Saturday, May 9, 2020

Smith Teamaker - Making Tea at Home Zoom Tea Class


I love free educational tea classes!!!

I love Smith Teamaker so I was super excited when I saw they were offering a webinar on line.  I am always looking for tips in tea making!


I quickly signed up to see what I could learn.  You are never to old to learn and you can never know enough about something. Getting someone else thoughts and tricks on how they do things can always be useful.  You never know what you learn. 


I got signed up with 99 others.  I was so excited to see what Sara was going to teach us.  I learned several tips and tricks!! 

Sara went over 6 different ways to make tea:
1. Cup/Mug
2. Tea Pot
3. Gawain/Small Pot
4. Grandpa/Farmer Style
5. Tea Press
6. Iced Tea- hot/cold brew








It was fun to see her make each style and explain how and why she was doing it that way.  We could also message in questions to her and she would give more explanation of something.


The biggest tip/trick I learned was adding water first to the cup/mug or the tea pot.  I usually drop the tea bag in first, but Sara said not too.
Here is why-
Let the mug/cup or tea pot take the brunt of the hot water- do this for all kinds of tea.

 Green, White, and Oolong tea need water to be 185-190 degrees for the leaves, since they are more delicate.  If you put the water in the mug first the mug takes the brunt of the hot water- not the delicate leaves.   
(side note- the cooler the water the sweeter and more delicate the tea)

She also said if you put hot water in the mug first, SEASON THE POT/MUG, let it heat the mug/pot a bit, then pour the water out it heats up the mug/pot and the tea will stay warmer longer. Then add your 185 degree water, then your tea, and steep.   That makes sense.  She said that if the water is 185 degrees, then it steeps for a few minutes it will be 160 degrees (give or take) when you go to drink it.  If you heat you mug /pot with water first the cup/pot will stay warmer longer.

 Another thing was WATERING UP- fill you cup or pot part way with the water, add tea and let steep.  Then take the bag out and fill the cup or mug up with the remaining hot water.  (you are not watering it down, because what you have in the cup/pot is more concentrated and you are now just making the amount that equals the tea you put in). 
Same thought here, if you have a Black or herbal tea and the water temp is 212 degrees, by the time you have steeped your tea the temp maybe down to 180.  So, by adding more 212 degree water (after you remove the tea) you are heating it back up.  Now, this would not work for me, because of my delicate tongue.  I can't do super hot teas, but I get the concept.


The other interesting thing I learned was not to have the tea pot lid on all the way when steeping the lighter more delicate teas.  Allow some of the airspace to help the flavors. 
I emailed Sara for clarification on the airspace with steeping in a tea pot, this is what she said-

"When steeping delicate teas like white, green, and oolongs it’s helpful to leave some breathing room for the air to escape to keep the tea from getting a “stewed vegetable” taste to it. It’s most apparent with green teas.  I always keep it slightly covered so too much heat doesn’t escape, but enough to allow the steam to disperse into the air rather than back into the teapot." From Sara Kaufman


The hour went so fast!!!!

I have always said that tea won't go bad- and she agreed.  She said it may not be as good as before but it won't go bad.  
You want to store your tea in airtight containers and don't let moisture in.

Another thing I had heard before was that tea will pick up the aromas around it.    I emailed Sara about this too, I wasn't sure what the exact word was, so she emailed me back,  "Tea is hygroscopic.  Which means that it absorbs moisture and flavor from its environment. That’s why when you leave it in your spice cabinet it will start smelling and tasting like curry. The wonderful flipside of that, however, is that the same process is how we get such wonderfully fragrant teas as Jasmine Pearls. With Jasmine Pearls they intentionally layer a sheet of green tea and a sheet of jasmine blossoms (think food dehydrator on a very large scale) so that when the jasmine blooms the green tea absorbs the scent of the flowers. Pretty cool, huh?"
   So be careful where you store your tea.  
If your tea is in the cupboard or pantry is by onions or something with a strong aroma?  I would move the tea.
Even iced tea in the fridge should have a lid on it, because if you have something else in the fridge that smells your inced tea could pick up the aroma.  And I have had that happen.

Watch for other tea companies to be offering webinars or YouTube videos.  Learning about tea is so helpful and fun. 


Friday, May 8, 2020

Day 36, Featuring Golden Moon Tea- Masala Chai Latte



Day 36, We survived our 7th week of working from home!!!  I am fever free so I am cleared to work.

I discovered Golden Moon Tea when they placed a special on Facebook.  They were offering 3 teas for $3.  I jumped on trying their teas.  I have been super pleased with their teas- so I decided to feature them today!






Today I am brewing Golden Moon Teas- Masala Chai.  I frothed it with almond milk and maple syrup.  I think that chai always needs a "milk" and a "sugar"


There are so many goodies in this tea!!!

https://www.goldenmoontea.com/collections/loose-tea/products/masala-chai-tea

Organic Black Tea, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger, Organic Cardamom Pods, Organic Clove Buds, Organic Pepper



These tea is so delicious!!  You get all those great cardamom, clove, pepper and ginger notes. They play so well together.  And then the milk and sugar just elevates the drink.



We are working on boundaries....Poor Earl Grey loves to see what I am drinking, but never gets any.

I was super excited to see these gals!!  Rachel and I used to go to church together and I have not seen her in years.  Emily and I met at Beulah Beach.  Side note- Emily's mom and my dad were in youth group together growing up- and even went to Homecoming together.  It's such a small world!!


They wanted to try bubble tea but could not decided what flavor- so we made them all!!

Regular Bubble Tea, Mango Bubble Tea, Honeydew Bubble Tea, Lavender Bubble Tea, and Taro Bubble Tea.  Then we added bursting bubbles...so fun.  I love these ladies!

 #Kettleson Tea to go!

Find joy and give joy!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Day 35, featuring Voce Lemon Blueberry Lavender Tea


Day 35 of working from home.  I am fever free so I get to work!

Today I am featuring a new tea that I saw on Facebook.  Normally, I like to try a tea before I feature it. But, this one looked and sounded great- I just went for it this morning.

I ordered the sampler box.  Try 9 teas for $10.95- what a deal! As I was reading through the list I wanted to try them all.  But, as soon as I saw Lemon, Blueberry, Lavender I know that was the one.




From the website, "This tea is perfectly balanced and contains only three ingredients. Organic blueberries give it sweetness, and the organic lemon provides just the right amount of tartness. And, of course, the organic lavender that we source from the south of France lends an irresistible bouquet. Oui oui!
Ingredients: Organic blueberries, organic lemons, organic lavender.  Packaged in the same facility as peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and milk products.
Country of origin
Organic blueberries: USA
Organic lemons: USA
Organic lavender: France"

All the bags of tea I received were so full of tea goodies.  As soon as I opened up the Lemon, Blueberry, Lavender tea I could smell the lavender.  I could also see the blueberries and the lemon wedge.


This is an herbal tea, so my water temp was 212 degrees.  I also stepped for only 4 minutes, that way I could get another cup later in the day.  And I am so glad, this tea is incredible.  It is just the right blend of flavors.  I got all the notes- I got the lavender, the blueberry, and the citrus.  Not one flavor over powered the others.  They sang together.  This is a great tea!!!


I can't wait to try the other 8 flavors now.

Today, I had these two sisters come down to try some Taro Bubble Tea.  That is purple potato bubble tea!
#Ketteson
I continue to offer free tea to anyone who comes over while I am working from home.  Stop on in!




Sarah brought me this treat of pink milk- Sala Syrup, made with Hale's Blue Boy Brand Sala Syrup.  So fun to try new things. 

Find joy and give joy.




Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Day 34 Featuring The Tea Spot, Sugar Tamer

Day 34, fever free and ready for the day!!

Good to work from home, but first the featured tea of the day- The Tea Spot!


 A couple of months ago I ordered the Tea Spot sampler.  They have really nice teas, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to try.  Below are some of the samples that I received.

This is another great tea company that does loose leaf and bagged teas.  They know what they are doing and they do it well.





I no longer see Sugar Tamer on the website.  I enjoy the lavender and hibiscus mix and thankfully I don't even taste the Chamomile.  However, I do taste the licorice and I am not a fan of that aftertaste.  It is a bummer, but I do find that licorice root is often mixed in teas with hibiscus.  

There are certain flavors that stand out to me that I don't like- Chamomile, Licorice Root, Stevia, and Rooibos.  Some times these flavors can be hidden, but sometimes not.  If I can test a tea first with these flavors I usually do.  I hate to buy a tea with any of these flavors inc case they are too strong.  This one got me- I don't taste the chamomile, but I do taste the licorice.


This is an herbal tea- so you want your water over 200 degrees and you want to steep for 5-6 minutes.
I can get two cups of tea out of one serving of tea.


This is a good tea, despite the licorice flavor.  The Tea Spot does a great job.  I hope you check them out.  


I recommend trying the samplers and see what you like before you buy a lot.



A sample of 5 tea sachets is only $5.95.  I think this is a great way to try quality tea and see what you like!!


When I did my video this morning featuring this tea, I could not remember how I was turned on to this tea...and then it hit me!  The Tea Spot is the one that had the great products for cold brew!

SubRosa carries these products too.  When I was introduced to SubRosa at the Ohio Market I bought the bottle/infuser set.  But, I wondered what else The Tea Spot carried, so I found them on line.

They sell these great bottle tops that can go on some water bottles.

Steep and go for $5.95
These are great to add to bottles to drink cold brew!!!


I tore the label off the bottle, so I forget which water bottle I attached to lid too- I know I tried sever before I found the water bottle I liked the most.  

I also have the bottle that they sell with the lid.  It works the same, it is just a sturdier plastic bottle.



Cold brew is great- have you tried it yet?  
I put in about 1 teaspoons per 8 oz of cold water, within 5-8 minutes I have cold brew tea.  It doesn't get bitter because the water is cold and you are not releasing any tanins. I can add water to the cup at least 2-3 more times throughout the day.  You can add ANY loose leaf tea to water for cold brew. 

There are several ways you can cold brew- you can buy special containers or you can simply add a tea bag to your water! Easy Peasy!

What are the benefits of cold brew tea?  Cold brew tea is infused slowly over time to extract more goodness, producing a deliciously mild but flavorful taste with no hint of bitterness. And you can add water multiple times- you get a lot of bang for your buck.



I find it easy just to shake some tea into the bottle. Once you put it in the scoop, it is hard to get it all into the bottle.  Just eye ball the tea in.


You have your tea in the bottle and then just add water.


Screw the lid on and then in a few minutes you have cold brew.  The filter keeps the tea leaves from entering your mouth.

As always, while I am working from home- I offer free tea to anyone who stops by!  The Kettle is always on!

I had some takers today...


Sarah is out to try all my Bubble Tea flavors.  Today she enjoyed Honeydew with blueberry poppers.


I got this fun book in the mail from my friend, Lois.  What a fun surprise.  We will have to see what I learn and I can share with you.


These two sisters came by for some Mango Bubble Tea with Passion Fruit poppers.  They also gave me these great notes!



#Kettleson

Find joy and give joy!