THE BREWING JOURNEY
With so many types of teas, herbal blends and other natural ingredients, how do we choose when to drink what mixture? “Ancient Chinese health thought that tea is meant to be drunk at the end of each meal,” Wang says. Choosing teas is a personal taste. She explains that 95 per cent of tea in China is still hand-picked and handcrafted, and that terroir is a huge factor in the growth and hence the taste of tea. Barnes suggests that we choose shiny, fresh, fragrant whole leaves to brew with filtered spring water, which is free of chlorine and calcium. Then, pour simmering water over the tea to infuse the leaves – black and green teas for about two to three minutes, and white teas about 15 minutes.
There is no set formula; but all our tea experts agree that to enjoy tea, we must take our time. Whilst we do not need an elaborate ritual, tea is about the moment and the mind’s awareness, bringing us to a sensory experience involving our smell, taste, body and soul. Whatever tea you choose, the health benefit comes in slowing down, being mindful of the journey.
MORE TIPS FROM OUR TEA EXPERTS:
MARANDA BARNES, TWG TEA
“Tea tasting is an experience that involves all your senses. Look, smell, taste – start with your basic senses and develop your palate from there.”
Try Midnight Hour Tea, a theine-free black and green tea blend for the strong, fragrant taste, but won’t keep you awake.
MAIKA ENDO, KOCOON SPA
“Balance is the key. Be aware of your body needs and the environment as you pick your teas. I prefer loose leaves and always create a break in my life for a cup of tea.”
Try boiling hawthorn, chrysanthemum and rock sugar for stomach cramps and headaches.
WEI GONG, NEPTUNE TEA
“Water temperature is critical. If the water temperature is too hot, the tea will taste bitter and lose its delicate aroma. As a general guidance, 70-85 degrees Celsius is suitable for most green teas. ”
Try the Honey Lime Rooibos blend to cool the summer heat.
KARINA STEWART, KAMALAYA WELLNESS SANCTUARY AND HOLISTIC SPA
“Drinking green tea every morning can boost health as it contains powerful antioxidants and can lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and boost immune response.”
Try Happy Tummy Tea after a meal to stimulate digestion, a herbal blend of ginger, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric and fennel seeds.
CHARLENE WANG, TRANQUIL TUESDAYS
“The best way to make and enjoy tea is to be unhurried and mindful. The most important thing is to come up with a routine that makes sense for you.”
Try White Peony White Tea for a calm evening with its high content of anti-oxidants and L-Theanine, amino acids known for its soothing properties.