterscotch Rooibos TeaCelestial Sleepytime TeaLipton Bavarian Wild Berry Black TeaSunshine Iced TeaStrawberry Kiwi TisaneBlueberry Cheesecake Green TeaStrawberry Daiquiri Green TeaArticles, Instructionals, Tips:Men's Health: Benefits of Tea articleWhat is Tea?How to make a Tea BagRedefining the Tea Bag - The New ShapeTea StorageTea GradesTea TanninsHow to Dry Herbs/Flowers for TeaHerbs & Flowers:Viola Odorata