I have given up most of my coffee consumption and turned to tea. At first, I used tea bags and had about 10-15 different varieties. I was always in amazement when Dr. Liao would decline to have tea, as he commented that he just didn’t like the taste of the tea that I brewed up. So, I asked him to bring me back some good Chinese tea on his next trip to China. He did and brought me a box that had eight different flavors.
Since then, I’ve slowly evolved into using only tea leaves. You can see my tea cabinet. Only a portion of the teas I brew are visible, and some are actually just using old containers.
I brew the tea in a white ceramic pot or cast iron pot, kept warm over a tea candle apparatus.
I use a Finum strainer for the tea. These are very nice, since you can remove the tea leaves after the appropriate infusion time, and can reinfuse the leaves quite easily. The lid also serves as a convenient base to prevent tea from getting on the counter.
At the office, I use a larger ceramic pot, with a hot water pot to boil the water.
Learning how to properly brew tea takes practice, experience, but a good book also gives one an idea as to techniques for making the perfect pot of tea. The book below also discusses the various types of tea, their origin and their differences. Generally, there are Chinese vs. Indian teas. Africa does produce some teas like Rooibos, which I’ve found to be quite distasteful. The Chinese/Indian teas vary from black, Oolong, green, flavored (like Jasmine), mixed (like Earl Grey), or moldy (like Pu-Erh). Pu-Erh tea is actually quite interesting, in that the 2-5 infusions are all quite good. The tea smells like a barnyard, but the taste is very nice.
The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook, by M. Heiss and R. Heiss ★★★
This book is a good introductory summary for the tea lover. Happy brewing!!!