Many of us may think that there is not much to making tea other than adding hot water. However, this could not be further from the truth! There is reason, meaning and tradition behind every cup of tea we make.
In order to really appreciate the art of tea making, consider the following 5 principles:
Have the right tools. Having the right tools to make a cup of tea is very important. Proceed with care or you may end up in a messy situation, especially if you are dealing with loose leaf teas! Here is what you need: a spoon, tea cup, and a teapot/infuser filter. Filters are particularly important to avoid loose leaves getting into your mouth (some herbs can be unpleasant to taste if you eat them whole!). Filters are also useful to dispose the herbs once they have steeped long enough for the tea. As we will explain later, steeping the herbs too long can be rather unpleasant for your taste buds!
Remember the lid! Lids play a crucial role in the art of tea making. without them, your herbs may be losing their beneficial properties. Herbs carry volatile oils that supports our health and well-being, and these oils can escape through the steams if a lid is not used during the steeping process. Lids can also stimulate the heat circulation within the cup or pot, which further promotes the infusion of the herbs.
The golden 10 minutes. The amount of health-promoting properties that you can draw out from medicinal herbs through a hot water infusion depends on how much time is spent in steeping them. Each herb has different types of active compounds, which require different amount of time. Flowers and herbs only require a few minutes, whereas roots and seeds often need 20 minutes or in boiling water. However, studies have shown that 10 minutes is the golden time frame to bring out the beneficial properties of most herbs without affecting the taste!
Don’t steep too long. Although it is important to steep the herbs enough to improve the quality of your tea, steeping too long can certainly affect the taste of your tea. The longer you steep, the stronger the taste will be, and it can also make your tea taste very bitter. This is because the concentration of tannins is increased if you steep the tea for too long. Although this may increase some of the health-promoting compounds to increase, it may not be so pleasant to taste!
- Peace and serenity. The time spent to make a cup of tea is a time spent in peace. See it as a break away from your busy lifestyle. Take your mind off your screaming kids, the research paper due tomorrow, or the mountain of paperwork on your desk. Because your mind cannot work 24/7, or at least not very well. In fact, small breaks between work has been proven to increase your concentration, energy, creativity and productivity. Why do you think Google has playgrounds and healthy snacks for their employees? Making a cup of tea is a perfectly good excuse to let your mind relax. Bring your attention to the sound of the kettle boiling, the invigorating aromas, the texture and the colours of the herbs, and of course, the delicious taste. Allow a moment to drift away into feelings of bliss, and you will feel 10 times better getting back into your busy life.