Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Let's Try This One

My friend Amber, from Australia, sent me this tin of tea for Christmas. 

I should have taken a photo with something familiar so you can see the dainty size of each of these. There is about a quarter cup of loose leaf tea in each of 9 flavors. I decided, on Boxing Day, that I should make a cup.

First order of business was getting one, any one, to come out of the tin in which they are packed. Either they all wanted to fall out or none of them wanted to come out. Finally, I managed to get the Earl Grey out.

I think I've mentioned before that tea connoisseurs will use an amount of tea once only. They say more than one immersion in hot water cheapens the taste of subsequent cups. I can't imagine having the disposeable income that allows you to make one cup and then toss the tea leaves. Even someone like me who like her tea strong, meaning the leaves steep for several minutes, sees more than one cup from the bag or bunch of leaves used.

I have a cup-sized strainer. It fits nicely in the top of most of my mugs. Drop in the leaves and pour over the hot water. I have a mug I set the strainer into for the next time I want tea. After roughly 3-4 soakings, the leaves get added to the compost pile. Unfortunately, I had used the strainer over Christmas and it needed to be washed. Searching around, I found this one. It holds about a tablespoon of leaves. I filled it, heated the water, wrapped the chain around the cup's handle, poured in the water and the thing fell into the bottom of the cup. Oh well. Fish it out with a spoon.

Do I prefer loose leaf to bagged tea? I honestly don't have a preference. Bagged is certainly more convenient, particularly if I am running late but must make my morning tea to take to the office. Loose leaf  has more flavor. My cup of Earl Grey was wonderfully aromatic and flavorful.

I'll use this for a couple more steepings and then add the leaves to the compost pile. I'm looking forward to experiencing a lot of variety in my beverage of choice.

Thanks, Amber and Phillip.

Beverage:  Earl Grey tea


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