Friday, 27 May 2011

Tea of the Day!


Oh my! Remember me? I never forgot you either. That would have been TERRIBLE of me. I've just been busy, but more on that another time. There are more important things about which to remark. Namely, TEA!

Coconut Chamomile (Tea & Herbs by Cherie Anne): 3.75/5

Am I getting freakishly stingier with my ratings? No - I think the tea is fantabulous! But, being someone who likes coconut pretty much only when it's being coconut (or, you know, a Girl Scout cookie), I can't say that I'll be running out to buy more of this.

"The sweetness of kiwi and coconut blended with the apple notes of chamomile, tart cherries, and cranberries" (caffeine free!)

The initial scent was very much a back and forth between the chamomile and the coconut, with the chamomile eventually taking over as it steeped. This worried me, as not only am I wishy washy about coconut, I also don't generally enjoy chamomile and ---. I let the first cup steep for the recommended 5 minutes and it turned a GORGEOUS golden shade!

My reaction to the first sip was WOW! That is a great tango of flavors! The taste is mostly that of coconut (which was surprising after such a strong chamomile smell), but with definite hints of the chamomile and other (like Coconut invited some friends over for a party!) (I could not find any hints of kiwi or apple though). The cherries and cranberries definitely contributed to a sour aftertaste. I also would not recommend as an iced tea - it gets more sour as it cools. Overall, an amazing combination.

(The big question is why did I buy a coconut tea if I'm not a general fan of coconut? Well, I bought a bunch of sample packets at Fairie Fest (more on that later). Sadly, a lot of Cherie Anne's teas come with sparkly bits of sugar already mixed in. It makes the packaging awesome - especially at a fairie festival where every thing is fairie dust and sparkly, but I don't WANT sugar in my tea (except the occasional English Breakfast). It was difficult to scrounge up the required number of samples without the sugar.)

"The fourth cup raises as slight perspiration - all the wrongs of my life pass out through my pores; At the fifth cup I am purified; The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals. The seventh cup - ah, but I could take no more!"
~Lu Tung, Chinese poet. (Amateur...)

Brewing a Pot of Tea:
Methods of obtaining a perfect cup of tea vary with types of tea and personal tastes. In general:

~Always use fresh, cold water. Springwater (not distilled water) is preferable to unfiltered tap water treated with chemicals.

~As the water is heating to a boil, warm the teapot with hot water, then pour it off.

~Measure and add the tea to the pot. Black tea generally requires one level teaspoon or one tea bag for each 6-ounce cup. Green or white tea may require more.

~For black tea - when the water is at a full boil, immediately pour it over the leaves. Green and white teas to best with water that is boiled and then cooled to 160-175*F. For oolongs, water should be 180-190*.

~Steeping time varies considerably. Do not judge when tea is ready by its color; instead, brew to taste. In general, black and oolong tea should steep longer (up to about 5 minutes) than white, 1/2 - 1 minute) or green tea (1-3 minutes).

~Discard tea bag before pouring tea. (I suppose that leaves throwing the tea bag into a cup and the cup in the microwave out of the question...)
*All About Tea Knowledge Cards