Rush, rush, rush… sometimes we are so busy that we just gulp our tea, but it’s good to slow down and savor the flavor of that tea now and then. This can be a good thing in two ways. First, it can be quite a stress reliever. Second, it can also help you break away from teas with a bunch of flavorings added and instead take in all the subtleties of pure teas.
Schedules and timetables make constant demands these days. If you have school age children, there is a never-ending schedule of sports and other activities, both practice sessions and performances. Even without children, you can find yourself attending meetings, going here and there to find some special item from certain stores which always seem to be at opposite ends of town, or doing your part for the book club or singing that choir solo. The list seems longer than Methuselah’s beard, and you can get quite frazzled with all that to and fro.
But tea offers you a chance to slow down and savor. Even if your idea of a “cuppa” is a teabag dunked in hot water for a few minutes, it’s still a break in whatever you’re doing and a chance for “a breather.”
Breaking Away from Flavored Teas
It’s doubtless that flavored teas are super popular. Several well-known tea chain stores have built their reputations on such things as Pumpkin Spice and Cherry Bomb Vanilla flavored teas. They constantly come up with new flavor combinations to tempt customers and also resort to giving them cute but sometimes non-descriptive names. I recently cleaned most flavored teas out of my pantry (mostly samples sent to me to try out) and had hubby take them to work with him. Needless to say, they didn’t last long, especially the Earl Greys (there were four or five versions) and the jasmines.
One of the reasons for this popularity is in my humble estimation a matter of time. We don’t slow down and savor.
About a couple of decades ago I was on my way to tipping the scale in the bathroom at about 200 pounds. Part of the reason? Eating too fast. Not taking time to really taste my food. When I slowed down and really savored a potato chip, I found I really could eat just one (sorry, Lay’s, but that iconic commercial is just plain wrong). I soon no longer feared the bathroom scale and have maintained the weight loss for about 18 years.
Slowing down your tea drinking may not result in a big weight loss, but it can help you better appreciate the flavors of the tea. And there are so many to choose from that if you don’t like one, you can try another. Be sure to prepare them initially per the vendor’s instructions the first time around but feel free to experiment after that. If the flavor seems bitter, steep a short time. If the flavor is too weak, use more tea leaves the next time (longer steep times will usually just make the tea taste bitter).
One thing that will help you slow down is to keep a tea journal. Note the tea type, date and time, and any flavors you detect while sipping. It will also help you go back to a tea you especially liked. You may even find yourself wanting to pursue becoming a Tea Sommelier. All things are possible!
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