Working at Teavana has been pretty cool. There are all sorts of gadgets and tea sets that really turn a cup of tea into a cultural and scientific experience. The other really great thing about working here is that I get to learn about the serious benefits from drinking tea, and what different teas do for your health. Since cold season is upon us, I’ve been drinking 5-6 cups a day! It’s really been helping me, my cough, and my immune system!
I thought I would share/remind people how to make a really good cup of tea to unleash it’s true potential. Maybe you all can avoid getting sick like I am.
I know, I know. This will probably come off like a sales pitch since I work there, but it’s not!
Working at a loose leaf tea shop has changed my idea of tea from a simple, non-coffee, warm beverage to a cup of health boosting, beautifully hand crafted drink that should be made with care for the best effects. Each tea blend really has it’s own scent and many combine well with others for plenty of variety. I’m always trying different combinations. It’s nice to look into the tea bin and recognize tea leaves, fruits and other spices- a natural looking product that doesn’t have any weird or chemical sounding names. The loose leaf teas have a shelf life of up to a year if you keep them sealed tight and out of sunlight (probably closer to two years if you keep really good care) . I believe tea that comes in a bag is also good up to two years since it is boxed and vacuumed sealed in the individual bags.
What tea, green tea, black tea, and oolong tea (at least at Teavana) are derived from the Camellia Sinesis plant. The difference is how they are harvested- resulting in varied health effects. The tea with the highest amount of antioxidants is the white tea, because it is not exposed to oxygen or sunlight for very long. Black tea has lost of caffeine but low levels of antioxidants because it is left out to dry in the sun. That’s why it looks black. Fun fact: real; herbal tea is technically “fruit infused hot water”. Teavana’s herbal teas contain fruits and spices- not tea leaves. that means herbal tea is much harder to burn! Since the leaf (in whatever state) is so fragile, it’s crucial to be meticulous about the cooking temperature and the brewing time. You can burn white teas, green teas, oolong teas, and other types if you’re not careful of these two important factors.
Making White Tea
what you’ll need:
- Tea. I really like the Youthberry Orange Blossom mix that is usually on the sample cart.
- a tsb or an 1/8 measuring cup (more tea= more flavor)
- a strainer with tiny holes
- a cup
- a pot filled with water
- ice cubes
- a timer
- Turn the stove top on and bring the water to just boiling- when the bubbles just start to rise. It’s easier to see this happening than in a teapot.
- pour water into the cup, but leave room for the strainer’s water displacement *hot teal always goes in the cup first, if you pour hot water over the strainer, it does not allow the tea to unfold naturally*
- throw in 1-2 large ice cube, or 2-4 small ones. You want the water to be about 175° degrees. If you aren’t sure, throw in another ice cube- you can also put sugar in if you wish. It’s always better to be a little colder than a little hotter.
- put the Orange Wild in the strainer and place the strainer in the cup for at least 3 minutes. Then, add theYouthberry white tea and steep for no more than 2 minutes.
These directions can be found on the back of any paper bag from Teavana for any type of tea they sell. I have just elaborated on them.