August 05, 2013

Let Us Talk About Tea

I love tea. I practically grew up with it. I even preferred tea over water when I was younger. However I'm only the teabag type of fan. I still consider myself a newbie, I absolutely have no idea on the basics of deciding whether the cup I'm having is good or not, I was even surprised when I read about brewing tea, temperature and steep time are included in making tea. Like w-what the hell are those? I need a thermometer?


So here I am, trying to get inside the world of tea. Why all of the sudden? This is due to me noticing the increasing number of milk-tea establishments in the city. The weird thing is, I hate the sweet taste of milk overpowering tea that it has become an after taste instead. That woke up the sleeping giant in me. I missed drinking tea all of the sudden. Memories of afternoons came rushing back. I suddenly remembered a younger me putting lemon in a teacup, or my mother pouring milk into a mug of dark ceylon.

So now since I'm craving for tea, let me now refrech myself on how to actually make a cup:

How to Make Tea
A Noob's Guide to Making Tea using Tea Bags 
Because Using Loose Tea Leaves Sounds Complex
For An Amateur Like Me

1. Buy a kettle of your choice, then use it to boil water.

2. Try to get the best teapot for your needs. Ask the questions. How many people do you want to serve? Do you want a different type of teapot? Do want a chinese design? Maybe a Victorian one suits your feminity? You decide, though personally, I believe investing a whole tea set is preferable. 

Classy, these are just adorable.
3. Fill the teapot with the boiling water. Let it cool down fow a moment since if you do not cool the water prior to steeping tea, the hot water may somehow burn/cook the tea leaves which results to a bitter taste.

4. Add the tea bags. Here are some types of tea you could find easily in grocery stores.


White Tea
Only uses the first two leaves and the bud.
Lightly processed; Very quickly wilted and steamed dry.
Mainly produced in mainland China
Yellow Tea
Similar to green tea but it goes through the yellowing process.
Green Tea
Produced in China and Japan, and at a smaller scale, Darjeeling and Assam.
Becoming popular in the Western world.
Oolong Tea.
Famous oolong tea are produced in Taiwan and the Fujian region in China.
Leaves are often quite large and are frequently rolled.
They stand up to multiple infusions and each infusion has a different flavour profile.
Black Tea
A staple in Western supermarkets.
It’s called red tea in China due to the colour of the liquor.
Goes well with milk and sugar.

5. Leave the tea bags in. Just let it steep out the tea flavour. Never squeeze the teabags after the steeping is done. Here are the usual steeping times for different types of tea.
Green tea - 1 to 2 minutes.
White tea - 4 to 15 minutes
Black tea - 3 to 5 minutes.
Oolong tea - 1 to 9 minutes.
Herbal teas - 5 minutes.
6. Take the tea bag out and let everything sit for a minute.
7. Pour into mugs and there's your tea! 

There still tons of things to do after brewing tea though, in fact I could have my own tea party if I wanted to, or settle instead for a personal low and high tea. Another idea is creating a business thorugh a tea house/tea room. I could already see it: walls of pastel colors, scones and cakes on the menu, tea cups hanging from the ceiling, drawings being sold by the windows, and nice music to go along with the whole afternoon.


But as for now, let me leave you for a moment to enjoy my own cup of warm tea. Heaven knows how I missed its taste.




Sources:
1. madamoo's answer to Tea Basics? Yahoo Answers- 
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071212084038AAveHGM
2. Tea Basics by Kwokmun. My Kitchen From Scratch blog- 
http://mykitchenfromscratch.wordpress.com
3. Pintrest Serach: Tea- 
http://pinterest.com/search/boards/?q=tea

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