While we all find ourselves cornered by stresses of daily life, we do find time to enjoy subtle little pleasures, and that’s how you find yourself at the loose leaf tea blog. However, you ask yourself what’s the big difference between tea in the bag and loose teas; while both have their drawbacks they both have their benefits. The difference is convenience and tasteful experience.
When it comes to drinking tea, it is important to keep in mind that tea bags are recent invention compared to tea itself. While teabags went commercially around 1904, tea became a common drink during Qin Dynasty (around 200 BC). However, both teabags and tea have evolved since their origin.
Teabags main advantage is their convenience compared to the loose leaf tea; the brewing, clean-up, and storage are all the highlights of teabags. And with today’s innovations teabags are made of different materials and come in different shapes allowing different properties to the brewing process. The reason for improvement in the design is due to flaws that teabags bring to the table and that is: due to size of the teabag only lower grade teas can be packed in them, flavor cannot flow evenly, and overall benefits of the loose leaf tea are lost in the tightly packed confines of a teabag.
Loose leaf teas
As the name suggests loose leaf tea has no confines. It gives the entire flavor of the tea leaf into the cup of delicious tea you are brewing. Loose leaf tea at this point is a tradition, and the flavor it brings to the table is unparalleled. While the tending to loose leaf tea might be seem difficult, it is what preserves its flavor and health benefits. It is important to understand that the loose leaf tea is minimally processed and preserves stronger/better aroma and taste unlike its tea bag counterpart.
While it might seem tough to decide between teabag and loose leaf teas, it is no brainer if you really want to submerge yourself in the world of teas; loose leaf teas all the way. While brewing process might expose few hurdles, it also allows greater control over quantity, aroma, color, and taste of the tea. Lastly today’s innovation make drinking loose leaf tea much easier than you might think there are plenty of devices such as Magic Tea Filter, and many others that allow you the benefit of loose leaf tea with easy clean up.
When it comes to tea preparation, this process is as important as the tea being brewed; you do not want to find yourself buying batch of premium teas and not enjoying a full potential of the tea. The beauty of loose leaf tea is that it is such a delicate substance that in order to unlock all of its flavors you need to be methodical about the brewing process. Like everything amazing, a great cup of tea begins with the best ingredients: your favorite tea, right temperature and time it needs to be brewed in, and something most might overlook, water. After all, every cup of tea is composed primarily of water so it is imperative to use the right kind of water to steep your favor cup of green tea, black tea, herbal tea or many others.
Alright, so I preached the importance of every ingredient involved in the preparation of your favorite cup of tea, and water is the topic of our discussion. Before you worry about how difficult or special the water might have to be for your tea, I want you to take a sip or two of chamomile herb tea (it tastes best with hint of dandelion honey), please stick with me. These days we are surrounded with an immense variety of aqua, from its origin to pH levels and calcium levels; all this fine and dandy but when paired with spoonful of Silver Needles white tea, you do not want to make any mistakes.
So before you put that kettle on the stove make sure of few key steps to prevent from making your tea dull and flavorless. Firstly, make sure you are using the purest water available to you, it might sound silly but many different location have different quality coming out of its tap; if you are not 100% confident that your tap water is best then I would advise to use filtration system, and you do not need to install an enormous water purifier or buy dozen of gallons of filtered water, instead use a simple water filter that eliminates the chlorine, salt, calcium, and any other heavy particles in water; essentially you are trying to make your water as “soft” as possible. While boiling water helps for all those heavy minerals and particles to descend it does not eliminate them. So what is the ideal water for brewing tea? Well, most experts agree that spring water, because of its purity, freshness, and high oxygen level. However, it might be difficult to find your local well or natural spring source in the middle of NYC. So why not give all those bottled waters a try, right? Yes and no, many of the bottled waters might have minerals added to them, or in case of distilled water it's so purified that is considered dead water.
So to wrap this up, be cautious what you prepare your tea with, and if you looking for a safe bet and you can’t get your hands on natural spring water, then use your tap water just make sure to filter out all heavy minerals and others additives that are in it.
The most fascinating events in nature occur at the junction of the seasons. Winter, spring, summer, autumn then winter again are beautiful. But in our climate, with its usual well-defined and fair duration of all seasons, each season can get us bored. In winter, we unbearably miss summer and short sleeves; in summer we experience nostalgia for calm and long winter evenings, the rhythm and content of which is mainly determined by snow and frost.
There are moments amazingly unique and exclusive despite its annual predictability because its predictability is not absolute. Everyone knows that one day in late fall or early winter the first snow will happen. But each time the first snow is a delightful surprise that makes us happy and brings childhood memories.
Fall is notifying us already about its approach by chilly foggy mornings, changing color trees...and spider webs that suddenly become visible in the rays of the rising sun. Yellow and red strands on the trees I love the most! They are outlined to let us know that one day soon Nature will turn our lives from summer to fall.
I wrote all this to the fact that fall is inevitable and there is only one way to take it favorably. Get some sweet Sherry or Benedictine, get fragrant black loose leaf tea (Darjeeling, Keemun or Yunnan fit perfectly), get a small wineglass, a cute tea cup, a cozy throw and a chair.
And one night, all of these items should be brought into action. Fireplace is lit up, tea is brewed wineglass is full. And then you need to sit in a chair, wrapped in the throw, drink tea and whatever in the wineglass, enjoy the beauty of a fireplace excepting the fact that fall is here, winter is next ...and smile.
Tea for breakfast. The concept of this tea is very simple. The morning tea will invigorate and contribute to the early awakening, this quite simple function uniquely determines its properties. It must be strong, energizing, have a rich taste (aroma can be neglected this time) and well combined with sugar, milk, lemon and a variety of the breakfast choices. Small leaf teas and blends posses these qualities.
Ceylon, Kenyan, small leaf Assam, almost any CTC teas and, of course, various blends can be used for breakfast. To make your life easier, sellers of tea offer a large number of morning teas, in the names of which there is a word Breakfast. All these teas are perfectly fulfilling the function of a beverage for breakfast. Without thinking, I can recall the following : English breakfast, Irish breakfast, Russian samovar, Irish morning ...
So, equipping your tea collection with the morning element can simply be done by buying any strong tea you like. If you want to show some independence and to go beyond the framework outlined by sellers, then as a tea for breakfast chose Ceylon and Indian Assam teas. This, however, I already wrote. Indian Darjeeling and Chinese teas, as well as blends, prepared on their basis, perhaps, is not a good idea to use as a breakfast choice.
There is another option of tea for breakfast, which is actively used by your obedient author. This choice has been made due to three reasons. First, my traditional morning sandwich (toast with butter, melted cheese and pate) does not require anything special. Secondly, in the morning I drink tea with sugar and lemon (sugar for the energy, and lemon is a great source of vitamins). These additives will make any tea taste quite the same. Third, when half-awake, I particularly do not discern any smell or taste. So, on my tea shelf I keep a jar on which "Crazy Breakfast" is written and in which I pour the remains of black CTC teas and broken leaves. And this is often a mixture I made myself and love the most as an improvisation for starting a new day with new expectations.
If in your personal life or in your career tea is something more than just a drink to flush down a sandwich, then sooner or later on your tea shelf will be not one, but several kinds of this blessed drink.
Then you will wonder what exactly tea should be in your permanent tea repertoire.
When compiling the individual tea sets there are two possible approaches by type and by function. In the first case, a tea set is made up of specific varieties of tea, in the second set all teas are selected based on the functions they must perform. The second campaign seems to me more sensible, as a more versatile and flexible. At the end, a tea set can be regarded as a set of specific varieties of tea, perform the general functions. These functions I would like to describe in more details, supplying the description with the recommendations of specific varieties. Enough, lets get started...