Happy (Tea) Tuesday!!!
Something we’re going to start here to provide you continuous goodies and educational information is giving various tea recipes every Tuesday. These recipes will be different than what’s provided in our subscription boxes. We will discuss the benefits of the given herbal tea blend and whatever other tidbits or inspiration can be given, too, to expand on the full experience of tea drinking. It is not just about a hot beverage. It is about health – physical, mental, and/or emotional.
If you’re new to tea, here’s some basics that will maybe help give a more well-rounded foundation to understanding the awesome power of tea and why adding it to your life can be so beneficial.
The history of tea is long and complex, spreading across multiple cultures over the span of thousands of years. Tea likely originated in southwest China during the Shang dynasty as a medicinal drink. An early credible record of tea drinking dates to the 3rd century AD, in a medical text written by Hua Tuo. Tea was first introduced to Portuguese priests and merchants in China during the 16th century. Drinking tea became popular in Britain during the 17th century. The British introduced tea production, as well as tea consumption, to India, in order to compete with the China monopoly on tea.
There are various types of tea, too. “At least six different types are produced:
- White: wilted and unoxidized;
- Yellow: unwilted and unoxidized but allowed to yellow;
- Green: unwilted and unoxidized;
- Oolong: wilted, bruised, and partially oxidized;
- Black: wilted, sometimes crushed, and fully oxidized; called (called 紅茶 [hóngchá], “red tea” in Chinese tea culture);
- Post-fermented: green tea that has been allowed to ferment/compost (called 黑茶 [hēichá] “black tea” in Chinese tea culture).
The most common are white, green, oolong, and black.” (Wikipedia, 2005) There are even more ways to drink tea including but not limited to sugar, milk, honey, lemon, and combinations of these and more. With each tea recipe we provide, we will attempt to provide the traditional methods of drinking. Example: Earl Grey is usually drank with lemon but not milk. Of course, drink it how you like! Enjoying it is the main goal!
The actual method of brewing can change the taste and efficacy of your beverage, also. With each recipe, we will give the best suggested brewing temps and times for that blend. This makes it easier to remember since each blend will be different. There are hundreds of books on the art of tea and tea drinking. So we want to keep things simplified for you all. We will provide thoughts on books as we finish reading and researching. We want to share everything we know with you.
So without further adieu, here’s the first brew blend that will start the weekly ritual of tea drinking. Adding a touch of lavender, lemon, pomegranate, or other fruit can create a beautiful blend.
Straight green tea is suggested to help with things like tooth decay, high blood pressure, heart disease, improves concentration, and can be paired with other goodies to aid in other health situations. A great pairing with green tea is jasmine flowers. Simply divine!
The blend of green tea and jasmine flower is honestly a personal preference. I say start 1 part green tea and 1 part jasmine flower. This will give you a basis for what direction you may want to go to create the perfect blend for yourself. Prep your water to about 160F/71C and steep for about 1-2 minutes. Add whatever other goodies like honey or lemon you want to truly customize and embody the flavors you want. Make this exploratory journey a truly self-discovering ritual.
Preparation: Place 1 rounded tsp of tea leaves per cup in a teapot. Heat the water until it is simmering (160F); cool briefly (vigorously boiling water can destroy the tea’s gentle flavor). Pour the water over the tea leaves; cover the pot. For a mild flavor, let the pot stand 2-3 minutes; for a stronger flavor steep for 4-6 minutes. WARNING: Contains high caffeine content! ** Too much caffeine can increase your heart rate, restlessness and insomnia. You can lower the caffeine content of green tea by pouring a little water over the leaves prior to infusion and strain the water off after 30 seconds. Then prepare the tea as suggested. ** Consider it like a leaf rinse.