Your tea journey

Posted: December 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

As I’m not at home much at the moment, reviews are few and far between for now but this got me wondering what else could I write about. And so it struck me, every0ne who is a lover of tea must have a back story about how they got to where they are now.

I remember when I was younger my great auntie having a full tea set, a proper pot, tea cosy, milk jug and sugar bowl and proper china cups and saucers. That to me was one of my childhood memories, seeing the loose tea scooped into a pre warmed pot, then filled with boiling water and a tea cosy put over it. Then leaving it a few minutes and pouring it out into the cups, milk first and sugar, then the tea.

It wasn’t until I stopped drinking alcohol that I became an avid tea drinker. I was picky about what I bought at the supermarket but I wouldn’t deviate from a good breakfast tea or an Assam. About two years ago I went away for a weekend with Gemma (my wife) and in our lodge there was a teapot. As we went out to get some shopping at Booths I picked up a pack of loose tea to take back with us. The next step came when a colleague went on holiday to Sri Lanka (not at all jealous!) and I always ask people if you’re going away to bring me back some tea. This is what he did but this was in the form of loose tea so then I had to buy a tea infuser and off I went.

Finally when I went to London in August for a film festival, I had time to kill so popped down to the Twinings shop on The Strand and bought back a selection of various teabags but I also tried some loose tea at their teabar at the back of the shop. This is where my enthusiasm and inquisitiveness for different types of tea started and from there on in I try and get some new teas every month to try. Some I love, some I’m indifferent to but it is an interesting journey to try something completely different and I’d say I like tea in a way another person may have an interest in wine or quality malt whiskies.

Not everyone gets it as they just see tea as an everyday commodity like milk, bread, sugar etc but as you delve beyond the mediocrity of the teabag there is a lot to enjoy. Learning about where your tea comes from, the country and estate, where it is grown, how it tastes and learning how to properly brew it using the right measurements, temperature and time is a skill in itself. It is also an interest that doesn’t cost the earth, a nice shipment of tea for a month costs me less than what a couple of bottles of wine would.

So what next? Well I got a teamaker for Christmas which offers different brewing temperatures and means I can resteep to my hearts content. I’d also like a gongfu set and also a proper quality set of cups and saucers too. All I need now is a bigger house to store it all.

Do I have any suggestions for a person picking up and trying loose tea? Well the first step is to learn your own taste preferences, there is no right or wrong answers. Try and sample as many different teas as you can but learn how to make it correctly. I’m adamant the reason many people dislike green tea is that its down to dipping a teabag in boiling water and wondering why it tastes so awful. Try a quality loose green tea, lower temperature for a shorter time and taste the difference. You chill white wine and serve red at room temperature so learn how to make the tea you have bought.

Any finally don’t over complicate it, get a selection of loose tea, your kettle, a pot and a strainer and off you go. It’s how I started and it really is that simple.





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