Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I'm so happy happy to announce the winner of my tea give-away!! It is Patrice H.!!! Ha!! I bet she is so happy. This lady just discovered my coveted J Greens and...SHE LOVES THEM!!! I had the privilege of turning someone else on to my lovelies!! YEA PATRICE!! Patrice won a bag of imported Genmaicha-Matcha Iri, and I already know that she loves this one because she has sampled it before.

I've decided that I am definitely going to be giving away a box or bag of our own domestically grown tea (from Charleston, SC). Charleston tea is the only tea grown in America (at least on a large scale or on a plantation). Most people don't even know we grow tea here in the good ole U.S. If you missed my post from last Tuesday, go back and read it. It's an interesting little read about tea in American history. Also, google tea in Charleston and you can read about the only tea plantation in America. They're proud of what they do. I can't wait to taste some of it. I'm a very picky tea sipper, so....

Anyway, the tea-cha is ready to get down to business concerning what we'll be discussing about tea today. We're always talking about tea and tea drinking, but how do you really ensure that you brew a pretty good cup? Lots of things factor into having a great cup, but it need not be so much that it becomes difficult or too time-consuming. With the right tools and ingredients, patience and practice, you can smoothly brew a perfect pot, rendering a perfect cup. Start with these simple steps, tips, and items:

1) Always use fresh, cold water. Springwater (not distilled) is preferable to unfiltered tap water treated with chemicals. Soft water is the best. Check to see what kind of water you have in your area. You can purchase springwater just for your tea drinking.

2) No matter what temperature your water needs to brew to steep your tea, always let your water boil first, and then allow it to cool to the temperature it needs to be.

3) Make sure you warm your steeping pot before putting in tea leaves and brewing.

4) Measure and add the tea to the pot if you're using loose. Otherwise, add the right amount of tea bags according to the package instructions. Black tea generally requires one teaspoon or one tea bag for each 6oz. cup. Some green and white teas require more tea. Some of the green teas I drink start out requiring 1-2 tablespoons instead of teaspoons.

5) For black tea, use full boiling water to steep your tea. For green and white tea, the water should be boiled first, but cooled to the right temperature. The temperature of water for green and white teas can vary greatly from tea to tea. It is very important that you follow package directions with these. It will make a difference in taste. If the water is too hot, it will be very bitter. If it's not hot enough, it will be watery and tasteless. For Oolongs, water should be approx. 180-190 degrees.

6) Steeping times vary considerably also, like the temperature of the water can. You can't judge the readiness of your tea by its color. Instead, brew to taste or according to the instructions. I always implore people to brew to taste though. That's important. You can start off brewing by instructions, but adjust steeping times according to your taste afterwards. It it's weak, next time steep longer, and so on. In general, black tea should steep longer, up to 5 minutes. Again, white and green vary from tea variety, etc. on steeping times. Be careful with these, but when you are, these can be very rewarding!

7) Most good, quality tea leaves (loose or bagged) can be steeped up to three times. A lot of the teas in the store (for regular iced tea brewing) may not be able to be steeped, at least not to a satisfactory taste, more than once. Tea is worth its cost because good, quality tea leaves can be steeped more than once.

8) Check a previous post of mine on what you can do with discarded or used tea leaves. You'd be surprised what you can do with them. They have freshening and deodorizing qualities.

Enjoy your tea moments today and everyday. We'll have some more exciting things to talk about with tea next Tuesday. We'll be discussing how to have a themed tea party. How fun!!

The tea-cha is out!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Monica! You are a wonderful teacha! I knew some of these things but not everything! I'll keep tuning in to Teacha Tuesdays to learn more about making tearific tea! Oh, that was bad! Love you, Kim