Getting to Know You Me Tea
by The Tea Noob
The first time I drank tea I was at my great-grandmother's house. I must have been really young, because she moved in with my grandmother when I was three. It was Lipton or Luzianne chilled in the fridge. (Don't hate, yo. I still love a cheap black tea in a bag.) I don't remember particularly liking or disliking it at the time, but I distinctly remember thinking that I was very grown up to be drinking tea. I wasn't really a fan of tea in my elementary school years (which I suppose is good since, really, why was I drinking black tea at three?), but loved it in high school. I'm an iced tea fan in general, though I will certainly drink a cup of hot on a cold day. I love my tea as is when iced and sweetened when hot. I have no explanation for this preference. I drank tea when none of my friends did. Shortly after I married, my husband started working at a large coffee chain that also sells tea. When I got pregnant with our first daughter, I began trying out various herbals and rooibos to limit my caffeine intake. Turns out, I like to flavor hot water with various ingredients from nature and then drink it. I'm not overly particular. So with a relatively long personal history of tea drinking, where do I get off calling myself a noob? When Naomi, owner of JoysTeaspoon.com, started getting super into loose leaf tea, I welcomed the opportunity to drink fancy tea. When she made it. And when she and her sister started buying fancy tea paraphernalia, (Does that word make anyone else think of high school? RAVER PARAPHERNALIA!!) I thought that maybe this tea business was a little more than I was willing to do. And when they started telling me how to drink tea properly in order to get the full flavor of the tea, I thought, What a pair of pretentious poseurs! But, you know, it still tasted good. Really good. So when Naomi asked if I'd be interested in giving you guys a first-hand look at my adventures in tea-making I thought, Maybe there will be others out there who don't really "get it." And even if all of you (Hello, out there!) are already sold on the ease of making loose leaf tea, perhaps you will find my knownothingness humorous and endearing. We'll be exploring brewing methods (real and imagined - hilarious pictures ahoy!), flavor profiles and what they mean and sip/sniffology. Yes, I made that last one up, but I swear that's what I think it's called when you drink tea properly to get the full flavor. This is a no pretention zone, friends. I promise that if you have a question about tea-drinking, I have had the same question. I probably still have the same question. So feel free to ask. I am not afraid to Google. Or to just ask Naomi and make my job that much easier. So, next up: What to do when you open a tin of tea and it is not in a bag. Eep.
Beth Aguilera is a mother of two who is currently pregnant with twins. She lives in Kansas City and teaches prekindergarten when she isn't on bed rest.