April 12, 2012
We all need something to give our day a little kick-start. Many people reach for the coffee pot when they stumble out of the bed in the morning, but me, I go for tea. Though the teabag I throw in my mug at 6 a.m. is usually the typical breakfast tea you can find in your local supermarket, there is actually an astounding array of tea out there – and just as many different ways to enjoy it.
The drink that most people recognize as tea comes from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis, a shrub native to China. What you may not know is that both black teas and green teas are all made from the leaves of this same plant; the only difference is the type of leaves picked and how those leaves are cured and steeped.
Black tea is perhaps the most common tea both in North America and in the UK with a hearty, robust flavor that works well with milk and sugar as well as plain with lemon. To get the best flavor, black tea is usually made with boiling water and allowed to steep for up to five minutes. Green tea is more common in Asian countries and is the type of tea most closely associated with the traditional tea ceremonies of China, Japan, and Korea. Green tea is much more delicate than black tea, and should be steeped in hot (but not boiling) water for only about 30 seconds.
Of course, one of the best things about tea is the delicious snacks that can be served with it. Traditional English tea is often served with scones & jam, cucumber sandwiches, and strawberries & cream–though around Easter, the seasonal treat of a buttered hot crossed bun is also delicious with a steaming cup of tea!
If you want to read more, come on down to our Parkville Branch this month and keep an eye out for our Let’s Have Tea display. Even better, on Saturday, April 14 at 2:00 p.m., we will be hosting a proper 1800s tea party, complete with tasty beverages and lessons on formal etiquette. Don’t forget to sign up today!