Oct 13, 2008

Me and My Beloved Glass Mug!

I have a modest collection of tea pots and cups. Most of them are inexpensive, practical to use, good-looking but not upscale. However, I use my good-looking tea ware only when I have plenty of time to play with them (usually weekends or holidays).

The tea "cup" I use most often, is a glass mug. It's not a formal "tea cup". But it is so convenient to use and very good at displaying "tea dance" of the loose leaves! They are excellent for green teas because for green tea, watching "tea dance" in your cup is a big part of the enjoyment. One of them, I got it from PriceChopper (a grocery) for, like, 33 cents. They don't carry it anymore and I wish I could get more! The other one, I picked it up in free stuff of a tag sale! The glass mugs are so great and forever like new!

For new loose leaf tea drinkers who don't have much tea ware yet, my suggestion is, use a mug! Mugs are great and almost everyone has a few. When you just start your journey on loose leaf tea, invest more on tea leaves than on tea ware - and of course in the future you will own a lot of gorgeous tea ware :D

Huang Shan Mao Feng (Yellow Mountain Peak) in mug

Lao Zhu Da Fang in mug

Lao Zhu Da Fang in mug

Que She (Finch Tongue) in mug

Keemun Red (Black) Tea in mug

Huang Shan Mao Feng in mug

Zhu Ye Qing (Bamboo Leaf Green) in mug

Tai Ping Hou Kui (Monkey King Green Tea) in mug

Shu Cheng Xiao Lan Hua (Shu Cheng Small Orchid) in mug

Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle) in mug

Oct 10, 2008

Rose bud

The rose buds make excellent herbal tea. Great for autumn and winter nights due to their warming effect. Loved by women all over the world for their fragrance and beauty effects.

To brew the rose bud herbal tea, put rose buds in a mug or pot, brew with hot water for a few minutes. 2-4 rose buds for a mug, or 6-8 rose buds for a large tea pot. They can be brewed repetitively for 3 or more times to release all the flavor and nutrients.

Rose bud is one of my personal favorites. It has great warming effect on me. I love to have it hot, sometimes just rose bud alone, sometimes with goji or longan. I have it plain, while some friends of mine like to put honey or maple syrup in their rose bud tea.

roasted barley tea (mugicha, boricha, 大麥茶)

Roasted barley tea, is also called mugicha (in Japan) or boricha (in Korea). It is one of the favorite beverages of eastern Asia. In the west, it has the reputation of "oriental coffee", because its unique roast taste resembles light roast coffee in certain way. However, barley tea is entirely CAFFEINE FREE! It is made of 100% natural barley seeds. The roasted barley seeds are in dark brown color (as showed on the left of the picture). The brewed barley tea is showed on the right of the picture.

It is a great winter-night warm drink, as well as excellent summer beverage when served cold! To make hot barley tea, simply pour hot water on the roasted barley seeds (1 teaspoon per mug or 1 table spoon per pot) and wait for a few minutes. Then all barley seeds will sink to the bottom and the barley is ready! You may use a tea infuser or tea ball to hold the barley seeds but it's not a must.

Barley tea can be brewed for multiple times. I usually brew it for at least 3 times to allow it to release all its rich flavor.

If you prefer ice barley tea, simply take 1 tablespoon of the roasted barley seeds, brew them in a tea pot repetitively for 3 times, collect the tea, put it in a big jar, add ice and store it in the fridge!