There is something powerful about ritual and mornings. For me that ritual looks like a cup of tea... Every morning without fail, one cup of loose leaf tea and a little bit of honey. I've come to realize that people tend to have a lot of opinions about tea and coffee... which is better, how to brew, etc. I am not here to answer that question but I would like to share with you a bit more about my tea ritual and how to brew a great cup of tea.
Two of my favorite morning teas of choice are Earl Grey Lavender and Lemon Ginger Black. Both are black teas which means the tea leaves are rolled which creates bruising and allows for oxidation to occur this process is what gives black tea its reddish color allows for the flavor of the tea to really develop.
Altitude plays a huge roll in how black teas develop and depending on where the teas was grown you will have a different tasting experience. For example teas grown at a higher altitude tend to be more fruity and floral where as teas grown at a lower altitude will be more full bodied and malty.
Earl Grey Lavender is one of my very favorite tea choices. There is a very gentle floral taste to it from the lavender but combined with the strong citrus and bergamot flavor of the Earl Grey it creates a wonderful morning wake up. Best brewed at boiling point (212 degrees fahrenheit) I generally mix one table spoon to every eight ounces of water. The beautiful thing about good quality tea is that often you can steep it several times and still get a wonderful cup of tea, I generally steep four minutes for the first cup and five minutes (or sometimes longer) for the second. One thing I have personally noted is that you can over steep and end up with a very strong and almost bitter flavor so definitely keep an eye on your cup!
Lemon Ginger Black tea is actually a new tea I only recently started to incorporate into my morning and absolutely love! There is such a bold ginger flavor that mixes really well with lemon, turmeric and mango flavors of the black tea blend. Not to sound dorky but I savor every sip and love including this blend in my morning routine. Similar to the Lavender Earl Grey Lemon Ginger Black tea is best brewed at boiling point (212 degrees fahrenheit) with a one table spoon to eight ounces of water ratio. Steep time is generally 3-4 minutes but honestly that completely depends on the flavors you like in your tea and if it is your first or second cup.
One awesome note about Lemon Ginger Black is that because it is a tea from Nepal Rishi Tea has a project going on actually called "Project Nepal FWEAN" that creates micro loans for women entrepreneurs and actually for every kilogram that Rishi purchases 2 dollars is contributed to this micro finance fund.
In a lot of ways loose leaf tea is such a wonderful experience but also understandably daunting if you are new to the tea world. A couple things to remember about loose leaf tea are....
- Loose leaf teas don't necessarily go bad but can loose their freshness or absorb flavors of things around them so storing your tea in a dark, cool space and in an airtight container will help prolong the life of your tea.
- The length of time you brew the tea matters! Brewing for longer lengths of time will not give you more health benefits but will actually just make the flavors themselves stronger and potentially overly bitter.
- Similarly the temperature of the water matter as well! Having water that is too hot can negatively affect the steeping of the tea and bring out a bitter flavor where as water that is too cold can under steep the tea and you will miss out on some of the lovely flavors and tasting notes.
- Feel free to experiment! I generally add a little bit of honey and lemon essential oil to my tea but there are so many things you could do, honey sugar, milk, lemon, etc. The list goes on and on.
If you have any questions about tea don't hesitate to ask! Similar to coffee there are a lot of ways to drink tea, a lot of good and bad options and the more you know the better your experience will be! I personally might be a bit tea obsessed and couldn't imagine my morning without it! Also if your looking for some inspiration, education, or just different tea options feel free to browse Rishi Tea's website... I think they even have a recipe for Vegan Lavender Earl Grey cupcakes up there somewhere!
Ps. I am always looking for tea related ideas, brands, suggestions. Please feel free to comment below OR if you have any questions ask those too and I will try to answer them for you!