Falling for Tea

September 21, 2017

Confession time: I’m one of those “crazies” who drinks hot coffee year-round. But with fall upon us here in my little corner of the globe, I'm even more likely than not to have a hot mug warming my hands.

 

Lately, my preference is turning to tea. The options seem endless. Have we always had so many choices, or like in everything else, are entrepreneurs stepping up their game? Chocolate Pu-erh had me at choco. And Raspberry Mojito? Yes, please!

 

Some interesting tidbits about the magical leaves:

 

All four major tea types—black, green, white and oolong—come from the same plant Camellia sinensis. The way the leaves are treated is what differentiates the final products.

 

According to legend, tea was discovered thousands of years ago by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung when a tea leaf accidentally fell into his bowl of hot water.

 

When tea leaves uncurl as hot water is poured over them it’s called “the agony of the leaves.”

 

Earl Gray was named after a 19th century British diplomat in China.

 

The art of reading tea leaves is “tasseography.”

 

The most expensive brew to date? A rare Chinese variety called Tieguanyin named after the Buddhist Iron Goddess of Mercy costs—are you sitting down?—up to $1,500 per pound. But the good news is that the leaves can be brewed up to seven times before losing their unique flavor.

 

What’s your story? Tea or coffee? Both or neither? Any specialty brews in your pantry? 

 

Tempeste

 

Photo 1 by Sabri Tuzcu via Unsplash

Photo 2 by Alisher Sharip via Unsplash

 

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