It was not that long ago that I was like most people in the United States. I bought tea in convenient boxes filled with 30 tea bags with catchy names and exotic sounding flavors...and so my journey discovering the world of tea began. Sadly for most people the journey ends with the tea bag. Don't get me wrong, good tea can still be put in tea bags, however, the best portions of the tea leaf are graded and set aside for higher end retailers such as Imperial Tea Garden. Here are just some of the reasons why you should begin the journey and discover what loose leaf tea from Imperial Tea Garden has to offer.
Taste is the primary reason to drink loose leaf tea. Whole, intact leaves retain the full flavor of the tea. Depending on the growing region, soil type and elevation - tea can have a wide range of flavors. Flavor profiles will vary based on how the tea is processed after harvesting. This leads us to defining the subcategories of tea
White teas tend to be more delicate in flavor and are usually slightly sweet. Green teas can vary from slightly sweet to very herbaceous. Oolong teas have the most variance and range from deep green tea to an almost roasted flavor depending on the manufacturing techniques. Finally, black tea is fully oxidized and have the most robust flavors. There is so much variation between growing techniques and climate in China verses Japan or India, Africa and Nepal that we recommend purchasing samples of each to begin your journey.
Comparatively, many loose leaf teas can be purchased for pennies per cup. Take Ying Ming Yunnan for example at $10 for a 3 oz Bag currently sold at Imperial Tea Garden® online tea store.
3 oz x 28.3 grams/oz x 1 cup/2 grams = $10/42.45 cup = $0.24 per cup... however, with all great loose leaf teas, multiple steeping can further reduce this price to around 12 cents per cup.
Did we loose you in the math? Bottom line ~ Brewing quality loose leaf tea at home is very inexpensive!
The pleasures of a great cup of tea goes beyond simply consuming it. Selecting your teas, discovering the intrinsic properties and learning about the history and culture of the growing region all play a role in enjoying loose leaf tea. The brewing process and the subtle nuances that can make a tea taste wonderful verses slightly bitter is part of the learning curve, however, after just a few tries we are rewarded with the best tasting teas in the world.
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