Search This Blog


Tea brewing in a Tea Ball
I first became an avid Tea enthusiast in early 2004 when I discovered it gave a good caffeine mind sharpening boost / refresher without the jittery anxiety of coffee and caffeine pills. The rest is history. Did you know that after water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world?
Green, Black, White : sounds like me.... I am considered a "Green" politically because I support renewable energy, organic food and public/ environmental health. I am considered a black because my last name is the German word for Black. I am considered white because I am 1/2 Dutch/ 1/4 German and 1/4 Irish.

Tea comes in green, black and white varieties. Tea is made by pouring hot water over the leaves of tea plants. The hot water extracts a mixture of chemicals from the tea leaves that give color, flavor and biological activity to the resulting fluid mixture. The flavor of tea is the product of many different variables.

Different kinds of tea are produced through variability within the tea plant species: how they are grown, what they are grown in, where they are grown, how they are harvested, how they are processed, how they are packaged, their age, the boiling temperature of the water used in brewing, the water chemistry of the water used in the brewing and the ratio of tea leaves to the fluid ounces of water used in the brewing. Through all of these variables, it is possible to brew an almost unlimited numbers of different teas: each cup is unique.

What is your tea taste? 

Different kinds of tea have different medicinal and flavor profiles. Tea can be served hot or cold, but warm tea is terrible.... 

Green tea's are renowned for their beneficial medicinal properties. Black teas are known for their strong caffeine profile and dark flavor, color and aroma. I am not really familiar with white teas.

I tend to enjoy most kinds of green and black tea. I am very sensitive to the stimulating effects of caffeine, so the amount of caffeine in a batch of tea is sufficient to wake me up completely.... Earlier I mentioned that tea gives me a pleasant buzz without all of the anxiety and jitters of coffee. This is because tea has less caffeine than coffee, and tea also has L-Theanine, a magic amino acid. Green tea has more of this magic amino-acid than other types of tea. 

The l-theanine in tea is a psychoactive component that reduces mental and physical stress while also improving mood and cognition. Since tea contains caffeine, the mixture of these two psychoactive components helps to produce a more balanced and smoother mental and physical performance enhancing effect. In college I consumed prodigious amounts of green tea to make use of these properties. Reading, writing and thinking while under the influence of Tea was faster and more efficient. When I consumed tea, 30 minutes later my mind was working more clearly. I used it in the morning to wake up faster. I consumed tea at lunch time to boost lecture information absorption. I consumed tea at night to help enhance the effectiveness of studying. I was Tea enhanced most of the time for the later years of my college experience. 

My love affair with Tea has been like a light-bulb, on and off. I tend to drink a lot of tea if I am feeling low on energy or a touch blue. Unfortunately, the caffeine in tea gives me restless lower quality sleep. Within ten consecutive days of consuming tea, the structure of my sleep become disturbed: it is at this point that I stop drinking tea; the next day I end up with a headache. After a week, or two or three of abstaining from tea, I brew another cup and then love Tea again for a while. On and Off, my love affair with tea is a sinusoidal phenomenon. 

The key to drinking Tea safely is to drink the tea in the morning. This gives your body the whole day to break down the caffeine so that restful restorative high quality sleep is possible at night.

Put that in your cup and brew it !

Mine is like this one ! 
My primary tea brewing apparatus is a "Tea Ball" that was gifted to me. It is made of plastic, glass and stainless steel. The plastic parts form the handle, ball holder, basket retainer and lit, parts the never come in contact with the tea. The brewing basket is a cylindrical stainless steel type with fine screen sidewalls and bottom. The ball itself is made of vacuum formed glass. You load a quantity of tea into the steel basket and then poor in hot water and let it brew.

I like brew my tea for between 4 and 6 minutes: others say that is too long, but they can brew their own however they like it. Brewing it longer gives more color, flavor and activity. The longer brewing time more efficiently extracts the active components in the tea leaves. I also tend to use boiling water, rather than the 190deg water as tea experts suggest. Having a background in chemistry, I know that the hotter water performs a more complete extraction, which makes more efficient use of the tea. To tone down the increased bitterness that results from this longer hotter brewing, I usually brew the tea with some stevia leaves, and then dilute the final tea with more water to soften the color and flavor: this also increase the amount of water I consume with the tea, aiding in healthy hydration. If the resulting tea is still bitter, I will often then add either honey or granular sugar to the tea: the sugar more frequently used if I am going to ice the tea after brewing it.

Regularly consuming coffee and tea has been associated with a number of health benefits, beware however as the tannins in these beverages will stain your teeth with a yellowing color, if you care about  that. Fortunately Crest and others make OTC white strips that will correct this tea teeth staining problem for a reasonable price if you care... to each their own....

That radical political group known as the Tea Party, is the only thing I personally dislike about the word Tea..... While I agree with their message of smaller, smarter, less invasive government, many of the people that are part of that movement add in bigotry, hatred and condemnation that really puts a sour taste in my mouth..... (in tea terms)....

No comments:

Post a Comment