People who know me know I like tea. Sure I like coffee but given that my preference for coffee is a doppio espresso it’s a bit of a pain in the ass making it at home and pointless when going out to somewhere like Star*ucks as I’ve usually finished by the time the person I’m with has had their half fat skinny soya mocha choca latte easy on the sprinkles injected with a shot of faux almond flavouring. I jest of course, I’d never be friends with someone who preferred soya over bovine based milk ;)
Whereas coffee is considered the energy boosting drink on account of its high caffeine content, tea is it’s slower paced cousin. Tea is relatively simple to prepare, no grinding beans here. Just warm the pot, add tea and water and let it brew. Brewing time is the perfect time to eat a biscuit or two while you wait, I used to do that until my waistline crept up on me, tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to stop…killjoy!
Of course what most people bemoan about tea is either the poor quality of tea in teabags and the rigmarole of making tea in a teapot. There are 2 solutions to that, one is to use a filter for your mug, the other is to use teas that sit in the bottom of it. What am I talking about? Let me explain…
A few months ago I noticed that the daily deal on Keynoir was for tea from Chateau Rouge; £17.50 for 2 tins, I figured I would treat myself and as I was saving £17 it seemed silly not to, I ordered the Wiedouw Long Cut Rooibos from South Africa and the Sikkam Temi 1st Flush from the Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim, these are of very high quality and taste superb however they do require to be used with a filter although when you receive your order you get a few fill your own bags which I thought was a nice touch.
So what do you do when you want a refreshing cup of tea but don’t have a mug filter or teapot and strainer handy? Well, step forward Keynoir once again who I noticed had a deal from Choi Time for a selection of Chinese teas. These teas don’t really need a filter as they are predominantly flowering teas. I’m a fan of the Yellow Treasure closely followed by the Jasmine Pearls.
To get the full effect of flowering teas bulbs you really need a glass drinking vessel as they’re quite visually stunning and, because they are generally whole leaves, they sit at the bottom of the glass and don’t really need a filter. This mug from Bodum works well as it has a filter for finer leaves.
One thing you’ll notice on both sites, the price of the teas; they are not cheap! That said, these are not one cup drinks. I’ve noticed that the teas from Chateau Rouge are good for at least 2 mugs and those from Choi Time for around 4. In fact it seems there is an old Chinese saying (are there any new Chinese sayings?) referring to the issue of multiple infusions:
the first cup you give away,
the second is for yourself,
the third is for the emperor,
the fourth for your wife
and the fifth for your servant.
Needless to say I’m giving none of my tea away, not unless it’s in exchange for a bakewell slice!