All About Tea
Do you like drinking Tea? Well good for you. If not, then you should start learning how to enjoy a cup of good Tea. There are a variety of flavors and types of tea that carry many health benefits and have been consumed over thousand of years.
Tea has a distinct quality and known for its amazing health benefits. It contains antioxidants to boost the body's defense system and helps to raise HDL Cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels.
The main types of tea leaves are Black, Green, Oolong and Pouchong among others.
The Black Tea is more popular in the West. The tea leaves are blackened from the oxidation process where a compound in the tea leaves known as Tannin is exposed to air. When stirred in hot water it becomes reddish brown.
The Green Tea while originated from Asia has now become a favorite all over the world. The dried Green tea leaves are steamed to eliminate enzymes and cease the oxidation process. Tea leaves then retain its green color and is a slight bitter in taste.
Oolong and Pouchong Tea is a type of semi-fermented tea. It is put through the oxidation process but not fully oxidized. Among the more noted type of Oolong tea is the Oolong Formosa, produced in Taiwan. The name Formosa was made famous when back in the days, a Portuguese settler named Taiwan 'Ilha Formosa' which means 'beautiful island'.
There are other types of tea known as Pekoe Tea, Gunpowder, Imperial and Hyson, Darjeeling, Assam and Matcha among others.
Tea Making Tips
Of course making a cup of hot Green Tea or a pitcher of Iced Lemon Tea is as simple as mixing tea leaves in water and sweetening or flavoring them. There are actually many ways to enjoying tea. Why not adding some cinnamon and honey or nutmeg and caramelized brown sugar to it? You can also use tea leaves that are infused with fruits or flowers.
Different water temperature, steeping time and different ratios of water to lea leaves all contribute to difference in taste and strength of tea flavor. The type of tea pot also influences the taste of tea. A good choice would be to go with a ceramic tea pot and cups which keeps the heat and taste locked in. Tea pots that come with a built in strainer is also a good choice, though many tea leaves now come packed in individual tea bags for convenience.
It is preferred to not to steep tea leaves too long, taste tea as you go and remove tea bag according to your taste. Spring water or filtered water is preferred as tap water may contain chemicals that can affect taste. The same applies to double boiled water. Some types of tea like the Green Tea are not steeped in boiling hot water because it can 'cook' the tea leaves, ruining the natural taste of Green Tea.
Generally there is no wrong of way of making tea, creativity and preference can create interesting types of tea based drinks for a party.