Tea Tasting

home remodeling tid-bits

By Kathy Hester

With good tea becoming more available, I'm noticing more people choosing it over coffee. But just like wines, new tea drinkers need to try a few to see what they like in a tea. Invite your friends over and have a tea tasting. You'll all get to learn something new.

Send out evites and leave a selection of teas for your guests to pick from and bring. Or you can provide all the teas and ask guests to bring different sweeteners or milks. Really, it's all up to you. If you are already an avid tea drinker you may have amassed a huge selection of teas that are just waiting to be shared. If one of your friends is more knowledgeable about tea than you, let them help you put together a tea list.

You will want to have various black teas including flavors like Earl Grey, Darjeeling, or passion-fruit. These should steep 3 - 4 minutes. You must make sure to not over steep these or they will become bitter because of the tannins. Oolong tea is in between a black and green tea. It's what's typically served in Chinese restaurants. It tastes closer to green tea with a slight bitter taste at the front and a sweeter after taste. It is also steeped 3 - 4 minutes.

Green tea is less oxidized than black or oolong tea. It's known for its health benefits and may help raise your good cholesterol. It must steep for less time, only 2 - 3 minutes. Green tea becomes close to undrinkable if steeped too long. White tea is made out of the young leaves and buds. It's said to have anti-inflammatory properties. It's processed with minimal oxidation and has less of a grassy taste than the other teas.

Red tea is actually not tea at all, but a tisane. Herbal teas are also called a tisane as well. These teas have no caffeine and often have health properties that change depending on the blend. They also make wonderful iced drinks.

Set up a table with a beautiful tablecloth and your best Square Dinnerware. Serve light finger sandwiches, salad and cookies to give your palette a rest. Put a small notebook and pen next to each plate setting so your guests can make notes on the teas they like the best.

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