Tea: What Makes For A Quality Tea Experience? 565 Summary: Tea is more than a beverage it is a way of life that leads to well being and satisfaction and it is healthy and tastes good as well. To start the day with a steaming cup of your favorite tea puts the rest of the day in a better perspective and to end that day with a final cup makes the experience that much better. In the mind of many tea drinkers the day just seems better with tea in it. It only follows therefore, that the higher the quality of the tea, the better the... Tea, quality tea, green tea, black tea, wu long tea Tea is more than a beverage it is a way of life that leads to well being and satisfaction and it is healthy and tastes good as well. To start the day with a steaming cup of your favorite tea puts the rest of the day in a better perspective and to end that day with a final cup makes the experience that much better. In the mind of many tea drinkers the day just seems better with tea in it. It only follows therefore, that the higher the quality of the tea, the better the experience. Many people ask what is the best way to have a quality tea experience? First start with tea that you like. Although tea comes from one plant, there are many varieties of tea depending on how it is processed and whether it is flavored or blended. Country of origin is also important.. In addition tea is grown in many areas of the world under varying conditions so environmental forces are important. Chose a quality tea that not only tastes good but leaves one with a feeling of wellness and contentment. From quality comes satisfaction and there are many levels of quality. Since tea is a commodity, the price you pay for high quality is usually not significantly more than low quality tea particularly considering the benefits. What are the benefits of high quality tea? First the flavor should be satisfying and memorable with a light but unique taste that is pleasant and satisfying. Next the tea should enhance good health in the drinker. Fresh, quality tea can reduce stress and minimize the effects of free radicals thus promoting an aura of good health. Quality tea also promotes a tea lifestyle where the drinker makes tea an important and healthy part of their life and that life becomes stress free and enjoyable. Tea is also a very adaptable drink that can be served hot or cold depending on the ambient temperature and it can also serve as a cooking medium. There are many recipes for cooking with tea. Remember that the benefits are enhanced as the quality increases and loose , whole leaf tea is often preferred by knowledgeable tea drinkers. How is Quality Ensured? There are two important elements in ensuring a quality tea experience: quality of the tea and quality of the preparation. Quality of the tea is part and parcel of purchasing tea from a supplier with a culture of quality. Since individual shipment of tea from the exporting tea garden can and do vary in quality, deal with an importer who cups or tastes each shipment as part of an overall quality control program. There are a number of factors in a high quality tea offering: Location and reputation of the tea garden Environmental factors such at temperature and humidity Time of the year for tea plucking Quality of processing Blending/ recipe for flavored and blended tea Tea cupping of each shipment by the supplier will ensure consistent high quality. Quality of preparation is as much of an art as it is a science but the elements of preparation is to use bottled water of high quality (purified water is best) and steep the brew not more than four minutes in order to avoid bitterness from the release of tannic acid. Serve in high quality tea ware with good friends and the experience will be memorable.

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