Whether you are attending a tea party, having a friend over for tea, or you simply enjoy increasing your knowledge of tea, this article is for you.
Tea is something that I am passionate about and the more I know about it, the better I feel. I’ve gathered a few tea facts from my research and past articles here at You, Me, and Uni.
The caffeine in tea leaves you more alert for longer periods than other caffeinated beverages. Due to the high levels of antioxidants in tea, you are less likely to crash a few hours after consumption.
Tea is good for your health
Have you heard? Check out the numerous articles on the benefits of tea here. Tea is packed with antioxidants and minerals that will increase your health and build up your immunity. Tea lowers cortisol levels just in the act of slowing down to sip. Drinking tea out of beautiful china cups while having lovely conversations with a loved one will decrease stress even more. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis rates are all lowered from regular tea habits. All tea, not just herbal tea and green tea have benefits. Read more about them here.
How was Iced Tea born?
This story reminds me of my first trip to Napa Valley, visiting the vineyards with my boyfriend. It was 105 degrees this day and one of the wineries decided to chill their featured red for us to enjoy with the white and rose, at the end of our long, hot tour of the grounds. This is similar to how the first cup of iced tea was created. The time was 1904 and it was at the World’s Fair. A tea merchant, Richard Blechynden, was offering samples of hot tea and no one was interested, as they were experiencing a heatwave. A crazy idea led him to dump a bowl of ice into a huge pot of tea. His iced tea became the most frequented booth at the fair!
Steeping time varies
To make the perfect cup of tea, set a timer if you don’t want to end up with a bitter brew.
I can always tell which coffee shops know how to make a good cup of tea when they set a timer. Green and oolong tea is best at 2-3 minutes only, while black tea is best at 3-5 minutes. Herbal teas can steep for longer durations depending on your preference. The stronger the better, when using herbal teas as medicine.
Water temperature matters
Boiling hot water (212 degrees) is the standard for making tea, the exception being green, white, and oolong tea. These tea leaves are more delicate and are best brewed at lower temperatures. So, turn off the kettle just before boiling or let boiling water sit for five minutes to bring it down to 180 degrees.
Champagne of Teas
Darjeeling is grown at the foot of the Himalayas that is about 70 square miles long. For this reason, Darjeeling tea is among the fanciest teas in the world.
Store tea away on its own
When tea is kept near strong spices or coffee, the flavors can seep into delicate tea leaves. Store tea in air-tight containers such as glass jars or tin boxes to protect them and maintain their freshness.
Herbal tea as medicine
When deciding to reduce daily caffeine, adding in herbal tea will bring an abundance of flavors and health benefits. Herbal teas are not so picky in terms of steeping times. If you are adding herbs for medicinal purposes, you can prepare the tea in a mason jar and leave it on the counter overnight. Strain out the tea leaves in the morning and sip on the strong herbal brew throughout the day. Read more about calming herbal teas here. Wise Herbal Ways is a helpful article on the benefits of herbs.
Once you build up your collection of loose-leaf teas, you can mix any teas you like. Making tea isn’t complicated but there are a few rules to follow for a delicious brew. As you experiment with different types of tea and preparations (hot, iced, lattes) you will learn more and find your favorites. My mood dictates which tea I will drink more so than habits. Certain days call for a hot creamy tea latte, while certain types of weather bring me to want an iced tea or basic hot tea with honey.
The ritual of tea as a mindful practice
I believe we can enjoy just about any type of chore there is if we come to it with a calm mind and a loving heart. I personally enjoy the steps of tea making. I believe I enjoy drinking tea even more because of this. Being in the kitchen without distractions while floating from the sink to fill the kettle, the clicking of the gas stovetop, preparing my mug with tea and sweetener, setting a timer for steeping, and frothing the milk are all parts of the calming ritual for me.
You, Me, and Uni
Trust Your Gut, Know Your Gut and Meditative State of Mind can be purchased through Amazon. For more information on You, Me and Uni, check out the website, created by Master Herbalist, Jennifer Vollbrecht. Browse the herbal tea articles on the site for more tips on adding delicious tea to your healthy lifestyle. Place an order today for yourself and for someone you love.
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden is a writer, editor, and owner of Walden Writes For Women.