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Tea Newsletter #4 – Why Loose Leaf Tea is Better

Why Loose Leaf Tea is Better

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Hello Tea Lovers

It may be late in the year for Iced tea (or Iced tea.)  Even here in Sarasota, we have the windows open, and it’s great sleeping weather. But I have a story I want to share with you about Why Loose Leaf Tea is Better.

Debbie S is a long time customer who uses our Organic Sarasotan Breakfast Tea to make ice tea. I recently connected with her, and she told me she steeps her tea THREE times, with outstanding results.

Cold Brew Iced Tea

She makes large tea bags using the Tea Sacs #4 – Large and 38g of tea.  In the first batch, she uses the  ‘Cold Brew‘ method; a gallon of cold water in a sealed container, with the Tea Sac in the fridge overnight.

For the next batch, a second steep in cold water, but this time she leaves the container in the fridge for at least 24 hours.  Debbie told me the tea is a little bit lighter, but it’s still a nice cup of tea.

For the third steep, she uses the same tea sac in a large bowl and hits it with a quart of boiling water.  She lets the tea steep until it cools, adds cold water to make it a gallon, and then puts it in the fridge.

Debbie is a creature of habit and drinks tea all day long.  My preference is hot tea, and I like a bit of variety.  Above all, this is just one reason why loose leaf tea is so much better. In this case, so much more economical than tea bags.  Debbie is an inspiration to anyone, everyone who wants to get the most out of their tea.  It is possible, and I thought it was interesting to share it here.  Thanks, Debbie.

Tea Station at Home

We have a tea shelf loaded with tea options at our home, and then near the kettle, we keep the teas we are drinking most often.  I found this article about creating a tea station at home ( or a coffee station) with tons of details and good ideas.

The author is Lorena Roma, and the article is at Porch, a company focused on helping people take better care of their homes.  Pretty cool, and I hope you find this helpful.

 

Correction to Last Month’s Newsletter

Thank you for the emails telling me ’Live from Here’ got canceled. Drag!  I need a whole new Sunday Tea routine.

Netflix

I am a sporadic viewer of the Great British Baking Show, but I found ‘Biscuit Week’ to be especially ”Tea Focused”  I don’t bake at all, but the show grabs me with the characters and the vocabulary.  I love the way the brits turn a phrase.  Hilarious, and they don’t take themselves too seriously, even in competition.

Enter Rowan.  He laughs his way through a few episodes, stopping for a cuppa amidst the chaos.  For the ‘Showstopper’ challenge, many contestants created variations of tea services made from biscuits. Clever.  However, I still have a few episodes to go.
Tea Pairing – Chocolate Honeybush with store-bought biscuits.

Places

Faith Stewart-Gordon, the owner of the Russian Tea Room, has died. She was 88.  Obit here.  Fun Fact – Madonna was a coat A decorative glass teacup used in the Think Out of the Bag monthly Newsletter by Local Tea Company in Sarasota, Florida.check clerk and was fired for slipping her demo tapes to guests.  Stewart-Gordon had a goal “to make the restaurant look the way people remembered it, not the way it was.”  RIP, and I raise a cuppa Lapsang Souchong in a decorative glass teacup in her memory.

 Sip Locally Tea Blog – recent posts

5 reason you will love Rooibos Tea

Teapots for TeaParties – Teapotty

Books

I am reading ‘Titan’ by Ron Chernow. My ‘big book’ for the year from the author who wrote Hamilton. I don’t see a rap version of this story about John D Rockefeller, but then again, Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius.
Tea pairing – Organic Earl Grey with a splash of Oat milk.

GolfToons

I play more golf since the Carriagehouse Tea Room at Selby Gardens closed.  GolfToons is a side hustle I’ve been working on with Dianne’s brother, Marty.  Have a look, and please pass along to any golfers you know.  Or, you can subscribe and Laugh at the Agony!
Tea Pairing – Organic Strawbango Mushed up words that sound funny!

As always, your comments are welcomed, and thanks for your support.

Your Local Tea Team

Teapotty!

Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company

Author unknown

Recently, we brought to your attention the Tea Cozy, and now we turn to the  TEAPOT!

Origins 

The teapot is a vessel for steeping loose tea leaves or herbal infusions.  Although the pot does not have as long a history as the leaf, its humble beginnings were also in China.

At first, tea was boiled in open pans.  Not until the Ming Dynasty did the idea of a covered pot became popular.  Those pots were small, and the tea was taken directly from the spout.  But they served their purpose well, keeping the flavor and allowing the steeping process to be repeated several times.  More about this later!

Towards the end of the 16th century, the Dutch started shipping cargoes of tea to Europe, and the teapot came along. The designs were mostly blue and white stoneware. Dutch potters started re-creating these designs, and by 1710, Germany began production in the Meissen factory, followed shortly after by production in France and England.

At that time in Colonial America, Boston became a center of silver production, which included the making of elaborate teapots. Two Dutch potters who settled in England established the pottery industry in Staffordshire, and it was some hundred years before they discovered the secret of making fine translucent pottery called porcelain. The teapot journey had begun!

In the eighteenth century, Josiah Spode is credited for creating the distinctive look of English China and famous names as Wedgewood, Worcester, Minton, and Derby.  All created such beautiful and elegant designs. Maybe you are lucky enough to have one in your collection!

Shapes and Sizes

Over the years, the size and shape of teapots have changed to suit tastes and fashions.  Now, of course, we can get any size or shape or material imaginable. From the finest china to stoneware to glass, basically, anything goes!  But which is the best style of the teapot?

I urge my customers to think carefully about their tea-drinking habits, as bigger is not necessarily better. The early Chinese method rings true for a reason. It seems that the majority of people, if they have a 6 cup pot, then they cannot resist making a full pot and maybe only take 1 serving!  You can stash the leftovers in the fridge for some Iced Tea (or Ice Tea.)

Whilst drinking that 1 serving, the remaining tea is becoming quite undrinkable unless you like major astringency! My advice is to make 1 serving and reinfuse the leaves for a second helping when you are ready, continuing till you have no flavor in your leaves…Multi-Steeping, not to be confused with Infusion Confusion.

If you were to decant the 6 cups of tea into another vessel upon completion of brewing, that would also be acceptable. The key is to gauge how much you will be drinking and brew accordingly. Choose a pot to match your drinking habits; life is too short to waste good tea!  Along with Life is too Short to Drink Bad Tea!

How to use a Teapot

How to make a nice pot of tea? In Yorkshire, they would say ‘take the pot to the kettle and not t’other way round.’   Warming the pot is so important!  Place the leaves in this inviting environment and they start to release their aroma. Stick your nose in the pot and inhale deeply.

All teas vary slightly in weight.  The general rule is one teaspoon per cup, and I add ‘one for the pot’ because my mum always did!  Steep for the recommended time or your preference and TAKE TIME TO ENJOY YOUR TEA.  Enjoy the first cup, and when you are ready, re-infuse your leaves, and don’t forget your tea cozy to keep the tea warm this time!

So, what’s your favorite teapot look like, or what would you like it to look like? I invite you to have some fun with us on Pinterest.

Here is my favorite teapot from the Yorkshire Dales!  And we have a wonderful Pinterest Board, TeaPotty, with heaps of Teapots.  Enjoy!