As I was perusing the November 2007 issue of Realtor Magazine, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to find an interview with James Norwood Pratt, founder of the Tea Society networking group, on the last page.("Serving Up Real Tea", Realtor Magazine pg 56). In the interview Pratt discusses the growing popularity of tea, and how it can fit into various business situations.
I find it interesting because in addition to being a Realtor I have been in the tea business for over 5 years. While I will never say 'no' to a good cup of coffee(black!), my husband and I drink several cups of tea every day. There are so many health benefits to drinking tea; studies have shown that its antioxidant properties help with everything from lowering cholesterol to fighting tooth decay and cancer. Caffeine-free herbal "teas" such as Rooibos (African Red Bush) tea helps reduce inflammation and insomnia, and soothes colicky babies, among other things.
So we've all heard about the benefits of tea for a long time, but how do we get more tea in our life?
Here are some easy ways-any one of these will make it easier to incorporate tea into your day:
1. Buy a hot water dispensing pot. As for me, I can be such a space cadet sometimes that I won't dare turn on the stove in the morning to heat up water, for fear that I'll leave the thing on when I go to work. A hot water dispenser is on all the time, and getting hot water is a easy as pushing a button. Works for instant soups, noodles and hot chocolate too!
2. Get a teapot with a removable strainer. I recommend "Bee House" brand teapots. They are very functional and stylish. Though people tend to gravitate toward larger size teapots, I suggest buying a smaller size (15-26 oz) because that way you can drink your tea before it gets cold! And most loose-leaf teas are good for two or three steepings, unlike tea bags, which contain inferior tea.
3. Use disposbale tea filters. At the beginning of the week you can fill several of these with 2 teaspoons of your favorite loose tea and keep them handy. Remember to steep black, roasted or pan-fired green, white and oolong teas for about 3 minutes, herbal 'teas' for 5 minutes, and steamed green teas for less than 1 minute. Then you can re-steep your teas! How economical is that?
4. Use an airpot for your tea. Every day my husband and I drink an entire airpot full of black tea(Organic Breakfast in China is our blend). What we do is take a 64 oz container(1/2 gallon), put about 4-5 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea, add hot water from the hot water dispenser, and let it steep for about 20 minutes. Then we strain the hot tea and pour it into the airpot, and voila! We have hot tea available all day. Not only is it convenient, but it costs only pennies a day.
Some believe that loose-leaf tea is expensive; indeed, you can pay $30/pound and up for good tea. Others believe it's too difficult to prepare. I hope I've been able to disprove those myths and give you some good ideas for incorporating more GOOD tea in your life. I'll write more on the subject of tea in future posts. Thanks for reading!