www.benlovejoy.com | Tea
'Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world' - T'ien Yiheng
'There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea' - Bernard-Paul Heroux
'Tea is liquid wisdom' - Unknown
'The spirit of tea is one of peace, comfort and refinement' - Arthur Gray
'Tea tempers the spirit and harmonises the mind; dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue; awakens thought and prevents drowsiness' - Lu Yu
Before we go any further, if you have ever used the phrase 'herb tea', please first ritually flaggelate yourself and then allow me to introduce you to Camellia Senensis:
More commonly referred to as the tea-plant.
There are a great variety of teas - over 3000, in fact. All of them have one thing in common: they are made from the leaves or buds of some variant of Camellia Senensis. Tea, by definition, is made from, well, tea.
There is no such thing as 'herb tea'. There are herbal infusions, which are hot drinks made in a similar fashion to tea. I am on a one-man mission to forever eradicate from the English language the phrase 'herb tea'. I shall not rest until this has been achieved. Please tell your friends.
I'm glad we had that little chat. Now, back to tea ...
Types of tea
There are four main types of tea: black, green, oolong and white. All come from the same plant, they are just harvested and processed in different ways.
My favourite black teas
The teas I tend to have in my kitchen are:
English Breakfast Tea
There is much written about tea-making, some of it based on fact, some more on superstition. It is, however, science to stress the importance of using water that is (a) boiling and (b) freshly-boiled. It is the act of boiling that releases the oxygen in the water which helps to bring out the flavour of the tea. If the water isn't boiling, or you repeatedly boil the same kettle-full, you'll get flat-tasting tea.
Tea qualities vary enormously. I get my teas from Imperial Teas in Lincoln and from the Tea Palace in Covent Garden.
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