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Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Conversation About Tea--Part 3

Choosing a tea

Tea is basically the dried and processed leaves of only one species of plant called camellia sinensis. (Herbal teas are not really teas, but simply dried flowers and/or herbs.)

Processing tea is where many of the subtleties in taste, body, and overall character are created. It involves taking the raw green leaves and deciding whether or not, and how much oxidation (or fermentation) should take place before drying them out. Tea leaves have enzymes in their veins. When the leaf is broken, bruised, or crushed, the enzymes are exposed to the air resulting in oxidation.

There are four main methods of processing and each produces a different type of tea. These four main types are: White tea, green tea, black tea, and Oolong tea. All are available loose or in tea bags. I prefer loose teas, but it is a personal preference. (I'll post a bit about each type of tea in our next visit.)

If brewing a solitary cup, I use a tea infuser spoon. Fill halfway with the loose tea of your choice and place in your cup. Add boiling water and let steep according to tea recommendations and to taste.

To brew a pot, use a larger tea ball or just put the tea directly into the pot and use a tea strainer when you pour. Use 1 teaspoon of loose tea per cup plus 1 extra. Place in the pot, add boiling water, and let steep according to tea recommendations and to taste.

I hope you have time to enjoy a cup (or a pot) of tea today!

1 comment:

Sharon@C'est Chouette said...

This little blue/white with the pink roses set is about the sweetest set I have ever seen. I love all of your tips. We all need to slow down and learn the art of taking tea.Tkx my Pink Friend~S