There's Popcorn in my Tea!

by Jenn on September 18, 2009

in Beverages,Dairy Free,Diabetic Friendly,Gluten Free,Tastes

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The nights are starting to be a wee bit chilly now that we are heading full force into Autumn here in New England.  ‘Tis the time for oversized woolen sweaters, cinnamon sticks, and cuddling up with a good book warmed by the radiating heat of the wood stove.  I’ve even begun seeing a few pockets of bright orange and red poking their way through the trees that are still trying to hold on to the dog days of summer that were so few and far between this year.  One of my favorite things about coming into Autumn is my almost daily routine of drinking tea.

You see, I LOVE tea.  And I’m not just talking about the plain old boring stuff you get for only $2.00 a box in the grocery store.  I am talking about tea that isn’t bitter, but that you can savour sip by everlastingly flavorful sip.  Most people think tea must consist only of tea leaves, but to think so is to be a bit naïve about the world of tea.  Tea can be made from just about anything.  For example, I made tea from fresh lemon balm a while back, which I enjoyed immensely.  Many herbal teas include flowers or spices or other great additions that can create a little glass of heaven when some hot water is added.

So far my newest favorite tea is this blend from Teavana, which is a mixture of the Sweet Amore Rooibos and Strawberry Paraiso White teas. The rooibos tea has the perfect blend of all of my favorite fall flavors – cinnamon, vanilla, almonds, it’s wonderful.  The white tea, however, is very fruity, with flower petals, actual dried strawberries, and other fruits that look like candied dates.  But what really surprised me was the popcorn!  I still have no idea really why there is popcorn in this tea blend?  What flavor does it impart?  I’m not really sure.  But either way, the combination of these two flavor blends is amazing – perfectly relaxing and calming with the right blend of warm Fall spices and refreshing fruity and flowery aromatics.

Brewing tea is very simple.  The main trick is to use good quality whole leaves, and don’t overbrew it.  Other than that, it really takes little effort at all, and you can be instantly transformed into a place in my mind full of Zen-like tranquility.  Ah another relaxing night with my favorite tea, a great evening!

How to brew the perfect cup of tea:

1. Buy your favorite loose leaf tea.
2. Start heating up some water in a tea kettle.  Let the water in the tea kettle heat up to the proper temperature – you NEVER want to pour boiling water directly onto your tea unless you are brewing a black tea – otherwise you will release too much of the tannins and the tea will taste bitter.
3.  Have your tea pot ready.  Pour a little of the hot water into the pot, and then add your tea leaves, either into a mesh container or directly into the pot if your tea pot has a strainer on the spout.  Use a healthy sized pinch per cup of tea.  By adding the water first you will help the leaves wet and start releasing flavor better.
4. Pour the rest of the hot water into the pot.  Let steep for the appropriate time depending on the type of tea.
5.  Pour into tea cup and serve.  Add a bit of sugar or honey to sweeten, or some steamed milk (which is especially good with chai)

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P.S.  This post was not endorsed in any way by Teavana or Amazon.  All opinions are my own, I received no compensation whatsoever from providing such a post or my opinions.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Keacher September 18, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Tea is wonderful! My preference is for a nice whole-leaf oolong on about the second or third steeping.

Incidentally, a French press makes a great vessel for steeping tea.

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Jenn September 18, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Yes, I have often used a French press – it works great if you don’t have/want to invest in a nice tea pot!

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Lauren September 19, 2009 at 12:14 am

I love trying all sorts of tea, but I’m not too fancy. However, whenever I go to the local tea house, I try a delicious new blend. Its always fun =D.

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Lauren September 19, 2009 at 6:35 am

I love trying all sorts of tea, but I’m not too fancy. However, whenever I go to the local tea house, I try a delicious new blend. Its always fun =D.
Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

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Ariane September 21, 2009 at 10:22 am

I just found out that Teavana has a store up on the North Side of Indy! I have been buying from them offline for a while and love the Rooibos teas. Once it gets warm again, one of my summer favorites is hibiscus tea with a touch of agave and some lime, over ice. You just have to be careful since it stains.

If you like the taste you get from the popped corn, one to try is the Japanese green tea with puffed rice: called genmai-cha which is one of our favorites year round. Nothing beats sitting down to football on Sundays with a pot of tea and a bag of rice crackers :-)

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Samahita June 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm

That is the traditional way of brewing tea you have described. I really never have the patience to go through the same process. I just dump in the water, milk, tea, sugar and herbs together and boil it. I let it simmer a while though to get the flavors going. he he he…
Have you ever smelled the vapors rising when the tea is brewing. Amazing smell.

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