Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Teas
Tea appeals to people all over the world and yet the same beverage is the distinguishing factor that sets apart people from different walks of life, despite their common unconditional love for the beverage. Like the old adage goes, “Some like it hot, some like it cold”, tea is universally loved by all and sundry thus making it the second most popular drink in the world after water. However while some like it with a pinch of milk and a dash of sugar, some like to drink the concoction that is stirred by brewing the leaves in hot water without any additives. Some cultures revere it for its healing properties while others admire it for its refreshing taste. In the modern day and age, with the evolution of the culinary tea, it is as much loved to be taken hot as cold. A traditional tea ceremony in Yunan will have an ambience and paraphernia involved distinctly different from a tea party in London. The cultural divide will be profound in the backdrop of these two different territories although the central point of contention remains the same, enjoying tea. Coming back to India not only does the cultural aspect of tea change but also the appearance of the brew. In India tea is more of a household name and has no sacraments involved nor does its consumption require any ocassion. But despite the spiritual sedative that tea is and the amazing healing properties that it beholds, tea lovers and connoisseurs, alike will concede in unison that consuming tea would be all the more refreshing and enjoyable an experience if one had the choice to obliterate or avoid the mess that the tea leaves left behind in the teapot.
In the present day scenario tea is no longer limited to the status of a domestic beverage. With the increasing interest developing over tea worldwide, tea has evolved to become a culinary delight and a gourmet experience. Additives required to be added externally for taste are today available in pre blended packages ready to brew like lemon tea, chamomile tea, rose tea and masala chai. Exotic versions like the Strawberry blush and Raspberry blend are also available in similar options and tea connoisseurs are not shying away from the premium they have to pay. Tea has evolved to an experience today. And the complete tea experience requires a complete set of equipments that are integral to serving tea and the entire experience. These equipments are generally apparatusor vessel designed exclusively for the purpose of tea. Modern day science and advancement of technology has made it possible for these age old equipments to be infused with modern engineering to compliment the luxury of gourmet tea experience. Carefully chosen and correct tea accessories can transform your cup of favourite tea into a unforgettable gourmet experience. To start off with the list of essentials for the complete tea experience, on top of the list is the Tea Infuser.
The Tea Infuser is the primary and a mandatory inclusion on the list of essentials for a tea savant. One wouldn’t imagine enjoying a cup of tea while chewing on tea leaves remaining in drink. Perfect for brewing just enough for a cup and handy enough to carry it along anywhere, the tea infuser is the perfect gateway for an overwhelming experience of tea while enjoying the silence in solitude and allowing the flavours to build on your taste buds. It stops tea from steeping after a specified time which prevents the tea from getting bitter. Ideal for green tea, it can be used for black tea as well. However black tea is usually prepared by boiling leaves in water in India, unlike the West where it is steeped before consumption. Available in wide range one can choose from simple traditional designs and moulds such as the stainless steel meshball or the more recent fancy designs. The traditional tea infusers are round in shape and true to its name looks like a small wiry meshball. It is also available in a basket shaped meshball which is slightly larger than its round counterpart. Small and compact and easy to carry along while travelling, the tea infuser also helps avoid the mess left behind by the tea leaves by easy disposing.
Next on the list is a nice teapot which is an absolute necessary addition to every tea bar. Whether it is a crystal glass or ceramic clay with an Oriental touch to it, an aesthetic teapot to complement the surroundings hugely enhances the gourmet tea experience and gives it a traditional appeal. A nice round see through teapot with a solid lid, is a feast for the eyes waiting for the tea to be served in matching cups while the robust aroma enchants the senses.
Glass Teapot with in-built Infusers
Glass Teapots with in-built infusers take the whole accessory play a notch further. Equally aesthetic and sophisticated as simple glass teapots, this piece of modern tea ware elevates the tea experience a level further upwards. Not only is this utensil a visual treat while building up to the entire tea experience but it also has functional value that reduces human effort. So while the user can see their green tea leaves gradually infusing with the water as it is steeped and the change in colour of water, at the same time, the ready brew is available for serving directly into teacups without changing vessels. Convenience and sophistication have never before had a better collaboration to create such exquisite artistry.
After the teapot come tea warmers on the list of modern tea accessory essentials. As much as they are a utilitarian item they have a fun side as well. An evolved version of the traditional tea cozy, tea warmers serve the same purpose more effectively and with greater convenience. Tea warmers have the ability to attach itself to the surface of a vessel unlike the tea cozy which is merely an insulating coaster for the tea cup.
Tea warmers keep your teapot warm and the tea remains hot for a longer period of time. They can be shifted down the length of the teapot with much ease depending on the level of the liquid in it. Tea warmers eliminate the hassle of having to boil water and brew the beverage every time you crave a cup. Just make yourself a potful of tea and pour the brew in the teapot and cover it with a tea warmer and it remains warm. A simple yet aesthetic element, tastefully selected tea warmers simplify the gourmet experience. When the tea cozies match the surrounding ambience it further contributes in enhancing the entire tea experience.
Next on is the tea strainer. The importance of a tea strainer and how it is integral to a gourmet tea experience needs no new introduction to veteran tea connoisseur. The gourmet tea experience, if it hasn’t been emphasized earlier, is essentially brewing loose tea leaves since the true taste of the leaves is extracted only when it is allowed to freely but slowly infuse in warm water. Tea bags are an absolute sacrilege for a gourmet tea lover. Under such circumstances, the tea strainer plays a very important role before one can sit back and enjoy a cup of the perfect brew. A single tea strainer is sufficient for a tea lover’s collection, however one can always keep a few spare sets handy.
Last but not the least item on the list of essentials is tea cups. Any traditional tea ceremony or a tea party is incomplete without resplendent colourful and quaint tea cups to serve tea in.
For the gourmet experience porcelain or china glass tea cups are recommended as they best allow one to savour the taste of the brew. Also porcelain or china glass teacups bring out the colour of the brew prominently to the fore, giving the rising aromas a complimentary visual treat. Moreover being great insulator material the tea remains hot while you can gradually sip and savour its taste. Plastic or metal cups are strictly not recommended as they are not the right material to serve tea in and may alter the taste of the brew to an extent. Stylish teacups with simplicity and yet striking designs add a hint of mystic sophistication to any tea occasion, be it a gathering or in solitude.
Tea Cup with in-built Infuser
The teacup too has undergone its share of evolution before it could secure a permanent position for itself the tea savant’s showcase for tea accessories and essentials.
A perfect invention suited for steeping a single cup of tea and enjoying it in the pensive solitude of one’s own company, not only is the infuser tea cup convenient but also negates and eliminates the hassle of removing the loose tea leaves after steeping. Even as I compose the beauty of this lovely device, words fall short of celebrating this magnificent collaboration of technology and culinary tea. Suited for green tea steeping, it may not cater to the needs of those Indian consumers who prefer black tea as black tea is prepared in India by boiling tea leaves in water instead of steeping them unlike in the West. However the Western clientele may very comfortably use this wonderful invention for enjoying both black and green.
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