Month of Tea Brewing 2017 – Day #12
Two Black Teas
Chinese Keemun & Nepali Black
Black Tea, as a one of the most common categories of tea, is made by a process in which the leaves are fully oxidized. From the time they are plucked and then withered, the focus of the process is to “bruise” the cells of the leaf to encourage darkening. Like the way in which the inner flesh of an apple darkens after being exposed to air, the tea leaf also darkens and sweetens.
Beginner Brewing Note:
I mentioned in this video that Black Tea is sometimes labelled as or referred to as Red Tea. The reason for this difference is that, in China, the fully oxidized Black Tea often has a deep, red liquor. It can be surprising and a little confusing. Another Red Tea is the herbal (no caffeine) brew from the African Rooibos plant. Certainly, the only thing that these two “Red” Teas have in common is a beautiful liquor. But you may happen on the rare occasion when someone offers you a cup of Red that’s not herbal. Both are delicious – depending on your personal preference – but could be a surprise on your first sip.
Enjoy a Sip or Two Today . . . Babette
More Modern Brewers
These plunger teapots give you a little more control over the time you want to steep your whole leaves. And, being able to watch the liquor darken can help you decide when it is brewed to your desires strength. While it may not be as elegant as a the Smacha Auto Brewer or as traditional as a Western-style teapot, this rather modern invention is a very convenient and easy-to-use piece of teaware.
Tea is the ultimate universal beverage. Whether in a Mongolian yurt, a Berber encampment in the middle of the Sahara, a house in Azerbaijan, admiring a verdant Irish landscape or in the heart of the mountains of New Zealand, it is tea that warms us when we are cold and cools us when w are hot. It welcomes us the arriving guest and is a promise from the departing guest to return.
Want to have some more Tea Sipper Society fun?
- More Than A Beverage Podcast: Michael Fritts
- Fun-With-Tea Craft: Painting & Dying With Tea
- Essay: A Nice Cup of Tea By George Orwell
- Month of Tea Brewing – Day 7 – Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
- Month of Tea Brewing – Day 8 – Grammy’s Fruity Herbal Blend
- Month of Tea Brewing – Day 9 – Lao Shan, China
- Month of Tea Brewing – Day 10 – Forest White, Hawaii
What kind of tea articles would you like to see more of on the ITSS website?
Good Luck Marbled Tea Eggs
A traditional celebratory dish to bring luck for the Chinese New Year are boiled eggs soaked black tea to create an aged, marbled effect.
- 12 eggs
- 5 tablespoons black tea ((or 8 commercial teabags))
- 4 whole star anise pods
- 3 whole cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole cardamom pods
- 2 long slivers peeled and sliced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sugar ((preferably brown sugar))
Place the raw eggs in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the partially boiled eggs, leaving the water in the saucepan. Drop the eggs into a bowl of cold water to cool quickly.
Add the tea, spices and sugar to the saucepan and cover to steep until the eggs are ready to be returned to the brew.
When the eggs are cool enough to handle easily, (about 5 minutes) drain the water. Tap each egg on a hard surface to lightly crack the shell in a crackle pattern all around the egg. More cracks will increase the marbling.
Return the eggs to the saucepan. Cover. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Allow the pan to cool. Then place it in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove the cracked shell to expose the patterned egg before serving.