Monday, November 10, 2014

My Apologies

In my last tea post, I strongly encouraged you, dear readers, to cut open a tea bag and inspect its contents, comparing it to the lovely teas I've been showing you here lately.

Then I realized that I'd asked you do to something I'd never done myself!

Have you ever opened a tea bag? And why do they put tea in little paper bags?
a pitiful, junky tea bag of nameless origin that I'd decided I would never set lip to 

I assumed tea bags existed for our convenience, so we could be done with cumbersome tea balls, floating leaves in our cups, strainers, and all the tedious paraphernalia of ancient tea time. How nice of those tea companies. But No! Of course, they use tea bags so that they can sell tea that they would otherwise never be able to pawn off on anyone. If you doubt this, cut open a tea bag.

It's true. It's tea dust.
Here are the three: teabag (left), Lipton loose tea (middle), Golden Tips tea (right)
 Tea dust from a bag:
 Lipton loose tea:
 Golden Tips tea:
(All photos taken at the same distance from the surface.)
I hope you can see why the bag is essential. That tea dust would end up throughout your tea pot and cup, even if you used a strainer, because the tea particles are so fine they would pass through any strainer. And do you notice the difference between the Lipton and the Golden Tips? Even the Lipton still has small particles that will muddle with your tea's clarity and flavor. But the Golden Tips is nearly all large pieces. This gives their tea a smooth, mellow, delicious flavor. The lack of "tea dust" in their tea not only keeps you from having a cloud of murky black particles in your pot (when the bag breaks); it dramatically improves the flavor.

So, there you go. Go cut open an old tea bag. Look at the pitiful stuff you've been drinking. And I'll point out something that Dasha wrote to me -- if you go into a really nice coffee shop, they'll have artisan coffees, whole bean ground (and sometimes roasted) right there on site, in many flavors. They cater to coffee connoisseurs. But what do they offer to tea connoisseurs? Teabags! It's true! You'll find a little selection of Tazo or Stash, or Celestial Seasons, but they'll all be in bags. And they're all tea dust. Dasha says this is true in Australia, and it's true in the U.S. also.

Sigh.

We must drink our tea at home, and order from Golden Tips or some other reputable tea company. It's the only way. Perhaps we should start a movement of tea shops? What think you?

6 comments:

  1. My daughter and hubby are tea fans to such an extent that Daughter used to work in a speciality tea shop and Hubby's idea of a day out is a visit to similar shops. On the other hand, I was put off tea at a very early age. Tea bags didn't exist then and my parents didn't own a tea strainer....result? yucky tea leaves floating around in the cup. As soon as I was old/brave enough to refuse to drink it, I did just that. When we have visitors I have to remember that I am unusual and other people actually like the stuff!!

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  2. Wow. Thanks for the information and photo evidence, M.K.! No more tea bags. Headed to those nice folks at Golden Tips a little later!

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  3. I love tea shops!!! France have some great ones!! X

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    1. Oh, I WISH we had in the U.S. some of the delightful shops found in Europe, and esp. in France. SIGH!!

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  4. I wish I could smell it, too. I've bought bulk tea at a tea shop and there is nothing as good, that is for sure.

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  5. I don't know of any brand of tea which can be bought in my local area (or Sydney for that matter) which looks anything as nice as that on the right. Other than herbal or floral teas. We even struggle to find anything as good as your ole Lipton.

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