The new year is almost upon us and, as always, the first of January is the signal for those who engage in such practices to roll out a bright shiny new list of New Year’s resolutions. January 6 is, of course, the day by which 96.4% of those resolutions have fallen by the wayside, but for purposes of this article that’s kind of beside the point.
The point of this article is to encourage one and all to resolve to drink better tea in the year to come. For, as the slogan at my own tea site reminds us, Life’s Short – Drink Good Tea. So if you’d like to resolve to drink better tea in the coming years – and I’d encourage you to do so – here are a few things you might want to keep in mind.
The first thing you can do if you want to drink better tea is to start with better tea. Which seems a bit obvious but it’s not always. But we’ll get to that in a moment. Because the second thing to know is that, even if you don’t go for a tea upgrade, you can probably do better with the tea you’re drinking now.
You can find an overwhelming number of articles that claim to tell you how to devise the perfect cup of tea – which seems a bit ambitious. I’m guilty of writing a few of these articles myself and you can find the latest one here. But here’s the stripped down version of the perfect tea equation – use good water heated to the appropriate temperature for the tea you’re drinking and don’t oversteep it. Yes, you should also avoid understeeping, but I’d wager that this is a less common problem.
Of course, there are some teas that might be beyond saving. Which is where the notion of starting out with a better quality of tea comes into play. While the cost of upgrading your tea might be a matter of some concern I’ll point out, as I’ve done countless times – including this article – that even those teas that seem quite expensive aren’t always. And if you look hard enough you might find good tea that doesn’t even seem expensive. In my own case I’ve been ordering a number of quite good Assam teas lately that break down to about thirteen cents a cup and that’s after factoring in shipping.
So if the truth be told making a resolution to drink better tea this year is one that you actually stand a chance of keeping. As for the ones about running five miles a day or writing the Great American Novel, I’m afraid I can’t help you with that.
See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.
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