Yeah, you read the title correctly. This blog post is going to mainly be about my tea drinking habits. While I may not be the most knowledgeable about tea, after testing out each particular tea for myself, I have been able to learn more about what different teas have to offer, some of the health benefits to teas and how to pick out the right tea for me.
Any day is an iced tea day for me and my sister!
One of the first things to consider when buying tea is what kind of tea are you looking to buy. Yup, not all teas are created equal, especially in the current market. You may be a person who sticks to the store brand tea bags that come 20 to a box. They’re easy to travel with and they are quick and efficient at getting the job done.
While that’s well and good, there are actually a few types of ways you can get tea besides the plain ol’ tea bag. My personal favorite form of tea is loose leaf, which is usually purchased by weight. You may say “Hey… this stuff is MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE. Why should I buy that when I can get double the amount of tea bags for the same price?” My quick answer: Tea bags usually only get a single steeping. Loose leaf tea can be steeped up to as many as five times before losing their flavor AND caffeine levels. This is based off of the flavor and type of tea.
Another way to purchase tea is in sachets. Now, yes, these teas look like they’re in bags but usually sachets are able to help tea leaves keep their shape a bit better. This is my second go to. Companies such as Harney and Sons use light weight or even silk sachets, which are much gentler on the leaves. These too can get multiple cups out of them.
Whichever you pick is up to your personal preference! Pick and choose as you please.
Now here is where things get fun. There are different teas that present different flavors as well as different health benefits. I have had the pleasure of getting to try many teas and finding the flavors that I love best.
Iced Teas is always sweeter when you share it with your friends!
So here is some basic information before I get into what I like. Tea comes in a variety of flavors. The basic categories for tea are: Black, Green, White, and Herbal. Each tea has its own specific brewing temperature so as to not scald the leaves (this includes flavored teas). Some places go far enough in their categories where they have the basic categories and then each has a “flavored” tea category (IE: Flavored Black Teas, Flavored Green Teas, Flavored White Teas).
While I love almost all teas, one of my favorite teas is a strong, earthy green tea. Yes, this sounds really weird BUT a great green tea can go a long way. For example: The plain green tea I am currently working through is called “Dragonwell” from Teavana. While it is beautiful and smooth by itself, it goes great with some herbal teas mixed in. I have paired this tea with an Herbal Ginger Tea from a local tea shop, “Purr-fect Tea”, in the past but there are many flavor combinations to pair with a great green!
If you are looking for an antioxidant boost, try adding an herbal tea with blueberries to a plain green tea. This not only will give it a nice boost of flavor but it also helps boost your immune system. Similarly to green teas, black teas also have an amazing capability of taking on different herbal teas and creating enticing aromas and flavors.
While I’m all for flavorful teas, I have found that as I have gotten older, I do prefer extremely earthy teas from time to time. Some of the more earthy teas come with some amazing health benefits. One of my favorite earthy teas is called “Pu-erh Tuo-Cha”. I get this black tea from a lovely shop called “TeaLeafs” and it is AMAZING. It has become a staple in my house and usually I have it on hand nine times out of ten. Not to mention, it is also good for a quick caffeine kick and for helping with weight loss!
In the last year, this is what I have found in my tea adventures:
- Black teas tend to pair better with warm spices such as cinnamon, cardamon and anise.
- Green teas pair extremely well with berries, citrus and ginger. By combining green teas with ginger and citrus, it helps boost metabolism and aids with digestion.
- White teas are delicate but go extremely well with fruits and floral herbs such as lavender.
- Herbal teas are AMAZING! But be warned, they have no caffeine. So if you are looking for a little caffeine with your cuppa, aim for green and black teas.
- Some herbal teas make better iced teas than hot.
- YOU WILL FIND TEAS YOU HATE.
- Some of the healthiest teas will have extremely earthy flavors- I sometimes joke and call them “dir-tea”. (I’m sorry, that’s a REALLY bad tea joke… but did you really expect anything less?)
- Chamomile and Lavender are great for soothing, especially before bed.
- Get a good cast iron pot. Your tea and taste buds will thank you.
Enjoying a nice pot of Pu-erh as I type. First of many for the day!
While this is all information I have learned over the past five years, there is still more tea fun to be had. My biggest suggestion? GO AND HAVE FUN WITH YOUR TEA. Find what you like, experiment and enjoy a nice cup of tea every now and then.