I had a couple of questions about tea in my comments section so I thought I’d write here about my tea preferences. Here’s a little back-story of how I got started with tea.
My father used to drink a lot of tea. He had spent several years living in Japan and loved a good cup of tea. I didn’t drink it until 6 years ago. My Dad passed away years ago and, on his birthday, I like to celebrate foods he enjoyed. Well, tea wasn’t included as one of those until 2002. That’s all it took. I love it now! Something about tea makes me SLOW down no matter what’s going on around me. I also have some great memories of some fun European tea houses. On one trip to Slovenia, my friend Heidi and I sat outdoors at a tea cafe just sipping on a warm, tasty “spot of tea”, relaxing and, of course, doing a little bit of people watching. And then there’s the Tea shop in Rome at the foot (or was it the top?) of the Spanish Steps that costs $10.00 for a cup of tea. Ouch. Really, no tea is worth $10.00 a cup! I can’t complain too much about it because Heidi forewarned me since she was there a couple of days before I went. It wasn’t really about the tea, I was paying for the location of where I was drinking the tea.
Occasionally, if I’m away from home, I’ll drink black tea but, because I don’t tolerate high levels of caffeine , it’s best for me to stick with Green or White tea. The amount of caffeine in tea is: Black tea=40mg per serving, Green tea=20mg and White tea = 15mg.
The other difference is the taste. Black Tea is 100% fermented giving it what I think is a harsh (bitter?) taste while Green and White teas are not fermented at all. The Oolong tea is semi-fermented and is a cross between green and black tea. I’ve not tried Oolong tea.
While all teas come from the same plant, the white tea leaves are picked BEFORE the leaves fully open and those buds are covered with white fuzz. It’s best to steep it in water that hasn’t come to a full boil. Because white tea goes through limited processing, no fermentation and is prepared delicately, the taste is light and subtle. Because it’s scarcer and more expensive, it’s a once-in-a-while treat for me. My mom and I enjoyed it on more that one snowy day while she was here visiting.
My all time favorite on-line tea store is Adagio Teas. They have a great selection of all types of teas and wonderful tea supplies. On their site, I’ve ordered my oversized glass tea cups (made in Germany) and the IngenuiTEA pot (made in Taiwan). Check it out at Adagio.
Medicinal purposes are the least of the reasons I drink tea but it’s nice to know the research is showing that it’s a good thing. According to the research article, white tea is the next “food trend.”
Now, after all that, I think I’ll prepare a cup of tea.