I’ve always been a lover of tea. Growing up as a child in the Caribbean, we drank a lot of hot tea (must be the British influence on our islands?) throughout the day. On mornings we would have tea before breakfast, with breakfast, and sometimes after breakfast. During the day we would make tea and at night after dinner we also had tea. I’ve maintained these tea-drinking habits to this day! After each main meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) I drink hot tea (or coffee) and I usually like having dessert with tea after dinner. I drink hot tea/coffee 375 days a year and I have a small cup of tea before bed.
Fun fact: I never knew about iced tea until I moved to the US and after all these years, it still seems like a weird concept to drink cold tea. However, last year I tried iced coffee for the first time and it was mind-blowing! You can tell I don’t get out much, right? Anyways…moving on…
I did not grow up on loose leaf tea as we used teabags (some brands included Tetley, Red Rose, and Lipton) and there was the occasional coffee (either instant or brewed). So, drinking tea is also a form of comfort for me. A few years ago, I visited the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco (very awesome experience) and I had jasmine tea for the first time!
When I was in grad school for my masters degree, I started drinking loose leaf tea. It was fun learning to brew tea. I also really got into buying teapots, ha! I didn’t pay much attention back then, but in the past couple years I notice that making loose leaf tea taught me a few lessons.
- Patience: in a world where we’re always quick to get the most convenient things, loose leaf tea takes time and requires patience
- Good things don’t always come instantly: when I want a really good hot cup of loose leaf tea, I have to be willing to follow the process and take the time. In the end, the reward is always worth it
- Flexibility: I don’t have to brew the same cup the same way each time. I can make more or less tea or, I can make it stronger or weaker. I can also make the tea in several ways: using a french press, an infuser, a double pot, a regular pot on the stove, or use tea sachet filters. I can also make a different blend of tea each time!
- Mindfulness: the process of making tea can be a mindfulness practice. In fact, I read an article recently by Thich Nhat Hanh about the mindful practice of pouring tea and I try to practice the art of pouring and savoring tea as often as I can.
Do you drink loose leaf tea? What are your favorite tea blends?
~ Karisse C