Sweet Treats: Tea for Beginners

Sweet Treats: Tea for Beginners


Tea Cabinet Chaos
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

The beverage most closely associated with lolita fashion is tea. There is a decided fixation on tea time, taking tea, and tea parties; tea is even a theme for clothing designs or prints. The focus on tea is due to its relation to Victorian times, one of the many inspirations for lolita fashion. Additionally, a formal tea time or tea party seems quite fitting as a luxurious activity for beautifully-dressed lolita to partake in–even if they’re sipping coffee or soda from the delicate china.

Tea can seem overwhelming or hoity-toity at first. There are “tea snobs,” just as there are elitists of almost any kind. In the United States there isn’t a lot of information readily available on tea, as there might be in other countries were tea is a more popular beverage.

However, it’s easy to learn more about tea! Greater tea knowledge can increase enjoyment of the drink and make gatherings focused around it more fun~

There are many varieties of tea–black tea, white tea, green tea, red tea, and herbal teas. The most important thing to know when making tea is the temperature the water should be at. Steeping at the wrong temperature can make even the most wonderful tea taste bitter, while steeping even the lowest-quality teabag at the correct temperature improves its taste wonderfully! Herbal teas can withstand the highest temperatures, then black teas, followed by red, green, and white teas. The water for green and white teas should not be boiled! Either turn off the water before it boils, or let boiled water sit for several minutes until it cools sufficiently.

Tea bags are never as flavorful as loose leaf teas, for several reasons. Tea bags often contain fannings, which are smaller particles of tea that are often swept from full tea leaves. Loose leaf teas consist of the actual leaves, sorted depending on the grade of tea. Tea looses its flavor when exposed to air, so it is best stored in an airtight container. This is another reason that tea bags are less flavorful–air seeps into the box and gets to the tea. The bags themselves can introduce odd flavors to the tea when steeped. Tea bags are quite tiny, which doesn’t allow enough water to come in contact with the leaves inside–thus less flavor is infused by the leaves.

If you aren’t ready to make the leap to loose-leaf tea, pay attention when choosing bagged tea so that you can brew a better cup. Try your best to sample the tea before you purchase an entire box, or at least smell the box to get an idea of how the flavor might suit you. Look for tea bags that boast to contain whole tea leaves, and tea bags made of meshed fabric instead of paper. Also, look for large bags–pyramid is a popular shape–so that the tea inside has plenty of room to expand and add it’s flavor to the water.

Although I am certainly no tea expert, I love tea and am always hoping to convert others to my obsession! I don’t think I could resist writing more on it in the future.

One thought on “Sweet Treats: Tea for Beginners

  1. Great article! I'm such a tea addict, but I'm pretty new to loose-leaf tea, or even the correct way to brew tea. I had no idea that some teas shouldn't be boiled. Rose Marzipan from Teavana is my tea of the moment.

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