Discovering Oolong tea for me was an accident. A life changing one. One day 3 years ago, my husband fancied the tea shop’s Oolong titled “Iron Goddess of Mercy” and bought 2 ounces for fun. We both tried it and liked it fine. Then a few months later, I happened to give up espresso in my ultimate quest to go healthy! (Well, I still drink the occasional espresso) But I was not about to give up caffeine (who knows! That may be another quest at the yoga teacher training someday!). But the ideal replacement seemed obvious: Loose-leaf Oolong tea. Then I discovered the taste and equally delightful benefits of raw honey, (thanks to Natalia Rose and her Raw Detox Diet) combined with Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong, I must say: one taste and you are hooked for life!
The purpose of this post is simple: To show you how you can establish a robust tea-making system at home once, then spend less time making the choicest tea at home and reap the amazing health benefits every time!
This video shows you all of the elements which together play a role in turning the taste of your tea into a delicious experience. Every single element contributes to the whole. You can make a cup of it by pouring some hot water into a cup and throwing in a tea sac. Or you can go through this process and forethought once and never look back!
Now to summarize the crucial elements from the video:
1. Zojirushi: The jewel of the entire process is instant hot water on demand. But on-demand does not mean compromised in taste. There is a saying in Japan, “Fast food is not fast for the chef.” If you have had fast food in Tokyo, you know that it tastes delicious and more importantly, that it is healthy and fresh. The Japanese are genius (and I never eat fast food except in Tokyo, although I am still getting beaten up about my trip to In-n-Out Burger, but I digress) And just as in Japanese fast food, by hot water on demand, I mean the Zojirushi’s slow boiling process which is then maintained at desired temperatures. Hot water on demand does not by refer to using Microwave to boil the water! Read more on this genius product; I dedicated an entire post to her!
2. Brita Filter: I mention in the video that it makes a difference to use filtered tap water. Not bottled water. Not regular tap water. A Brita filter is ideal for this. Invest in one. And you also have fresh drinking water without spending money on bottled water.
3. Ingenuitea: (Did I really call it a “puppy” on the video!) This is your gateway to freedom from tea bags! Making your loose leaf tea with the Ingenuitea will change the way you approach this beverage. The convenience of re-steeping your leaves with quick ease alone makes it worthwhile. I have 4 of these; one for the Oolong, one for Black /Red teas, one for Herbal teas, and one for Green teas. Can you have too many?
4. Loose leaf tea: The sources are abundant for purchasing loose leaf tea but do be selective. I find the best ones are authentic Chinese tea shops in larger cities which import directly from the source and can tell you everything about making it the right way. Montreal and Seattle cater well to the hot beverage community and of course, Hong Kong is the heart of tea shops from my sweet experience. Amazon carries both Rishi and Numi which are some of the finer brands. Be sure to also invest in good tight-lid containers for storing your tea.
5. Tea Filter Sac: And before you tell me that you are on the road a lot so you cannot afford to make tea this way all day long, check out the Filum Tea Filter which allows you to make your tea as mobile as yourself. Believe me, I have been known to carry mine as far as Hawaii and Europe. You may get strange looks but you just can’t trust your tea to anyone after you drink the perfect cup every time!
6. Raw honey: The best sweetness, if desired, to accompany your tea is raw unfiltered unheated honey. I buy only from Carlisle honey. Local farmers markets carry raw honey too. Taste it before you go for processed honey – it is not the same taste or benefits.
Tea can invoke mental clarity, creativity and calmness. Its subtlety, aroma, preparation process and authenticity can make you put away the memories of coffee-drinking days as if they were the dark ages of your health evolution. And try as I might, I can hardly match the remarkable prose in which a dear friend articulates her love of tea here on Chao Dao Tea blog.