Tea for Me30 November 2013
I first realised the importance of tea when I was on the side of a Japanese mountain, aged sixteen. Meandering among the rows of green leaves I lazily picked those that appeared ‘healthiest’, living the dream of the Dilmah tea advertisements. I was going to provide the freshest green tea to my Japanese host family, and I was going to do it without the help of a mass-marketed, delicious product and its incredible marketing team. Gosh darn it, I was going to pick and dry the leaves myself. I mean, who else can beat my handiwork as a dedicated tea enthusiast? Nearly anyone. After at least an hour of wilting and drying the leaves, I pretended to take pride in the taste of my bitter creation and bittersweet victory. It was a much-needed lesson in pride and tea elitism. It also taught me that it’s actually a lot easier to purchase rather than make tea, if not to save our egos, but our soul and taste buds. And thankfully, there are a lot of crazy teas in the market.
Oriental Tea House
To create a magical underwater tea universe, look no further than these Jasmine Lychee balls. Not only will you get the antioxidant benefits of infused green tea and jasmine, but when submerged in a medium tea pot these buds will expand into a sea urchin-like flower. Similarly, T2 have their Chrysanthemum Burst tea buds to finish off your water garden, where delicate flowers sprout and float through the centre of the teapot. Take that, Professor Sprout’s herbology class.
If a dream of yours is to have tea delicious enough to eat, have I got the one for you. Made with pieces of dried cranberries, blueberries, goji berries and dragon fruit, this fruity mix is perfect for those hot summer days where all you want to do is bathe in ice cubes and mumble about how great a walk in a freezer would be. All you have to do is make a double-strength batch (or more if you like it strong), fill your desired jug or glass completely with ice, and pour the tea in over the top. When the ice melts, chill it in the fridge, and then it’ll be ready to serve with super fun mini umbrellas and a good dose of vitamin D.
Pu-erh, a form of red tea from the Yunnan province in Southern China, is bold with an almost coffee-like taste. The tea has an impressive maturation processes and an ability to change from a red tea to a dark, thick and smoky consistency when brewed for longer. Pu-erh is also believed to help cure a hangover. Don’t believe me? Take that Maccas burger with a cup of Pu-erh next Sunday morning and get back to me.
If after all of these options you’re keen to make your tea, homemade ginger and lemon tea is the way to go. Just slice off 4-6 slices of peeled ginger and boil them in 1.5 cups of water for 10 minutes. Remove the mixture from the stove, then add as much lime juice and honey as you think is necessary. I hope you fail miserably, you skilled-tea-making bastard. May you brew in peace.