Reactionary Tales

Tea Enthusiast

Today’s post is brought to you by my wonderful husband. The daily prompt word is tea and in the past few months or so, my husband has learned a great deal about different aspects of tea that I would like to share with you today.

I’m not a tea expert but an enthusiast.

 

First thing to note is tea can be made out of a lot of different things. Leaves, pine needles, etc. We are just going to focus on the tea leaf. There are many different types of tea. As I know it, they are all derived from the same plant. The four types I’m going to focus on are white, green, oolong and black tea. The difference between these four is how old the leaf is, how oxidized it is and how long it’s roasted. Other factors include geographical location and the altitude where the tea is grown.

 

So the basic rundown on my knowledge is that white tea is a very young leaf and bud; young as in it’s harvested early on in the plants life. Green tea is a bit older and as a result is green in color whereas white tea is more of a yellow color. Oolong, my favorite, sits in a spot where it’s a little bit more processed than green tea because it’s been roasted a bit. Finally, black tea is usually very oxidized and heavily roasted. There are many combinations of the age of the leaf, oxidation and roasting. There are a lot different types of each tea that have different qualities. I suggest trying a wide variety to find out what you like.

 

Now we get into the actual process of making the amazing beverage. First we talk about water. What’s tea without water? Leaves. I guess you could eat them, but I’m not too sure how good they would taste. Picking the right water is crucial to flavor. There are many schools of thought on type of water you should use. Most people go with tap water as they say it adds character to the taste. Some prefer filtered water and some prefer mineral water. Personally, I used filtered water. Just do. No rhyme or reason for me but I suggest trying different waters to see how they react with the leaves.

 

Next, I’ll talk about steeping and the amount of tea you should use in combination with the amount of water (in ounces). To be honest, I don’t remember the ratio. I’ve been doing it so long that I just eyeball the amount of tea. I want to note here that there two ways loose leaf tea comes in a package. It’s either rolled or twisted.

The primary tool I use is a porcelain gaiwan. You could also use a steeping tool like a gravity cup or a tea ball infuser. The temperature of the water is important. Unless it’s black tea, I was told to never go for a full boil (212 degrees F). But, once again, I think this is something you should play with to figure out what your tastes are. Depending on the tea, I usually go for about 170-190 degrees F. Now, it’s steep time. I would say follow the directions on the package. This is very important. If you steep for too long or the water is too hot, you could compromise flavor. This entails a stronger taste than you may like or a very bitter taste/after taste. I like my tea smooth so I tend to steep it for less than two minutes. Some directions may even tell you to steep for 15 seconds. In order to find your sweet spot,  you have to try different combinations.

 

That’s a lot of info. May sound daunting, but if done right, you could enjoy something truly amazing. Although, if all else fails, you could just get regular tea bags. Just try and remember to remove the bag after steeping.

Happy sippings.

Isn’t he wonderful? ♥ Do you drink tea? Do you prefer easy to use tea bags or loose leaf? Are you more of an herbal infusions tea drinker? Let me know in the comments below!

Nel

Happily married, bookaholic, Netflix-a-holic sharing random experiences and interpretations of my world which is brutally honest most of the time.

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54 thoughts on “Tea Enthusiast

  1. superwifeandmummy

    What a superb post . I absolutely adore tea. Not a big shock there! My favourite is black, obviously , as that is the ‘English ‘ tea and I have it with no sugar and brewed for about 3 mins and a dash of cold milk. Ah. ..perfection. I drink A LOT OF chamomile and peppermint and when I was preggy I’d drink lemon verbena- divine! In Cyprus it’s colloquially called Louiza- which I think is funny for some reason 😂
    Big, warm cheers to your hubby 🌺

    1. Nel Post author

      Thank you! I’ve been begging him to do this post for ages and he finally complied, haha. I’m an iced tea fan more than anything but I indulge him every once in a while and try his teas. That lemon-verbena sounds really good! I will pass the message on to him. 😀 Thank you so much for reading!

  2. updownflight

    Great tips! I suppose when I make a large pot of tea I use tap water, but when I make a cup’s worth I used filtered. It’s true that the steeping time is crucial.

    My husband and I must have about 25 different types of tea in our cabinets. We have two full cabinets dedicated to tea and tea paraphernalia storage. I’ll confess that we don’t drink it as much as we should, since we also love coffee and espresso. Some of our teas are even beneficial to health. One we bring home from Czech Republic is excellent when you have a chest cold. Others are meant for stress relief, energy, you name it. My favorite tea is Earl Grey with milk and sugar.

    Oh, I also LOVE to make homemade unsweetened iced tea with fresh mint from my garden.

    1. Nel Post author

      Its funny that you have a tea cabinet. My husband has a tea cabinet as well but we’ve since expanded to having a tea station cause the cabinet was overflowing! He orders his teas direct from Taiwan.
      Your iced tea sounds fantastic! I love iced tea and mint so I’ll have to try that combo one day! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It will make my husband happy 🙂

      1. updownflight

        Oh, Taiwan has wonderful teas. I lived there for months a couple of times in my 20s and 30s. They are famous for their teas, as you know. I remember having an adult English as a Second language student whom I met each time at a tea stand. He was an herbal doctor. He introduced me to many teas at the stand, one of which was excellent for easing my chest cold. It was some kind of black tea with kumquats in it.

        1. Nel Post author

          I feel like you should make a post in the future about these teas that cure every day ailments so I can take notes.

          1. updownflight

            I’m not really an expert on such teas. I just know the usual stuff (chamomile for anxiety, mint for stomach), plus two teas I mentioned that are good for chest colds. I do have some of the lists of herbs, etc. in them, but would have to have hubby translate. I was also given teas called “Detox”, “Be Cool”, and “Sweet Love”. They have the herbs written in English. If anything interests you, just let me know.

          2. Nel Post author

            Thats the beauty of blogging. You don’t have to be an expert. You can introduce us to these things and expand upon them based on your experience. Think about it. It’d be great! 😀

  3. cwhiteweb

    Great tea post! Husband really outdid himself on this one! Thank him for us. I live in a tea country but it has never really sparked my interest. It’s always nice to know!

  4. James J. Cudney IV

    When’s he getting his own blog?

    Very cool post. I’m not a big tea drinker, but trying to give it a chance. I enjoy coffee in the morning, but then I am not a fan of hot drinks since I’m always so hot! I could let it brew and drink it cold. 🙂

    Thanks for the education today, Z!

    1. Nel Post author

      I know right! He’d make an awesome blogger. He’s knowledgeable about so many things! I’m with you! I’m not a fan of hot drinks either except hot cocoa in winter. But it’s pretty ironic cause I can eat hot soup anytime of the year but not drink hot tea, haha.
      I will let him know you thanked him 🙂

    1. Nel Post author

      You’re welcome and thanks for reading! I will let him know you found his tips useful 🙂

  5. Noriko

    This post is amazing! I used to be a biiiiiiiig tea drinker, I even bought books on tea – Japanese tea, Western tea… this post made me recall lots of things I learned from reading the book! Yes, water temperature and how long you brew the leaves are important. How cool your husband is <3
    By the way, I now make tea using mostly tea-bags though… lol

    1. Nel Post author

      Is there a difference between Japanese tea and Western tea? He is a pretty cool guy 😉 Tea bags are perfectly okay! They now sell the bags separate so you can make your own tea bags.

      1. Noriko

        I no longer remember much about Western tea, but Japanese tea is obviously harvested in Japan; Shizuoka Prefecture which is close to Tokyo is known for its massive tea production. Maybe I should make a post on Japanese tea then? lol

          1. Noriko

            lol Just as much you’re intrigued to know what life is like in japan, I’m interested to experience life in the US! Wish we could swap life for a week lol you and your hubby live in Japan for a week and I live in the US. wouldn’t that be wonderful???

          2. Nel Post author

            Oh my goodness that would be so amazing! They can hurry up with those teleport machines any day now! We should probably learn some basic Japanese lol

          3. Nel Post author

            I know I just said this but maybe in the future you could do a simple Japanese translation post. Phrases like Hi, how are you, good morning, goodbye, where’s the bathroom, awesome! I only know bakka(?) cause it’s used in anime regularly hahahaha

          4. Noriko

            Hey, I haven’t even decided on the theme of the post for this week….would you like a simple Japanese phrases post? Like,
            ‘hello’ means ‘kon-nichi-wa’ in Japanese, it’s a greeting expression used in daytime…blah-blah-blah
            What would you say?? This one is pretty easy to work on, I can totally do it this weekend!

          5. Nel Post author

            Yeah! That would be cool! The English phrase and it’s Japanese translation/pronounciation of like regular phrases you use everyday. I knew konnichiwa too. I lied in the previous comment hahaha

          6. Noriko

            Liar! lol (just kidding!) Anyways, i’ll be working on the theme of this week’s post a little bit more. Hopefully, I can publish it by this Sunday! 🙂

  6. Stephanie

    Great post! 🙂 You’re hubby should do more posts! I love tea and although I don’t have a tea cabinet, I have an entire side of our pantry that is all mine and filled with a variety of teas and I’m always buying more. I love everything from black teas, white tea, green tea, to herbal tea for health. I start every morning with either Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast with a touch of milk and some sugar depending on how much caffeine I want and how strong I want the brew.
    I drink lavender tea at least once a day to relax-it has chamomile in it and a lot of other herbs in it. And I drink peppermint and ginger tea every day for digestion. My gastroenterologist turned me on to dandelion tea; it tastes so unusual but it is so good for your liver and your kidneys! I drink several cups a day for about 7-10 days to detox. And sometimes I do a peach detox tea that is really good too!

    I even have a bedtime tea that helps to knock me out on nights I have really bad insomnia because the tea contains valerian root and Kava Kava, and I have one that really helps with menstrual cramps! We all drink tea with eucalyptus and other herbs when we have a bad cold and trouble breathing, and then I have another really good tea for sore throats although I think this year I’m going to try the ginger tea with honey and lemon!Tea (black and green) is so good for you: it helps reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease and fights cancer, and I think herbal tea is just wonderful! 🙂

    1. Nel Post author

      Wow! You are the true tea enthusiast here! I drink the organic raspberry tea for menstrual cramps. I’ve had the kava kava tea before and I don’t know how you can stand it cause it tasted like straight dirt to me when I had it living in Maui, lol. I love peach iced tea but I’m not sure I’ve ever had the detox formula. Your comment is full of such informational points! I’m taking notes.
      My husband thanks you for your kind words and maybe I can convince him to do another post in the future 😊

      1. Stephanie

        LOL, you are too funny! When you wrote tastes like dirt I had to laugh…and then go check the label!! It’s St John’s Wort not Kava Kava, lol. But they do make a Kava Kava calming tea that I have NOT tried and maybe I will not after what you said, lol! This Bedtime Tea has lavender, spearmint, and cinnamon in it, so it is just herby, minty, with a bit of spice. The detox peach has a lot of spices in it and is really warming in it. Pretty sure it has ginger in it too.

        Glad I could give you some helpful info!! I try to do as much natural stuff as I can for my health and my dr is really big into all natural healing, which is one reason I love him so much!! He really has helped me get off a lot of prescriptions and onto minerals and herbs instead, and that was when I really began researching tea! tell your hubby he is welcome 🙂 I’m sure you can find a way to convince him!!

        1. Nel Post author

          Aaaah okay. I’ve never had St. John’s wort. If you can get past the taste of kava kava, it does have mellowing effects even if it makes your tongue numb. The natives swear by it which is why I tried it but it’s definitely not a taste I want to acquire lol.
          That’s so awesome that your doctor is into natural healing. We need more doctors in the world like him!

          1. Stephanie

            I used to take St John’s Wort as an herbal but it relaxed me too much, lol. It’s best for me anyway just to use as needed. I love Valerian though and take it for pain, migraines, anxiety…you name it! It tastes nasty in pill form, so I’m glad they were able to at least disquise it in the tea…probably because it is lower down on the list! Ugh, yeah, I was told I could take Kava Kava for my generalized anxiety instead of my prescription, and I tried but it didn’t stop my panic attacks even though it did make me mellow. I guess it just wasn’t as strong or my anxiety is sronger! I wonder if in this Kava stress relief tea blend if it tastes like dirt, lol It has cinnamon, ginger, and hazelnut in it that might balance out the dirt taste.
            It really is!! I send everyone to him!! He’s all about healing your gut to help your overall health and so much more. I’m still in a so much pain with my fibromyalgia, but I was in daily pain before I met him, nit just with my fibro, but I had had chronic migraines every day for over 2 years so bad that I was blacking out from the pain and ending up in the ER. I still get 3 or 4 bad migraines a month, but I can handle that compared to what I was dealing with. He’s phenomenal!!

    1. Nel Post author

      Yes! You just have to find the infusion that you like and you’ll grow to love it I’m sure! It’s so healthy too 😁

        1. Nel Post author

          Yeah! Like I told everydaystrange, they make tea kettles where you can boil water to the exact temperature it says in the instructions which makes it a lot easier to experiment and find that good blend 😁

    1. Nel Post author

      I can understand that. When the man is on the go, he tosses the loose leaf in the gravity cup cause it’s so easy to drain it into his tea mug quickly. He keeps tea bags around too; mostly organic green and black tea.

    2. Nel Post author

      I should also mention he has an electric tea kettle that heats tea to the exact temp you want it to be in like 2 minutes which definitely cuts the process down a ton cause he doesn’t have to boil the water on the stove.

        1. Nel Post author

          Yes! It’s worth the investment. Look up Ivation tea kettle on Amazon. That’s the one we have.

  7. mainepaperpusher

    You’re going to think I like this tea because I like dragons, but it is truly outstanding in my opinion. Jasmine Dragon’s tears is really good and unusual in that it comes in smaill hand-rolled balls. If you haven’t tried it, please do. If you like jasmine, I think you’ll like it.

  8. Mischenko

    Great post, Nel! I love tea. I don’t do loose that often and drink mostly herbal. 💗 Loved your pics too! Cool that hub is involved here, lol. 😉👍

  9. theorangutanlibrarian

    hehe well I’m a brit, so I’m automatically a tea enthusiast 😉 I’m basically addicted at this point! But this was so interesting because I know literally nothing about tea (other than I must have it!!)

    1. Nel Post author

      Hahahaha! Well that’s a good reason to know nothing about tea as long as you’re drinking it 😂

      1. theorangutanlibrarian

        heheheheh yes!!! 😂😂😂 I think I would literally keel over if I didn’t have it- there’s a chinese proverb that’s something like “better three days without food than a day without tea”- although I need food too!!

        1. Nel Post author

          I was going to say, I know you love to eat as much as I do! So better three days with both and a day without either is more like it, haha

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