Alright, maybe that title is a little stuffy. We have a bit of different tea culture in the United States, with its own rules, procedures, and flavors. Here’s the thing though, there are always new people venturing into the world of fine tea.
There are many health benefits of consuming tea (especially herbal teas). Tea helps regulate proper fluid balance in the body and contributes to overall good health. Additionally, there are some teas, such as echinacea, that are scientifically proven to help get rid of the common cold. Whatever your reason for buying and drinking tea, here are some things you should know about how to buy good tea (even to buy sweet tea) and how to store it properly.
The great thing about tea is that there are so many different flavors. If you want to buy sweet tea, bitter teas, tea to help with illness, or something more savory, it’s all there. So how do you choose the best tea? First, shop around. When we say shop, we mean to try many types of tea. Do you like bold flavor or more mild? Stimulating or relaxing? Sometimes, it might just depend on your mood.
One of the great things about when you buy sweet tea or any other tea is that it is pretty inexpensive. For about ten bucks, you can get several servings of tea. There isn’t much risk in trying out many different flavors.
As you try out a few types of tea, you might eventually find yourself wandering into loose leaf tea. Loose leaf is the dried tea leaves or other herbal teas outside of a tea bag. Tea bags are great for quick on the go tea, however, they can sometimes be a bit lower in quality, taste, and freshness. With loose leaf tea, in addition to having access to higher quality ingredients, you are also able to mix and match teas and ratios to your own liking. Want a little more of a mint kick? Add some more. Looking to mellow things out? Use a bit less loose leaf. Loose leaf tea is a great way to get started in brewing your own decedent concoctions.
When it comes to storage of tea, there are a few things that are important to consider. This is especially true if you live in a humid area. Here are a few things to consider:
When purchasing tea bags, use the original box or plastic container as a storage bin. If the tea bags are left out and exposed to air for too long, the tea will lose its freshness and taste. For loose leaf tea, be sure to store the tea in an airtight container that is made of ceramic or tin. This will help keep light out (yes, light). Glass jars can be used for loose leaf if the jar is then stored in a dark cupboard or pantry. For either type of tea, a dark and dry space is key. Consistent temperatures that are away from other odors (such as garlic!) is very important to keep your tea high quality. Because of how dry it is, tea will very quickly and easily absorb odors from neighboring foods. Imagine waking up to brew a fresh tea and next thing you know BAM! Garlic in your mouth! Not a great sensation.
When it comes to tea, there really are so many types of options. Even if you are looking to buy sweet tea that has been pre-brewed. There are so many options for experiencing tea. Finding your cup of tea is just as much about the journey as the final destination.