July 11, 2018
Most people consume that drab, flat, spiritless, bitter-tannic tea you get by the 100 count tea bag box at the grocery store. People also encounter at hotel conferences black tea dispensed from tall stainless steel urns on buffet tables covered in heavy, stain-resistant, white poly-cotton table cloths. You know this tea. Listless, bitter and mainly you drink it as an efficient caffeine delivery system, and makes a good companion for death by PowerPoint.
No wonder so many people are baffled by our fondness for a nice cup or several cups through out the day. How can you drink that stuff? a neighbor inquires, as she does morning stretches in Lululemon.
What my flexible Spandex aficionado doesn’t know is that the tea of grocery stores and hotel conference buffet tables is ‘fannings.’ The lowest grade of tea that is essentially the left overs and dust of superior cuts of tea that comprise more of the leaf. So, what’s the problem with that? The fannings that fills so many mass produced tea bags is dry, broken and incomplete pieces of the tea leaf that produces a bitter, tannic and astringent tea kinda like your friend going through that nasty divorce.
The ideal tea leaves to be steeped should not be dehydrated to the point that they have no moisture. Tea has oils that give flavor but when cut finely, even to the point of dust, the oils and moisture that deliver great flavor and aroma are lost.
The solution is to try whole leaf tea. Whole leaf tea, as you can tell from the name, aims to minimize chopping of the leaf thereby maximizing flavor and aroma. A tell-tale sign of great tea is when you lift the tea tin to your nose and take in great aromas. A tea that has no scent has no flavor.
If loose whole leaf tea is not always convenient, fear not! Whole leaf tea can be had in pyramid tea bags that allow for more surface area of tea to be in contact with water at the time of immersion. Whole leaf tea will always deliver a superior flavor that can be steeped much longer than traditional gauze tea bags that invariably become astringent and bitter with steeping.
So, next time you are seeking a fine cup of tea please consider whole leaf tea!
Peace Forest Teas
- kindness in a cup!
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