Tea Talk

Not to be out-done by Chris over at Pens ‘n’ Paper, I am posting my own tea entry.  I’ve been drinking tea for a long time.  I started out with good old Lipton Orange Pekoe — that was about all you could get when I was growing up in Charleston, WV.  We are about twenty years behind the rest of the country.  When I was in England I was introduced to Black Currant tea on my first night.  It so happened that I caught a cold in Luxembourg which gave me a severe sore throat, so bad I couldn’t speak.  My host family in Northampton settled me down in front of the telly with a cup of Black Currant tea (it was also medicinal) and that was when I discovered there was a bright, beautiful world of teas I hadn’t experienced yet!  The next tea I got to experience was Earl Grey, and I fell in love with that.  I made sure to bring a box of loose Earl Grey tea home with me.  Since then I have had my eye out to try unique teas.  Also, the art form of brewing tea is very appealing.  It is a relaxing ritual.

I sold enough items at last week’s craft show to go out to Office Max and purchase a tea pot and some tea I had had my eye on for almost a month.

my tea purchase

 

I enjoyed how the box said “as seen on tv” because I had never seen it advertised on tv.  I guess I just don’t watch the right channels….

teapot getting ready

 

It was a nice little pot — 40 oz, which is a decent size, enough to give two people a couple cups each.  The tea pot came with three “blossoming” teas.  These are teas where they take the tea leaves and some pretty flowers and hand sew them together.  When a blossom pod comes out of the vacuum sealed bag, it looks like this….

blossoming tea pod

 

You put the pod in the tea pot and pour over almost-boiling water.  As it steeps in the water, it will open up.

blossoming tea

 

blossomed tea

 

The pictures on the box showed a tea pod opening gradually and completely.  This pod never seemed to open completely.  However, each pod can be brewed up to three times, so I wonder if it doesn’t “blossom” a little more each time you steep it.

The tea pot came with three pods, all three were green tea with jasmine.  Jasmine tea is one of my favorites, and hubby likes it too, so this is a tea we can enjoy together.  One little packet of turbinado sugar was just right for sweetening my tea.  Hubby wasn’t at home at the time, I am sure he will warm up a cup after he gets home from opening a friend’s car doors that froze shut overnight…

A little info about proper tea preparation — water should be boiled in a pot or kettle other than the pot you are going to steep your tea in.  For green tea it is recommended that you heat your water to no more than 150 degrees farenheit otherwise the tea will turn bitter in the higher heat.  The pot you intend to steep your tea in should be set near the kettle you are heating the water in and/or putting a little of the hot water in the pot and swirling it around to gently warm the pot.  Most tea pots are either glass or pottery and should be warmed gently else they might shatter.  Your water choice is also very important.  Spring water is a good choice.  If you must use tap water, first boil it and let it cool in order to get rid of the chlorine.  We have a filtering water cooler, and it also heats water, so that is what I used to get the water for my first pot of tea.

One downside to this first pot of tea — all the pictures show the tea pod resting on the bottom of the pot and gently opening like a flower as it steeps.  My tea pod floated and it was kind of difficult to see it opening.  After it had opened up somewhat I was able to pin it to the bottom with a fork, but it doesn’t make for a very appealing photo….

Hopefully someday I can make a purchase of an all glass tea pot and a warmer so I can keep my tea warm.  This tea pot has plastic around part of it, and the bottom.  While it looks nice, you can’t sit it on a tea warmer.

Overall, though, I was rather pleased with my purchase.  This teapot came from Primula, and they have other tea pots, mugs and flavors of tea available on their website.  I will definitely have to try the Earl Grey 😉  The white tea and peach doesn’t sound too bad either….

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2 thoughts on “Tea Talk

  1. Just remember not to re-boil the water (especially with the tap water). If you do, you get a condition which the Chinese call “dead water” due partially to the fact that each time water is boiled more and more oxgen is released. Also, don’t forget your timing, since too much time steeping can also turn the tea bitter… ^_^

    • very true, Chris — it is a delicate game of balance. “dead water” makes for a very disappointing cup of tea 😦 I did steep my pod longer than it recommended on the box, however I was determining the amount by how open the pod was and it so happened that we ended up with a pot “just right.” hubby came home, i reheated a cup for him in the microwave, and he was very pleased. i will have to use the pod again tomorrow to see if it opens any further or if this is as impressive as this bud gets 😉

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