Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Ok, ok, just one more post about tea bags

I had the happy experience of being in Melbourne over the weekend just past, which allowed me (amongst many other pleasant things) to catch up briefly with my sister over a cup of tea at a café near her work. We ended up discussing my blog, which my sister informed me makes her giggle because I ‘overthink’ (her word) things like tea and biscuits.

Heh, well if she thinks that I overthink these things she should check out some of the blogs and sites that I read, where water temperature, water source, teapot material, tea age, tea storage, the speed with which water is poured and the violence with which it strikes the leaves (and more) are all discussed in very vivid detail. Some of these hard core sites are listed at the side of this page; some others include The Mandarin’s Tea; The Half-Dipper; and Floating Clouds Gliding Eagle.

Anyway, I have continued to muse about tea bags lately. I took a box of T2 tea bags with me on my trip to Melbourne, as I wasn’t sure if decent tea would be available where I was staying with my friend (it wasn’t, although there was a teapot, yay!). When I caught up with my sister, the tea served at the café was also T2 tea bags. I took a chance on ordering the China Jasmine – I often hesitate over ordering green tea while I’m out as I’ve had some nasty experiences with it being burnt by water that is too hot, steeped too long, etc so that it ends up really bitter and indeed disgusting. This one turned out to have been brewed ok. (I am liking the T2 China Jasmine quite a lot, I have to say – lovely scent and flavour, delicate golden colour, it’s really very nice.)

I was explaining to my sister that T2 tea bags make me happy because they are a delightful harmony of shape, size and content. The bags are big enough to let the leaves expand, they are not packed too full of tea, and the tea is of course high quality. I know I have posted earlier here about Teadrop tea bags – and they are great tasting (especially when you’re expecting a Twinings or Liptons bag or something rather less than inspiring) but I have become rather disappointed in them and the way they are usually served.

The bags are bigger than the T2 ones, but they are also packed with a lot more tea that doesn’t really get the chance to expand properly (especially if it’s one of the chamomile blends that are bulky and take up lots of room). This irritates me greatly, especially when they are delivered in one of those titchy little metal pots that you get at restaurants and cafes – the Teadrop tea bags hold enough for about a 500ml pot, it just seems wasteful, not to mention poor value for money to use them in anything smaller. Ah well.

I promise another couple of posts this week, and also that I will stop raving on about tea bags. New topics will include tea and food; and teawares, with photos!

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