Some Tea News And A Tea Review

First, an apology for all my lovely tea-sippers.   Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you think of it), I was so swamped last week.   One of my good friends from college slept over, then we took my other good friend out for her birthday all day Saturday, and Sunday was dedicated to more friends 🙂   In other words, no post last week.

However, I have two exciting fun news items for all of you in the New Jersey area!

1 – I am doing ANOTHER Tea Love talk!   This one will be in Riverdale, New Jersey at the Riverdale Public Library.   Make sure you call and RSVP!   Seating is limited.   Attend, hear an awesome talk, get some tasty tea samples from The Tea Spot in Cranford, New Jersey and even enter to win a basket of tea goodies from The Tea Spot!   Not only that, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – that’s my birthday 🙂   Give me an awesome birthday gift and attend the talk!

I Hope You Can All Make It!

I Hope You Can All Make It!

2 – There is an art store/organic boutique in Cranford called Artemisia.   Some of you might remember me raving about their teas that they supply called Miss Tea, an organic blend made in Brooklyn, New York.   Well, Wendy of Artemisia informed me that they will be getting some new flavors of Miss Tea in shortly!   So keep stopping by, looking around, and asking about those delicious teas 🙂

So, what’s the deal with Miss Tea?

Miss Tea is a Brooklyn-based business that specializes in organic teas and herbs.   Why invest in organic teas?   Because they tend to be healthier for you, since they do not use pesticides and herbicides, and are healthier for the environment.   What could be better than that?

According to the Miss Tea website, “We bring you products from the finest tea growing regions of the world – globally responsible sources who practice sustainable growing methods and fair trade for the complete cycle of workers, from the pickers to the sellers.”

One of the nicest things about the Miss Tea products?   You can see every part of the tea, which is intentional.   I just bought my friend who stayed with me last weekend a jar of the FemininiTea, which is a blend of red raspberry, peppermint, and nettle leaves, oatstraw, ginger root, dandelion leaves, rose petals, chamomile flowers, horsetail, and stevia leaves.   Even in the picture on the website, you can see the separate leaves and petals!   As I tell my guests at all my Tea Love talks, the more that you can identify in your tea, the better.   That means less tea fannings and less scary unknowns.

It is also an affordable tea.   Tea itself is already expensive at times if you are looking at high quality.   Throw in the fact that the tea is organic and you could potentially pay that much more.   However, you can get a substantial amount of tea from this purveyor for a decent price.

And the taste?   Well, I obviously would not be writing about it to you if it weren’t incredible!   Full flavored, just the right amount of sweetness, lovely color – I couldn’t ask for more.   This is definitely a tea I would recommend buying again and again.

So, in ending, remember to a) RSVP to my Tea Love talk on September 21st and b) buy some amazing Miss Tea from Artemisia!

Until next time ❤

Loose Tea Versus Bagged Tea – What’s The Difference?

As some of you might recall from Tea Love’s Facebook, I recently attended a spa event in my downtown Cranford, New Jersey area held by a new store, Artemisia.   They cite themselves as an “Artisan Gift Shop featuring American-made, Fair-trade eco-friendly and organic gifts for Beauty & Home.”   What I found most exciting?   They sell organic tea there!   Of course, I plan on going straight over there after getting my pay check.

While perusing their tea collection (all loose tea), a woman approached and asked what the difference was between loose tea and bagged tea.   The store’s owner, Wendy, explained to her some of the basic reasoning.   Needless to say, I stood nearby bubbling with excitement, barely able to contain my know-it-all-ology of all things tea-related.   I kept my mouth shut or I would have gone on an hour-long tangent about tea sprinkled with plenty of shameless plugs for my blog.

A Variety of Loose Teas

A Variety of Loose Teas

But there are a few reasons to choose a loose tea over a bagged tea.

Bagged teas, granted, are great for expediency and less mess.   After all, what is better than just taking a tea bag, throwing it in some boiling water and running out the door?   And on top of that, you do not need to clean out two tea pots; you only need to wash out your tea mug and you are done.   But the issue is that tea bags contain what is known as tea fannings, or dusts.   What do I mean by this?

Leave the computer for a second and go get a tea bag.   Open the tea bag (you might want to be careful here, so you do not get tea all over your keyboard).   Look inside that mish-mosh of, well, whatever is in there.   Most of the times, you cannot distinguish between the items in the mesh bag.   Brands like Mighty Leaf does have tea bags that are rich in contents and you can tell the difference, true, but most tea bags are just the fannings.   This does allow you a faster brew, but you lose the flavor or get too much flavor, depending on the tea.   Not only that, some teas that can be steeped more than once often cannot be unless it is a loose tea.

Loose tea leaves allow for a richer flavor and allows the tea leaves to actually open.   You are getting the best quality this way.   You can also easily blend your tea, which is an added perk if you care to experiment.   The down side?   The best way to drink loose tea is to throw it into a separate tea pot, allow the tea to brew and pour that into a tea mug.   You make twice the mess and you take up more time this way.   You can throw it into a tea ball but the tea leaves do not have a chance to open, thus robbing it of its flavor.   Honestly, brewing the former is worth it, I do promise you that.   But yes, it is a bit more of a hassle.   I suppose loose tea just keeps you brewing tea the way it was meant to be – slowly and surely, a product to be savored.

Both loose tea and bagged tea do have expiration dates.   After six months, tea tends to lose its flavor and after a year of improper storage (not storing the tea in an air-tight container), it will become stale.   Proper storage is key.

I am fully guilty of throwing in a tea bag into a mug and running around in the mornings but if you want a better cup of tea that you can sit down and enjoy, go after loose.   It will be well worth the effort.