Gourmet Tea Bags
Tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Many people are discovering what the world of gourmet tea has to offer. Everywhere from the neighborhood grocery store to fine restaurants is offering a selection of gourmet tea bags.
While shopping for gourmet tea you will come across the names for different kinds and may wonder what the differences are. Black, green and white tea all come from the same plant. Black tea is made from leaves that have been dried and then fermented. Green tea is made from leaves that have been dried and steamed rather than fermented. White tea is made from very young leaves that develop before the buds on the plant open.
Though commonly referred to and sold as teas, herbals infusions come from various other plants such as mint, catnip, or chamomile. Gourmet tea bags are sold for these as well.
In order to enjoy the best possible flavor from gourmet tea, it is important to brew it properly. Experts sometimes disagree on the fine points, but there are main steps to brewing that will be effective for any kind of tea.
The first step in brewing tea is to heat water. Ideally the water should be just below the boiling point. A recommended method is to start with cold water, bring it to a boil and then let it sit for a short time, no longer than a minute. If you use water that is too hot it will burn the leaves. Water that is not hot enough will cause the brewed tea to lack flavor.
Pour a small amount of water into the pot or cup you will be using to steep the tea. Swirl it around for a bit and then pour the water out. This warms the pot.
The next step is to put the tea in. If you are using gourmet tea bags, the correct amount is already taken care of. Use one gourmet tea bag per cup. If you are using loose tea leaves, use one teaspoonful per cup. Some like to add one for the pot. This seems to be a matter of personal preference.
How long to let it steep for the depends on what kind of tea you are using. Green tea takes about one to two minutes. Black tea should be steeped from three to five minutes. White tea should be steeped for from four to five minutes. Steeping for too long will lead to a bitter taste.
One of the keys to successful tea brewing is freshness of the tea. Experts recommend getting your gourmet tea from a specialty retailer to make sure that the tea leaves have been handled with proper care and are in the best condition of freshness.