TO KNOW TEA IS TO LOVE TEA
There's so much you can learn about tea it can make your head spin. That's why we've gathered some fun yet good-to-know tips and tidbits, that help you discover the joy of tea...at any level.
Brewing a great cup of tea - whether hot or iced - is part art, part science and part
of an important daily ritual for many. what matters most? Tea, water quality, water
temperature and time.
Here are three simple steps you can follow at home to ensure a delicious cup or glass of your favorite brew.
1. Begin with your favorite blend of tea. for loose leaf teas, 3 grams of tea is a good amount to steep with 8 ounces of water. (or, simply use a pre-measured sachet or tea bag). put the tea in the bottom of the cup before adding water. remember the mantra: "water over tea." Not the other way around.
2. Use with fresh filtered or purified water. Brewed tea is 99+%water, so it is critical that you begin with fresh, clean water. for iced tea, the ice is just as important as the water.
3. Infusion time (steeping). The size of the leaf and the type of tea will determine the time and water temperature. Here are the general guidelines:
Black - 5 minutes at a temperature of 205-210 degrees fahrenheit
Darjeeling - 3 minutes at a temperature of 190-195 degrees fahrenheit
Oolong - 4 minutes at a temperature of 175-195 degrees fahrenheit
Chinese Green - 3 minutes at a temperature of 170-180 degrees fahrenheit
Japanese Green - 1 to 2 minutes at a temperature of 160-175 degrees fahrenheit
White - 3 to 5 minutes at a temperature of about 185 degrees fahrenheit
At china mist, we believe that tea is a personal experience and one that you should make your own. we welcome you to start with these guidelines and then fine-tune according to your individual taste. The flavor of the cup can easily be adjusted by varying the amount of tea, the water temperature and the infusion time
Ever wonder why you like a certain type of tea?
A few years ago, China Mist partnered with the Taste Science Laboratory of Cornell University to understand the science of taste and how it relates to tea - including the science behind why people choose the teas that they do. We present our findings jointly at industry event seminars to educate the industry and gather additional test subject data.
Tea is a sensory experience
The science of flavor and taste is a complex and fascinating subject that involves all five senses, as well as our emotions. We'd like to give you a little "taste" of all that's wrapped up in your choice of favorite teas.
When tasting a new tea, take the time to engage all five senses: hearing, seeing, touching, smelling and tasting. This not only makes the experience more enjoyable and memorable, it's the best way to learn. After all, as humans, we learn by doing and experiencing.
Is that glass of iced tea literally calling your name? Our customers tell us our teas have that effect on them, but it is important to conduct a tasting in a quiet environment free from excessive noises. This allows your other senses to be more acute. Taste the tea in silence first before listening to a description of what you should be tasting. Begin by formulating your own thoughts and then listen (or read) about the nuances of the cup.
Feel the dry leaves. Notice the size, weight and texture of the leaves.
Take a look at the dry tea leaves on a white tray or plate. See how they vary among varieties and flavors. Then, look at the brewed liquor.
Smell the leaves throughout the process, starting first with the dry leaves, then the brewed liquor. (Again for iced tea smell first off ice, then on ice.)
Finally! You're ready to taste. The process of tasting is actually quite complex but can be broken down into three main components. Our brains identify and remember flavors through:
1. Olfaction (smelling): aromas are directly linked to emotional and memory centers in our brain. (Example: the smell of grandma's apple pie or enjoying cotton candy at the circus)
2. Taste Buds: these taste receptors can discern between bitter, salty, sweet, sour and Umami (the savory taste bud)
3. Chemesthesis: a nerve response to chemicals in food (example: the fizzy tingle of soft drinks or the burn from a hot pepper)
If you've never conducted a tea tasting, give it a shot. It's not only fun, but can be very educational.
It's easy to think that white teas, Green teas, Black teas and Oolongs come from different
plants, when in actuality all teas are derived from the same plant, the Camellia
Sinensis. Regional growing conditions, handling, plucking and processing determine
the specific type of tea (white, green, black, Oolong) the leaf will become. Also
the "varietal" of the camellia sinensis will add a certain character.
Many of the finest teas are still picked by hand (plucked), usually by women who harvest the tea gardens and estates with extremely sharp blades attached to their finger tips. Harvesting tea in this fashion takes a great deal of skill and experience and is considered to be very skilled labor. Many of the finest tea leaves picked in this manner include only the first two leaves and a bud from the uppermost tip of the stem. The bud refers to the leaf bud and not that of the flower, which grows lower on the bush. Depending on the climate, tea may be harvested from the same plants as many as 7 times per year. Each harvest is called a flush and each flush has its own character.
Most Leaves Pure Teas® come from China, India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon teas), and Japan. In China and Japan, the great majority of tea consumed is green tea. Black teas are most popular in India and Sri Lanka. Our teas are all hand picked (Orthodox method) teas.
Tea is made up of only three components - essential oils, polyphenols and caffeine. Polyphenols is what gives the tea its health benefits, the essential oils is what gives the tea the aroma and flavor and caffeine gives the tea the natural energy lift. DON'T FORGET: A key ingredient of tea is water - the better the water, the better the tea. Many large cities across the U.S. and abroad have chemically treated tap water, so as a general rule, it is best to always use filtered or bottled water when brewing tea, though distilled or reverse osmosis water is not recommended.
Pick up any food and beverage-focused magazine and you're likely to see a feature
about Tea cocktails. What was once thought of as an unlikely ingredient has turned
into a "must have" in every restaurant and bar. Tea has become so popular that it is
now even a common ingredient in spirits.
When added to cocktails, Teas add depth of flavor and a refreshing finish (not to mention its well-known antioxidant and anti-aging properties.) Whether incorporated as a mixer, main ingredient or made into a simple syrup, tea is making a statement at the bar.
While cocktails are the obvious trend, non-alcoholic "mocktails" are just as popular among those that crave a uniquely refreshing beverage without the spirits. To help tickle your taste buds, we have created an array of cocktails and mocktails using both our iced teas and hot teas. For a full list of China Mist cocktails and mocktails, head on over to our recipes page.
Sunny skies, longer days and warm temperatures inspire many of us revisit our favorite
summer meals - from a tangy BBQ to a crisp summer salad. If you're reading
this, you probably already agree that a cold, refreshing iced tea can be the perfect
accompaniment to your dish. With so many flavors and options, we'd like to offer
you a few pairing ideas to whet your appetite:
WATERMELON MARULA ICED BLACK TEA:
The #1 summer favorite, pairs well with all of our favorite summer foods. Anything that comes off the grill or out of a smoker; like pork, ribs, burgers, sausages, etc. will pair well with this tea. Whether you prefer your BBQ style Kansas City, Memphis, Texas or Carolina this tea is sure to please. If your tastes are looking for more of a seasonal fruit salad, look no further than this tea.
HONEY MINT ICED GREEN TEA:
Our newest iced tea is cool, refreshing and especially popular with health conscious individuals who drink iced tea daily. The flavors of green tea, honey and mint have been identified as 3 of the top 4 tea flavors most appealing to consumers. (Are you one of them?) Whether paired with a fresh chopped salad, a delicious wrap or a wonderfully seasoned fish, this tea is an ideal complement.
FRUIT FLAVORED BLACK TEAS:
Looking for a unique flavor to add to your next summer celebration? Consider one of these distinctive flavors to pique your guests' interest. Iced black teas flavored with fruits such as Prickly Pear, Mango, Strawberry Guava or Organic Pineapple Lychee are sure to please.
What's hot in the area of culinary trends? Trend spotters report that Americans are
becoming more interested in discovering new ethnic cuisines. Millenials, especially,
are avid flavor "explorers" who experiment with ethnic flavors and innovative concoctions.1
There was a time when ethnic food in America was largely limited to basic Italian, Mexican and Chinese menus. Today, a myriad of new cuisines are gaining momentum. Mediterranean, Peruvian and Southeast Asian are three ethnic cuisines that are topping the culinary trend list for 2014.
Even if you've been a longstanding member of the teaborhood, you've likely heard that tea is a hot beverage trend for 2014 (that includes iced tea, hot tea, tea cocktails & mocktails, as well as tea as an ingredient in food recipes.) Combining tea with now popular ethnic cuisines seemed like a delicious challenge! So, we asked our Teasmith, Scott Svihula, to create some food and tea pairing suggestions for Mediterranean, Peruvian or Southeast Asian restaurants. Below, Scott shares his thoughts on the trends and tea pairings that will enhance each menu with complementary ingredients and flavor profiles.
In the last several years, the Mediterranean diet has been praised as one of the most healthful ways to eat. The diet is rich in olive oil, whole grains, vegetables and lean proteins. Combined with today's more adventurous palates, this cuisine has seen substantial growth, especially in the fast casual segment. So, which teas pair well with Mediterranean staples like hummus, falafel sandwiches, Greek salads or chicken schwarma? Our Teasmith recommends China Mist Passion Fruit Iced Black Tea or Blackberry Jasmine Iced Green Tea because these tea flavors pair well with Mediterranean flavors without overpowering the centerplate items.
While Peruvian cuisine has long been popular in major markets like San Francisco, it (and other Latin American flavors) is gaining more mainstream appeal. In an interview with the USA Today, famed Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez reports "Peru offers tremendous diversity. Dishes reflect the sea, the Amazon jungle and the Andes mountains." Popular dishes like ceviche mixto, lomo saltado (sautéed beef tenderloin) and aji de gallina (spicy chicken stew) showcase the regions diversity. To complement a Peruvian menu, Svihula recommends China Mist Strawberry Guava Iced Black tea and Black Currant Iced Black Tea. These iced brews are strong enough to stand up to bold food flavors without pulling away from the experience. At the same time, they allow your palate to be cleansed for the next bite.
According to Mary Chapman of the foodservice research firm Technomic, "People are discovering a lot more about Southeast Asian cuisine in general." Back in the early 2000's, restaurants had a tendency to group Asian cuisine into one big bucket, but now we are seeing a lot of micro-trends and a stronger focus on regionality. From banh mi sandwiches to pho and other noodle-based dishes, restaurant diners are embracing Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisines. Iced teas that complement these dishes include China Mist Organic Garden Iced Black Tea and Blackberry Jasmine Iced Green Tea. These tea flavor profiles are traditionally consumed in this region of the world; however, they have been tweaked for the American palate to be smooth, bright and refreshing.
So, the next time you visit one of these ethnic restaurants, or decide to whip up one of these dishes in your own kitchen, you'll now have some insights as to which tea flavors pair well with each type of cuisine. Bon appetit!
SOURCE : 1. NAC S Online 8/22/11