Wednesday, April 30, 2008

TEA - the Beverage

This weeks segment for the Gracious Hospitality Blog-a-Thon features Tea - the beverage, green, black, or herbal - your favorite, and why. We each have our favorites here. Susanna prefers a flavored black tea, such as the Blue Lady featured here. This is the most popular tea that we serve in Sweet Remembrances, and it is the one we sell the most in The Rosemary House. It is comprised of a nice black tea base which has been flavored with strawberry, coconut, and kiwi flavors creating a smooth, naturally sweet tea that could be considered our house blend. It is very fragrant and flavorful, and I enjoy serving it to our customers. However, my personal taste leans more to the plain blacks, a hearty malty Assam, or Keemun with perhaps a subtle hint of smoke. I prefer the natural flavors inherent in the leaf rather than the addition of extra flavors, sweetener or cream. That's not to say I don't enjoy all the other wonderful options available as I've been known to sip Raspberry Vanilla or a Decaffeinated Chocolate Raspberry Truffle if that's what is brewed. In the summer, when visiting another sister and her husband in RI, I enjoy the best mug of green tea simply because my BIL has prepared it. It is a true vacation on those mornings!
Speaking of preparing tea, these are the fundamentals we use to brew our tea. The large white cotton 'sock' can be used and reused making it a great option for the environment. When first purchased, it is pure white, but after only a few uses, it turns a beautiful tea stained shade of tan. It is perfect for either a tea pot or mug, you simply adjust the amount of loose leaf tea used depending upon the size brewing vessel. The small metal tea spoon is a stainer, and can be used for brewing tea, although we don't typically recommend it. Loose leaf tea will triple in size as it brews, and the close quarters of this strainer inhibit the leaf to properly expand. It will make an adequate mug of tea, it's simply not our personal choice. The paper tea sac/filter is another easy option for brewing tea. It holds the loose leaf tea and will allow enough space for the leaf to expand and also provides for easy cleanup.

At the end of a long hard day, my favorite tea is actually a tisane, an infusion of herbs. Rosemary's Relaxing Tea, a specialty blend available at The Rosemary House, that contains such herbs as peppermint, valerian root, chamomile, raspberry leaves, catnip and passion flower in a perfect combination to provide a delightful flavor and therapeutic relaxing benefits. It has become a nightly ritual for me - a mug of Rosemary's Relaxing Tea about half an hour before I plan on going to bed will assure a restful night.

10 comments:

ellen b said...

That tea sack looks great. Thanks for the good tip...
Enjoy your tea.

La Tea Dah said...

Thank you for a great post! I love the sound of Blue Lady, but like you, I really enjoy the pure essence of tea without added flavors. Sometimes even sugar interferes with the taste of tea! Your Rosemary House Tisane sounds yummy and relaxing! And thank you for reminding me of the tea sock. I've never tried one and I think I'd like it. I use a little Asian wicker 'basket' type thing that fits into a teacup or mug instead.

LaTeaDah

marye said...

The tisane sounds fabulous..and relaxing. :)

Linda said...

As you know, Nancy, I like the plain black teas and don't choose flavored teas or herbal infusions. However, the Rosemary's Relaxing Tea to "assure a restful night" sounds very tempting this morning after another restless night!

Bonita said...

I enjoyed reading the fundamentals of how you prepare tea. I'm learning so much via the tea blog-a-thon!

Steph said...

I, too, am a tea sock fan! I have found nothing better, especially for large tea pots! I really appreciate how they give the tea plenty of room to swirl and expand.

It's always so fun to visit with you online! What a gift this blogging thing is!

Grace Yaskovic said...

Blue Lady sounds very very intriguing

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Now that information about the bedtime tea is just what I've been looking for. Thank you!

I also like the tea sock. I may have to give up bags and move on to loose tea after all.

Firefly Nights said...

I tried the tea sock a long time ago after purchasing it from Magnolia and Ivy. But, for years I've had great luck with the permanent mesh tea filters like the ones Harney and Sons sell. I'm sure you've seen them, but if not, there's a link on my blog. I also enjoy Keemuns and teas with varying degrees of Lapsang Souchong. Eventually I'd like to visit your tearoom.

Dr.Gray said...

I have seen these disposable tea bags a few places. I think its a really neat idea. And we all know that loose leaf tea is much better than tea bags. However at home I still use a tea ball. They are cheaper to get and you can reuse them forever so it is much better for the environment.