Tea. Lipton is my tea of choice. Lipton loyalty runs deep. However, with the onset of a cold. I decide to open myself up to the loose green tea experience. Let me compare making a pot of Lipton tea and making a pot of green tea.
Lipton Tea Bags
Buy 100-ct tea bags for $3.48 (sold everywhere).
Add water to tea kettle, put on stove, wait for it to boil.
Add tea bag to mug.
Add sugar to mug.
Make toast, check e-mails, update social media status.
Pour boiling water over the tea bag in mug.
Butter toast, “like” a few Facebook pictures, let the pups in or out.
Remove tea bag from mug.
Stir, sip, and enjoy.
Tea – Loose Green
Walk into tea shop.
Approach a dreamy-eyed employee and request green tea. She asks, Do you want Chinese green tea or Japanese green tea? I wonder, Is there a difference?
Spend the next 15 minutes smelling tea leaves and pretending I can tell the difference between Hyson Lucky Dragon from China and Gyokuro from Japan.
Taste the Gyokuro and agree that it has a rich, almost full-bodied, smooth taste with a sweet ending and complex notes.
Almost spit it out when I learn it is $20 for two ounces.
Ask for green tea that will sooth a sore throat and a cough. Sales person rolls dreamy eyes and wonders why I didn’t mention this earlier. The cure for what ails me is Moroccan Mint Green Tea. Not only will it help my throat, the refreshing blend of Chinese gunpowder green tea and Moroccan spearmint mingled together will provide me with a pleasing tea moment.
Not so fast. Do I know how to prepare it?
Of course, I do. The tea sage raises one eyebrow as she hands me my purchase and tells me that the proper water temperature for my tea is 175°F. Got it.
Once home, I sneak into the house with my gold bag of tea. I was pretty sure I could manage the process without the help of my 18 year old, who recently discovered the joys of tea making.
Unfortunately, the teen was in the kitchen and, recognizing the tea bag hidden behind my back, was full of questions. Once I had admitted to buying some green tea, he was full of instructions.
Turn the tap to hot to fill the kettle. No. Tea water needs to heat from cold to hot.
My teen then went on to instruct me on how to properly boil tea water. I learned that heating the water to the optimal temperature will draw out the right balance of amino acids, which contributes flavor and sweetness, and tannins, which contribute bitterness and astringency. If the water temperature is too low, it may not extract the full range of flavors. If the temperature is too high, the tea will taste overly bitter and astringent. And who wants that. He then went on to explain that I should let the water come to just short of boiling (175°). Since I couldn’t find my tea thermometer, my teen agreed to let me eyeball it. He would offer a second opinion.
Next, pre-warm the teapot by filling it with hot water. When the pot is toasty warm, the hot water is poured out. It’s important to keep checking tea water to make sure that the water has not crossed over to boiling point.
Add loose tea to strainer—exactly 3-level teaspoons of tea. Not one leaf more or less.
Confirm with teen that tea water is almost ready to boil.
Remove the kettle from the stove, and slowly and carefully pour it over the tea leaves.
(Do not multi-task while you do this next part.)
Stand and watch tea steep for exactly 2 minutes. If it steeps a second longer, the tea will be bitter and yucky. And who wants that? Not me.
At exactly the 2 minute mark, STOP the infusion, remove the leaves by lifting out the strainer of tea leaves, and cover the pot immediately.
Pour self a soothing cup of green tea, sweetened with just a dab of honey. Sugar? Not recommended.
Exhausted, I picked up my tea cup, stuck out my little finger, and toasted Sir Thomas Lipton for his remarkable no-fuss tea bag. FYI, Lipton makes a green tea that is made from the finest leaves in the world. It is full bodied and rich in flavonoids, and it pairs nicely with buttered toast. Lipton you have my loyalty.
Are you a tea drinker? Interested in pretty tea pots? Check out Beth Ann’s collections.
Odd Loves Company,