Tuesday, August 12, 2008
JUST A LITTLE ABOUT FLAVORED TEAS
I'm not a huge fan of flavored teas. I guess you could say among tea sippers, I'm a purist. I don't mind a high quality flavored tea every now and then though, as long as the flavoring is not overbearing and I can still taste the quality of the base tea. I know people who love flavored teas though, just because they don't think there is much flavor to be appreciated in the base tea. To each his own, right? If I drink flavored teas, I prefer the flavoring to be natural, like the flavor that comes from rough-cut dried fruit and/or herbs. I want to know that the dried fruit or herbs is of the highest quality and there is so much of it per bag. There are some cheaply made and low quality products out there guys, and you will know the difference.
Linda Osborne who wrote the All About Tea Knowledge Cards says "Although Lu Yu wrote in his eighth-century tea classic Ch'a (the Chinese word for tea) Ching that adding other plants to tea--he mentioned onion, ginger, and orange peel (onion? Yuckarooney as far as I'm concerned)--turned the resulting drink into gutter swill (gutter swill--who says that anymore? I kinda like the words though--kind of archaic but funny), flavored teas have been popular at least since his time."
"Today, in the West, Earl Grey is perhaps the best-known flavored tea: to make it, oil of bergamot, pressed from a small, Chinese citrus fruit, is added to black tea. The recipe is said to have been given to Charles Grey, a British earl, by a Chinese friend, but Earl Grey tea is rarely drunk in China. Imperial Russian tea is similarly scented. Flower teas include rose tea, in which petals are mixed with black tea before the final drying period; jasmine tea, a mixture of green tea and jasmine flowers; and chrysanthemum tea, made with pu-erh-style (I have a tea post on this type of tea) black tea or from dried chrysanthemum petals infused by themselves. Lychee and lotus are other common flavorings."
What's your favorite flavored tea? Do you even like flavored tea? Where do you purchase your flavored tea? Is it loose or bagged? How do you prepare it and what, if anything, do you like to add to it to enhance the flavor all the more? Post about it or leave your comments here. I'd like for you to post about it though, if you would, so that we all have a chance to visit each other's blog. If you don't have a blog, again, just leave me a comment. The readers do read the comments and we'll all still see your answer. Thanks for participating if you do.
Today's tea sipping experience in my house includes a rare moment where I'm enjoying a bagged tea. It is Celestial Seasonings India Spice Chai. I used lactose-free milk to mix with it and sugar. Mmmm good!! What did you have today? If you participate in TTOTT, let's leave our tea experience for the day for others to read about and perhaps desire to try.