- Judith Helen
It's all about the Tea Leaves
Welcome to my first ever blog. If you are here reading this, then you too most likely feel the same way I do about TEA. Tea is my life, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't have at least 6 pots of tea. That may sound a bit overindulgent but I love tea and I don't want to deny myself a little bit of happiness. I look forward to waking up in the morning and deciding which tea I will brew. It can be a dilemma on some days but hey, those are good problems to tackle in the morning. Kidding aside, Tea is a great pick me up, stress reliever and has health benefits too. If something is good for you and you enjoy it, why not be overindulgent.
I have always liked tea but it wasn't until a few years ago that I became extremely passionate about it and discovered all of it's wonderful properties. Yes, yes, we all have had a cup of tea when we aren't feeling well or maybe at Grandma's house with a plate of cookies but there is a world of tea that is undiscovered by most people.
My passion grew stronger with every cup of tea I steeped. I started going to tearooms and ordering their signature blends. I was on a roll developing a keen taste. Teas I would never have given the time of day are now a regular in my tea repertoire. I would not consider myself a professional tea connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination but, I do love a flavorful cup of tea and I have made it a priority to find the best tasting teas from around the world. I keep in my home at all times at least 50 varieties of tea. I don't put anything in my tea because I like to taste the full flavor unmasked. Sometimes, when I am a little under the weather, a teaspoon of honey added to it does the trick. I also love sharing teas with my friends and family and hearing which ones are their favorites. I keep most of my opened teas in vintage tins because they are not only for consumption but they look fabulous too. The rest of my teas are stored in a tea butler pantry that I had my husband build for me. I love it, it's a small walk in closet that we have in our kitchen, but I use it for all of my teas. I blend teas in there and measure out tea for bags that I will be taking on the go with me. It is very convenient to keep all of my teas in one place. I consider myself a Tea Snob because I don't care for the average run of the mill black teas. The teas I purchase are all available to the public but they are made from better quality leaves and come in many different and exotic flavors.
It's all about the tea leaves. Organically grown pure tea leaves that are hand picked and hand processed make better tasting tea. No impurities or chemicals have been added. In many high end tearooms around the world, they will have a tea sommelier. The sommelier will help choose, mix and prepare the tea leaves for the guests. They may have a stash of specialty tea that is only available that year. Once it is gone, it is gone, so always order the specialty stash if you ever have the chance. But if you are enjoying tea at home like most of us do, many of the popular tea companies make high quality great tasting teas.
Tea is an art that has been practiced for almost 5,000 years. It was first discovered in China during the Shang Dynasty and then made popular in 17th Century England. We are lucky to be here now at a time when tea comes in so many varieties and so many flavors. Most of the world's tea is grown in China, India, Sri Lanka and Kenya. Of course there are many other countries in which tea is produced but those four countries make up 75 percent of the world's tea production. The Chinese of the Shang Dynasty would be proud to see what their discovery has done for the world and how well it has been perfected. Just think, if they never dropped those little leaves in a cup of water for medicinal purposes, we wouldn't be enjoying such a glorious drink today.
Stay thirsty my friends and treat yourself to a Royal experience with a quality tea. Please come back when I review some of my favorite teas and tea companies in my next blog post.