“What is the best tea for me to drink?” and then, “What is your favorite tea?”

These are two questions I am asked often when sampling tea at market or Selby Gardens. I find it extremely fascinating to explore and chat about the different taste and enjoyment experience people have when drinking a cuppa. Some thoughts to share on this often complex pastime of drinking tea.

My usual answer to the first question, “What is the best tea for me to drink?” is quite simple, the tea that you like the best!

For me, Green Tea is simply the best tea because of the powerful health benefits associated with drinking green tea. The truth of the matter is that if you really don’t like green tea, the chances are that you will not drink sufficient quantity of green tea to achieve the promised healthy enhancements.

If you prefer a Rooibos tea, then you should drink it because you are certain to drink much more of it. And you will benefit from the high anti-oxidant levels and the unique combination of vitamins and minerals found in Aspalathus linearis. You may prefer a combination of botanical tea and herbals or indeed all herbals. Each tea offers unique health benefits as well as unique flavors, and only you can decide the one you like the best.

Now the second question, my favorite tea, has become quite complicated. I have many favorites and drink different teas at different times of the day.

I describe myself as an Orthodox tea lover and almost exclusively drink loose leaf tea. I just love the taste of Camellia sinensis in all its wonderful forms and natural flavors. I do not need the addition of fruits, flowers or added flavors in order to make tea more palatable or enjoyable because, to me, they mask the true flavor. And I want to taste the true flavor of loose leaf tea. Why only loose leaf tea? See Think Out of the Bag.

That does not mean that I will not drink or appreciate a finely blended tea with quality ingredients such as our Black Rose or Earl Grey (thanks for snapping the fab pix, Alexis Z) which are both perfect for afternoon tea. Also, see my post on Early Grey, Are you Spellbound?

I am now much more sensitive to caffeine and find I must stop drinking true tea around 5.30pm otherwise find myself enjoying my tea all night long!

This has meant a shift to herbals for that time frame. Like Rooibos, Naturally caffeine free Organic Honeybush fits that niche perfectly for me because of soothing and calming qualities.

Since I have been sampling tea to so many tea lovers each week I have come to realize that no two people are alike, regarding their taste in tea. Selby Select is by far our best selling tea and people absolutely love it. Though some people do not care for the flavor of this amazing Rooibos, no matter how high the praise.

MY POINT IS? There is a favorite tea out there for everybody. There is no good excuse for not drinking tea. As I have said before, find what you like and drink lots of it.

Cheers,
the Tea Lady

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While sampling our iced Earl Grey, a customer told me she had read that Bergamot was bad for you.

How can the most popular flavored tea in the world possibly have an ingredient that is bad for you, I thought? Wanting to prove that theory very wrong I found some interesting facts.  Though I’ll tell you about our iced Earl Grey later.  

Bergamot is a small, pear shaped citrus native to SE Asia but now commercially grown in Calabria, Italy.  The fruit thrives in the calabrian coast and is the symbol of the region.  Like most citrus, I am sure it makes an excellent marmalade, though my Key Lime marmalade would be hard to top, but I digress. 

Used in half of women’s perfumes and in aromatherapy to treat depression and aid digestion, I couldn’t find much negative press. Extract from the bergamot plant was used in sunscreens but was banned in 1995, this did  not make sense to me, then I found comments that bergamot blocked absorption of potassium in intestines. Why would it be used as a digestive aid then?

I found that various North American plants of the mint family are also called bergamot due to their fragrance. One was used to make a beverage by the American Indian Oswego tribe and was adopted by the 18th century colonists during their boycott of British teas! We won’t get into that now though!

The worst info I found was that Bergamot has been used in Witchcraft. Maybe it cast a spell on all those people who think it is the best tasting tea ever! Are you spellbound?

Cheers,

The Tea Lady