Is it possible that I’ve turned into a tea snob? I’ve never been a coffee drinker and occasionally drink wine. But when I discovered tea, something in me woke up to a new way of being. My teatime anchors my day. In the morning I don’t leave the house until I have made my cup of tea. My drive into the office is like a ritual when I have my tea with me.
My evening ritual consists of a pot of tea under tea light and I sip my evening sleep tea slowly as I wind down for the day. It’s as if I prepare for bedtime under tea light. I sit in bed, cup in hand and reflect with gratitude for the day. The experience that tea has introduced into my life is so special, truly my happy place.
When I travel, I always have a few tea pouches in my purse. But it doesn’t stop there, I have been referred to as Mary Poppins because I have been known to have tea press, strainers in my purse for my teatime. Is it inappropriate to ask for hot water at a restaurant to prepare my own tea? I only think it’s inappropriate if they don’t have a better tea selection on the menu than what I have in my purse.
Does that make me a tea snob?
Drinking nice teas are equivalent to drinking fine wines, once you do it, there’s no going back. But preparing a nice cup of tea is far more complex than pouring a glass of wine. With wine, it’s important to store it at the proper temperature. With tea, the same applies. It’s important to consider a few factors when preparing a cup of tea.
The water temperature and quality are important, and most teas can be prepared with a temperature between 185 to 212 degrees. Absolutely use of filtered water. Recently I was visiting a friend and did not have my electric water heater. I will admit that I was a little uncomfortable not knowing the temperature of the water. If you boil your water on the stove, keep in mind that the boiling point is usually 212 degrees.
The next factor to consider is how much of the tea is required. Some teas recommend a teaspoon where others recommend a tablespoon. If you are not sure, as a rule of thumb, I usually look at the size of the leaves. For example, my Sleep tea, an herbal blend with rose petals and chamomile, the petals are larger than the typical tea leaves, therefore a tablespoon would be appropriate.
How long should the tea steep is the final step to consider. Steep time is usually 3-5 minutes. With green tea, I pay close attention to steep time because I don’t want the tea to taste bitter if steeped too long. But for some of the other teas, I may allow it to steep under tea light for a while because it gets better with time.
My hope is that you will enjoy every cup of tea.