So, here’s the deal: I really cannot bear English Breakfast Tea. I should probably hand in my English birth certificate now, right? I’ve always been more of a fan of Earl Grey and herbal teas. I find them so much more refreshing and uplifting! For those of you who have read a few of my blog posts, you will know just how much I enjoy the simpler things lately, especially at the weekends. Treating yourself to 10 minutes of tranquility with a good book, the soft glow of a candle and a pot of tea is food for the soul after a hectic week.
I first discovered JING last year when I was invited to a bloggers tasting session – normally, I’m not into ‘blogger’ events but I do enjoy tea and wanted to learn more about the rich history and more about the ritual aspect behind it. I’m always up for learning something new and broadening my knowledge on the things that I enjoy.
Did you know that in China alone there are hundreds and thousands of tea varieties? Their taste is not only defined by the land – aka terroir – but by the skill with which they are cultivated and processed. Hundreds of years of diligent attention has been paid to tea cultivation, evolving through tradition, culture, and through the hands of masters. You could say, it’s an art.
In traditional Chinese society, members of the younger generation show their respect to their elders by offering a cup of tea. Tea is seen as a symbol of love and respect and pouring a cup of tea is seen as a way of showing this affection for friends, family and elders.
There is a fine art of pouring the perfect cup of tea, for example, green teas are more delicate than oolong teas or black teas; therefore, green tea should be brewed with cooler water not too boil the flavour and anti-oxidants. When making a pot of loose leaf tea, the leaves should be placed into a strainer and left to infuse with the water for 3 minutes.
There is no comparing the flavour and enjoyment of loose leaf tea to packaged teabags. If like me, you enjoy herbal and loose leaf teas I really do recommend you check out Jing’s store and treat yourself to a variety of teas and the gorgeous glass tea pot and cups – literally an Instagrammers heaven!
The health benefits of swapping your cups of coffee and milky tea for loose leaf tea are endless. Tea can help prevent certain types of cancer, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, aid in weight loss, and boost the immune system. Tea brewed by the bag contains fewer of these properties – time to chuck out those dusty old supermarket bought teabags for good! Sorry, Mum!
Use loose leaves: If you give tea leaves space to move in the water, you will make a full-flavoured infusion because convection currents swirl the water around the leaves and aid infusion.
Use large leaves: Large leaf tea provides a slower rate of infusion, which helps extract the full depth of flavour, from light high notes to deeper texture and character.
Water quality is key: Soft water with low mineral content allows the flavours of your tea to shine. Apart from clogging up your kettle with a chalky, flaky scum, hard water impairs infusion and masks flavours with a chalky taste caused by its high calcium content.
Water temperature: For the best flavour, use the right temperature water for the type of tea you are making. The differences between the tannins in black and green teas means that specific water temperatures bring out the flavours fully, without bitterness. This can be a little tricky to gauge without a temperature controlled kettle but a thermometer will do the job! This is a job for the real tea enthusiasts out there!
OOLONG YELLOW GOLD | A great introduction to oolong tea – light, sweet and smooth.
WHITE PEONY | A deeply refreshing, sweet and honeyed Fujian white tea.
DRAGON WELL SUPREME GREEN TEA | Hand-fired in small batches for a true taste of Dragon Well.
PEPPERMINT | Peppermint tea is a delicious and refreshing way to boost your overall health. It helps to improve digestion, reduce pain, eliminate inflammation, relax the body and mind, cure bad breath, weight loss and boosts your immune system.
ASSAM GOLD BLACK TEA | Full of golden tips, our pure expression of Assam character. Packed full of antioxidants, Assam tea not only wins on taste but also on its health benefits. It increases blood circulation, reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Could your coffee ever though?