Thursday, December 16, 2010

Talkin' Tea
For as long as I can remember, I've been a tea drinker. I recall first really getting into tea drinking while first dating my husband when we were 16 and 17 years old. We went out to dinner or lunch (can't remember which) with his Grandma Charlotte and Grandpa Ron (whom is of Brittish decent). Rob ordered a hot tea with cream and sugar and I went ahead and did the same. He showed me how he liked his tea and I slowly became accustomed to drinking it with cream. Yum! Anywho, throughout my life of living in the southern state of Florida, we've always drank cold, sweet tea. There are many different brands and kinds of tea, but I thought I'd share what kind we drink and why.
First and foremost, if you're going to drink tea (or coffee for that matter), you need to know that organic is safe and best. Tea and coffee derive from leaves and berries from trees and because teas and coffees are in SUCH high demand all around the world, MANY pesticides are used in the process of growing them. One of the brands we've grown to like is Frontier...

I like to use their spices and most of all, their teas. I purchase our tea leaves from the healthfood store and I get our tea in bulk, so there's no payment for packaging, labels and all the "little extras" companies have to factor in. I can purchase the exact amount I need by getting it myself, weighing it on the scale and I can mix and match. ;) Then, when we're at home, this is how we brew...

I fill a small pot with filtered water and place a small-holed strainer into the water. Then I pour approx. 1/4 cup of tea leaves (or a little less works just fine) into the pot and turn the stove top to boil.

Cover the pot and let simmer for a few minutes until you know the water is hot enough for the tea leaves to be soaking in the water. Then, turn your stove off. Let your leaves soak for as long as you want. The longer they soak, the stronger the taste. Remove your strainer full of leaves and add it to your compost pile (smile). If you want your tea to be sweet, add 1 cup (or less) of turbinado or organic sugar (don't use white, it's bleached). Stir in your sugar as it will "melt" into the tea because it is hot in temperature.

When it has cooled somewhat, you can pour your tea into a jug. We go back and forth between an old apple cider jug and our raw milk jugs..both are glass and safe for using hot liquids in (when hot liquids are added to plastic, the harmful chemicals are then seeping into your liquid). Then, add enough water to fill it to the top. Put your tea jug/pitcher into the fridge and let it cool just in time for supper. I've seen people prepare green teas this way as well, even sweetening it like a black tea. Both are delicious, but we personally don't drink green tea because it doesn't agree with our systems. :)

How do YOU drink your tea?
Here's a little "ditty" about the water that we drink and what kinds of water you should use (like in your teas...:)

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