You must have a cup of Tea!

It's Hot Tea Month, here in January 2015! New Year, New You, New Cup of Tea!
In honor of Tea everywhere, I've compiled this list of AMAZING facts (that you may already know) about Tea! It's so exciting!

Many Teas aren't really Tea at all!

The magical tea plant and its very pretty flower.

An actual tea drink is one that contains the leaves of the plant Camellia Sinensis. All those other teas are often just herbal infusions. Still very yummy, and hot to drink, but not actually tea! I mean, really, I don't care if you don't, but it's a fun fact, right?
Camellia Sinensis plants are native to North, East and Southeast Asia. So even though we all know that the English are the best tea drinkers in the world, (which I will actually negate in 2 paragraphs or so,) they were nowhere near the first to drink it.

Tea actually does have a happy drug in it!

It's called L-Theanine! While both tea and coffee drinks will give you a energy boost, tea actually gives you a boost with a side of calm. Instead of coffee jitters, you are more likely to be awake and attentive, but also relaxed. This is why tea is often combined with meditation. All those monks were like, man, I'm gonna fall asleep during meditation this afternoon. So they drank some tea.
Here's a link to some studies about it! Next time you're stressed at work, try tea instead of coffee. You might just be able to think more clearly and let go of some of the stress and panic.

Your handy guide to tea making!

Temperature Matters!

Okay, putting aside that there are teas that aren't actually tea, did you know (I'm sure some of you did) that different types of teas/herbals require different water temperatures and brewing times for optimal flavor? I know I used to just boil some water and throw in a tea bag, personally. But that is probably why I assumed that all black teas tasted slightly bitter. The problem was with my technique, not the tea.

If you don't really have time to triple check your water temperatures, there are some people on the internet that think that they have the skill down. Or you could just buy one of these really nice electric kettles. Or, even better, you could buy one for me as a Thank You for opening your eyes to the wonder of tea!!

The Best Tea Drinkers in the World Are.....

It's actually not the British, although they are in the top three. It's also not the Chinese or Japanese. Top countries with most tea drunk per capita are Turkey and Ireland! Then comes Britain, of course. Check it out here!

Now, I can't say much about tea drinking in Turkey.... But I can tell you that dorm rooms in Ireland come with an electric kettle. And when you visit any home, you aren't offered a cold drink, you're offered tea. In fact it's a well known rule (at least, it was when I was there) that every good Irish host will ask you at least three times if you want a cuppa, even when you firmly say no. And after the third time, they usually bring it to you anyway.

Tea can Bloom in your cup!
Okay, so that's stretching it for a subtitle. But the point is you can buy a thing called blooming tea, which are balls of tea that bloom into beautiful arrangements right in your glass/teapot! Look at these beautiful blooms!








And here's a picture of what it looks like when you buy sub-par blooms and don't have a fancy camera!

Anyway, Happy Tea Month, guys!
If you don't have any tea to celebrate with, just stop on by! We have a pretty decent selection, and I'd be glad to give out recommendations!

So, what do you think?