Last week I wrote a blog post dedicated to my love of coffee, showing off some of my favourite coffee mugs. After visiting my local tea shop, Montea Cristo (I love a good pun in a shop name), I thought I should write a post dedicated to tea, as well, considering tea accompanies my reading and writing just as often as coffee.
I only have one main teapot I use, although I plan to get others. I have some photos of that tea set (do you know how hard it is to find a tea set that isn’t overly feminine?), and I also have some close up shots (not necessarily good photos, though) of some of the different teas I bought on the weekend, all with the usual explanations/rambling.
This is my awesome oriental teapot. I love the colour scheme – that mix of orange and black just caught my attention. I have no idea what it says, by the way.
The teacups that came with the teapot. They’re small and designed for green teas – the teapot can probably fill five of these cups, despite only holding about half a litre. I am yet to use all four at once, though I hope to one day. Ambitious of me, I know.
This is called Lychee Magic Green Tea, and the only thing better than the smell of it is the taste. It contains sencha green tea, lychee and apple pieces, rose petals, blue cornflowers and calendula, and tastes of both lychees and green tea in equal measure. If you love the taste of lychees (and if you’ve never tried them, you must), you will probably enjoy this.
These odd looking balls are known as Buddha’s Tears, or Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls. They are hand rolled green and white tea, with a strong jasmine aroma. Rather than measuring these out by spoonfuls, you actually measure them out by pearls – 5 for each cup of water – and they unfurl as they infuse the water (so if you happen to have a clear teapot, you can watch this happen). This tea tastes amazing, but it comes at a price – about $400 (Australian) a kilogram, so something to buy in small amounts.
This is Mountain Top Oolong tea. Don’t be fooled by its odd appearance – this is in fact my favourite kind of tea. With hand rolled dragon pearls, this tea is grown in a cold mountainous climate, and has a superbly smooth and fresh taste, making it one of the most relaxing green teas around. It is about twice the price of many other teas, but is completely worth the extra money. There are other oolong teas, but this one is my favourite out of them all. Try it for yourself and you’ll see why.
One thing I have learned about tea, since I started my little love affair with it over the last few years, is that you should not use boiling water for green and white teas, but rather water at around 80 degrees celcius (or 176 degrees fahrenheit if I just did my maths correctly (I could check this properly, but oh well)). An easy way to achieve this is to pour boiling water into the empty teapot, and leave it covered for 5 minutes before placing the tea into the water. I don’t think this is as important with black teas, though. And I’m not entirely sure with herbal teas.
Anyway, I’m off to make a cup of tea and curl up with a good book, I think.
Are you a tea drinker? What kinds of tea do you like to drink?