If you are English, you like tea, enough said. However, this versatile little drink has very much conquered the world, and tea now has a much bigger reach as a product than it had twenty years ago. Connoisseurs are setting up tea clubs in the most unlikely of places. And tea has even become something of a popular beverage in The United States. That was unthinkable not too long ago, because Americans have always loved coffee.
So tea is becoming even more popular than ever, and this is a good thing. However, this growth in popularity also means that there are more and more people in the dark about the finer points of tea.
From tea’s origins to how to drink it, there is a ton of information and background knowledge that surrounds the drink. In this piece we are going to go through a couple of points that should make you feel you know a little more about this classic drink. One thing before we go on, though. We are talking about loose leaf tea, the kind you buy in packets and infuse. This is real tea, and while you can get a good drink out of bagged tea, we feel that the real tea movement is all about the leaf.
Here are three tips to help you enjoy loose leaf tea:
Check the Quality of the Tea Leaf
Take the leaves in your hand and gently press them. If the leaves crumble easily and leave a mess in your hand, you’re holding a bunch of old tealeaves, not the fresh stuff. New tea leaves have a little “spring” in them in your hand when you squeeze them gently; they will spring slowly back and not crumble or break too easily. New tea leaves will always bring a better, fresher taste – and better benefits.
Become a Tea Connoisseur
Think about tea in the same way as some people think about wine, and you are on the way to truly enjoying it.
Tea is aromatic and it has a distinctive color and depth depending on which leaf you are infusing. Keep this is in mind and take the time to really enjoy your tea on a sensual level. Once you have infused, dip your nose into the aroma and enjoy the richness of the leaves. Also, as you build up your knowledge of the drink, note the colors and the depth in the leaves, and you should soon be able to begin differentiating one tea from another.
Really Enjoy the Full Flavor of the Tea
When you taste the tea, slurp it in your mouth with energy and passion. This may sound a little strange, but tea as a drink has to cover your whole tongue if you are to ‘feel it’. Let the drink coat your tongue and linger there for a few seconds before you swallow. This allows your tongue to truly taste the tea.
Give yourself time and try as many teas as possible. Infusing is great fun, and once you have tried a few drinks, you should be able to recognize certain teas and their tastes. There is a world of tea out there, with literally hundreds of varieties available. Start experimenting, and get ready to enjoy a world of taste.