Let’s start with the Kettle, used only to heat water. There are some great models on the market which switch off when boiling point is reached. There is even one with a thermometer so you can catch the water before boiling point is reached, when making green or white tea.
A Tea pot is the vessel in which the tea is made. You may brew directly in a cup or mug, but I love my tea pots. I always warm the pot with boiling water before adding the tea. After I pour out the heating water, I add the tea to the wet pot and after a minute or so I inhale deeply. As the leaves start to open, the aroma from these warm environs is fantastic and hints at the pleasure soon to come.
Use a teaspoon for each cup of tea you want to prepare. My mum used to say “and one for the pot” and my husband and I still always add an extra teaspoon of tea when we brew a pot. A teaspoon is different for each kind of tea, as teas come in many shapes and sizes. Not to fret, you will soon get accustomed to the amount of tea you prefer, as you brew more tea. Experiment, though it is not an exact science, have fun.
Steep your tea for the recommended time; white and green tea 2 to 3 minutes, black tea 4 to 6 minutes, and tisanes 8 to 10 minutes, though again personal preference is the rule. While I use a timer in the tasting room to bring garden visitors the perfect taste, at home I just look at the color of the liquor and guess!
Many tea pots have Infusers, mesh baskets to hold the loose tea or Strainers, to keep the leaves in the pot and out of your cup. I like to let the leaves move around in the pot, and with glass pots it can be quite a show.
Loose leaf tea holds a lot of flavors and I always recommend multiple steeping. Add more boiling water to the leaves and double the steeping time. Your second cuppa will not be as strong as your first, but I cannot bear the thought of throwing away tea leaves with even a bit of flavor. If you don’t plan to drink multiple cups, put the tea pot in your fridge and enjoy the tea over ice.
This afternoon I am brewing my favorite Oolong and will infuse the leaves at least four times before the leaves are laid to rest in my garden, but that’s another posting.
Sit back and enjoy the perfect cup of tea. Remember the journey is just as important as the destination. I hope this helps.
The tea lady
At our booth at the Downtown Sarasota Farmer’s Market, someone asked for Holy Basil tea. I was not familiar with this tea and did some research that you may find interesting.
Holy Basil or the Tulsi plant is called Holy as it is an important symbol in the Hindu religion. Tulsi means “the incomparable one” and the plant is worshiped morning and evening, a Hindu household is considered incomplete without a Tulsi plant.
Apart from the religious significance of Holy Basil, the plant has many medicinal benefits. In Ayurvedic medicine it is termed “the elixir of life” as it promotes longevity, in other words it has antioxidants which help boost the body’s ability to fight those nasty free radicals which cause disease and aging. It is also an adaptogen that helps the body fight stress by balancing the mind, nerves and emotions and maintains health of the respiratory tract.
Initially I was curious why this customer wanted this tea. When I learned about the spiritual nature of Holy Basil, I could understand the importance of this tea and was thrilled to learn a bit more about another aspect of this beverage we love called tea.
The Tea Lady