As the title of this post suggests, I am making a journey into tea drinking. There is a reason for this. I have a plan. For years now, I have been hooked on drinking pop, or soda, as some call it. When I say “hooked on” I mean it. If I don’t have a pop in the morning I’ll get a headache. It’s the caffeine. Caffeine is addictive. It is known that caffeine will alleviate a headache when you have one and with me, it gives me one if I don’t have it. Besides being really bad for you; containing lots of sugar and other chemicals, pop is also expensive. So I have decided that it’s time to quit. I hope to reduce my caffeine intake as well as get rid of the sugar and other stuff in the soda. A friend suggested I just drink coffee if I want caffeine but not the pop. Here’s why I don’t drink coffee:
These are pictures taken by my wife Ann, while I sampled her coffee. It was “Donut Shop” coffee with French Vanilla creamer in it. It tasted like melted candy! Really gross. I can drink black coffee but it just doesn’t do it for me. Now I have been drinking tea for a number of years but not regularly. So this is it. I’m going to become a regular tea drinker. Depending on where you buy it, tea can be inexpensive or really high priced. I’ve drunk bagged teas over the years but after doing some reading on the subject I found that bagged teas are usually low quality tea. So loose leaf tea is the way to go.
In my area we have a couple of tea stores to shop at. Teavana is a nationwide retailer of loose leaf tea and tea accessories. It’s owned by Starbucks, go figure! And, it’s pretty expensive. The only time I have shopped there is when they have a sale. You can also shop at Teavana on line. We also have a local tea retailer that I do shop at called Indigo Tea Company. They have the same quality tea as Teavana but much lower prices. Now you would think that a company like Teavana, with the ability to buy truckloads of tea, could offer lower prices than a one store local place, right? Wrong. They’re really expensive.
Teavana is a mall type store where you just go in and purchase tea. Indigo is a Tea Room where you also buy tea to take home but here you can sit and drink you favorite tea along with pastries and such. And I like the fact that it’s a locally owned business. I know my money is staying in the community. Or at least the state. Indigo is about 30 miles away from me. Anyway, I can always shop on line.
Whenever I take on a project I take the time to learn as much about the subject as I can. So I have gone to the library and also a used book store and now have three books about tea. Who knew people wrote about tea? So there is lots of information to absorb. I’m learning about where in the world tea comes from, (originally, China but now there are around 40 countries that grow some kind of tea.) what kinds of tea there are, (white, yellow, green, oolong, black, and pu-erh.) and how where the tea bush is grown affects how the tea tastes. Growing conditions such as geography, temperature, elevation and other factors are known as terroir. This is a term used in wine culture to describe why a French wine tastes like it does and a German wine tastes like it does. It’s all about the soil, the air, the water and so forth. Tea is affected by Terroir, just like wine or cheese. You can’t make a Roquefort cheese in Florida and expect it to taste like a French cheese.
So per my usual habits, I’ve taken on a lot of reading. But I love to learn, so this should be fun. With any luck at all, I hope to reduce/eliminate my pop drinking in favor of tea. There are a lot of health benefits to drinking tea as well and I’ll report to you some of the things I discover. Who knows, maybe I’ll make a Tea page on this blog too! Here is a link to a website called “Tea for me please.” This article explains Terroir pretty well.