Friday, April 13, 2012

Molly's New Habit

It seemed natural to have Molly ending her day with a cup of tea because I often do the same. I have always loved tea, the smell of the leaves, the scent of a freshly brewed cup, the color, and of course, the taste. My father drank tea all through the day. He would make what he called the essence in the morning, which was a strong brew of water and tea leaves he kept in a tea pot. Then he would boil water and add some of the essence when he wanted a cup. I remember having tea with him at night, though mine was a little bit of tea with lots of milk and a spoon of sugar. If I smell that combination it take me right back in time to sitting with him in the kitchen.

In those days we only Lipton’s which was orange pekoe tea. When I had Constant Comment tea at a neighbors, I though it was exotic and wonderful. I still love Constant Comment with its spicy orange scent and taste.

Both Molly’s and my tea tastes are pretty broad now. I have an overflowing basket of different kinds of tea, which oddly enough, Molly has, too. There is Earl Grey, oolong, green, darjeeling, Indian spice tea, English breakfast, and teas flavored with black currant, vanilla and more.

All tea comes from the same plant - camelia sinensis, but the leaves are handled differently which makes some white teas, oolongs, green teas and black teas. There’s something called yellow tea that I’ve never encountered. The plants grow in different places which no doubt affects the taste.

There is a real reason a cup of tea makes me feel so peaceful. Tea contains something called L-theanine which brings on a feeling of calm while at the same time, makes you feel alert and focused. There are tons of other benefits of tea from fighting tooth decay to being a cancer preventative. That’s sure a lot of power in a cup of something so good.

Matcha tea is in a class by itself. It’s a bright green powder made from ground up tea leaves and has a spinachy kind of taste, and is a super powerhouse of good for you things. It is the tea used to flavor green tea ice cream. Personally, I think it tastes best with a lot of milk and a tiny bit of sugar.

Then there are the teas that really aren’t teas. They don’t contain any tea leaves at all. The more correct title for them is tisane or herbal infusion. My favorites are peppermint, hibiscus blends and camomile.

The herbal teas have medicinal qualities, too. It is amazing to think that a ruby red, delicious tasting cup of a hibiscus blend helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol. Peppermint is good for stomach upset and camomile can help with sleep.

All this talk of tea has made me want a cup. The only problem is what kind to choose. Do you drink tea regularly? What kind?


mollie bryan said...

I am addicted to Constant Comment.It's my favorite tea. I'm trying to find a green tea that I really like because they are so good for you. I try to end each day with a cup of decaf Constant Comment. I'll be thinking of you tonight when I am sipping my tea. Cheers!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Unfortunately, I've never gotten into drinking tea, Betty, although some herbal teas taste good to me. I'm a coffee addict and especially like flavored coffees.

Betty Hechtman said...

Mollie, I am not that fond of green tea either. I'm glad you are a fellow Constant Comment drinker.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I drink coffee all day long. I might have drunk tea with my father, but my coffee drinking comes from my mother's side. She was part Swedish and everybody knows how much coffee they drink.

When I read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, it seemed like the guy was making coffee on every other page.