As a tea lover for all of my life I have found that we as tea lovers, aren’t as vocal about our love for tea as our coffee counterparts. You don’t see a Truth Tea Bar popping up or iced tea lattes served at Starbucks.
Despite this, us tea lovers are very passionate about our teas, and for good reason. There are so many amazing flavours and types in the world that I’m sure one could go a whole year of drinking one cup of tea a day and never drink the same tea.
I stopped drinking coffee completely when I was about 15 or 16 after starting to get migraines and tracing coffee back as a trigger. I haven’t put my lips to a cup of coffee in 10 years and believe me, my tea obsession has made up for it a 100 time over.
In this section of the blog I hope to share with you my love for tea, help you discover some exciting new teas and learn more about the properties of different teas. In the end I hope you fall in love with tea as well.
This first post will be a short introduction on how to drink tea. Most of this information I discovered in this wonderful book that all tea lovers should own called World Atlas of Teas by Kirsti Smith (perk of working in the book world is little jewels like this).
Tea, just like coffee, comes in a variety of sorts and flavours. One of the most commonly known teas is Green Tea. Green tea is originally from China and has a number of great benefits including bringing blood pressure down, helping with stress and more.
In South Africa, we will refer to normal tea or Rooibos Tea (red bush). Normal tea being black tea, and we tend to throw all black teas into the same boat as well, and Rooibos Tea being the herbal tea made from the native Rooibos plant. It has incredible healing properties and most Afrikaans children in South Africa are literally raised on Rooibos. But more on our love for Rooibos in another post.
Your choice of tea will however also influence the way in which your tea is brewed.
According to Smith the perfect brewing time for tea is between 3 and 5 minutes depending on the type of tea. The perfect temperature is between 96 and 98°C for black teas and 80 and 85°C for white, oolong and herbal teas. Naturally how you drink your tea is a very personal decision, but it’s good to know the standard.
This great Brewing Chart from Kirsti Smith’s book is just that:
In my next post, I’ll be looking into why South African’s love their Rooibos Tea so much, how it’s become so popular across the globe and the great benefits of a cup of Rooibos.
New posts every Thursday!