Although a staunch coffee fan (it is genetic!), since starting Nice n Spice, I have become quite infatuated with teas – with organic loose leaf tea that is. Not just me but the whole family in fact. We have been sampling many, many kinds of teas unleashing some creativity leading up to the creation of Nice n Spice’s own organic tea blends. Some are a true Nice n Spice original, some not so much and were inspired by store bought blends – that we thought we could do way better.
I was a little miffed recently when I found my daughter favored a store bought pomegranate white tea, marketed as an “antioxidant powerhouse”. I knew that a bit of mixing and matching of our own organic teas would generate our in-house powerhouse. So it is with pride that I present the newest addition to the Nice n Spice selection: Hibiscus White tea - a handcrafted 100% organic blend of white peony, hibiscus flowers and dried orange peel.
The prepackaged store bought pomegranate white tea has left the house, never to return….
Our Hibiscus White tea contains one of each tea category: a pure white tea, and an herbal tea (and fruit). You might know there are 2 categories of tea: “pure” teas: green, black, white, yellow, oolong and pu-erh which are made from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Their different looks and flavors depend on when they are picked and whether and how they’re dried or fermented.
Herbal teas make up the other category. They are also called tisanes and are caffeine-free infusions of herbs, roots, leaves or a blend. Some popular ones are mint, chamomile and rooibos.
The following suggestions will get you the best quality cup of tea you can get:
Buy Better Tea
No seriously, great tea is not hard to find…. It basically comes down to carefully selected, fresh and more flavor vs. mass-produced, processed and prepackaged. We sell pure organic teas because we like them the best. Have a close look at the ingredients of some so-called natural teas/herbal blends sold elsewhere, you will be shocked how many have added flavorings most of them not so natural. Dare to try teas you are not familiar with, you will be amazed by the range of taste natural teas provide. They even might have some health benefits to boot.
Ditch the bag
Whole leaf teas provide you with more flavor, aroma, antioxidants and pleasure than the tiny leaf bits and stale tea dust in tea bags. The leaves used in most bags are actually the “dust and fannings” from broken tea leaves. Broken tea leaves have lost most of their essential oils and aroma. When steeped, they release more tannins than whole leaf tea, resulting in a bitter astringent brew.
Oh and if you find the loose leaves floating in your tea inconvenient: use a tea pot or a tea mug with a stainless infuser (I love the Le Creuset one).
It Boils down to this
Different teas require different water temperature. Not only that, the quantity required per cup differs per tea and so does steeping time:
Green/Yellow Tea 1-2 tsp., 2-3 mins. with water under boiling point
White/Oolong Tea 1-2 tsp., 3-5 mins. with water under boiling point
Herbs/Herbal/Red Tea 2-3 tsp., 5-7 mins with boiling water
Black Tea 1 tsp., 3-5 mins with boiling water
So no, you don’t make tea in the microwave.
Nothing Beats a Fresh Brew
Drink tea freshly brewed. It can turn bitter and overly tannic as it sits.
Storage and Shelf Life
Although the shelf life of tea might be fairly long, the sooner you use tea the better. Its volatile oils dissipate over time, leaving a musty flavour. Store tea in an airtight container in a cool and dry place.
Enjoy, and let me know if you want to sample some teas from our selection!
Trading spices might be part of my Dutch heritage, but here in B.C. I have learned to appreciate good organic food. Consider Nice n Spice a marriage of the two. This is the place to find my thoughts, recipes and product information. I'll be nice but who knows, there might be some spice as well!