January is National Hot Tea Month.
According to an ancient Chinese legend, around 2737 B.C.E., Emperor Shen Nung was a health conscious man and was known as the “Divine Healer”. He always boiled his water before drinking it. One day while he was boiling his water, a few leaves fell into it. The aroma was so wonderful that he decided to taste it and declared it sent from heaven.
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, second only to water.
There are three types of teas made from tea leaves: green, black, and oolong. There are also “herbal teas”. These are not really teas at all because they are not made with tea leaves. Tea contains vitamins, oils, and fluoride. It also contains caffeine and some types are used as a diuretic.
Green Tea was used for medicinal purposes long before is was used as a beverage. The Chinese believe that tea drinkers have an increased life span. Tea is the national drink of China.
- Green Tea does not go through the fermenting process. Steeped green tea is light green to jade in color and has the aroma of vegetables.
- Black Tea, or red tea as it is referred to in China, is made by allowing the tea leaves to ferment after picking. Steeped black tea is reddish brown to deep brown in color and has a thick, almost malt-like aroma.
- Oolong Tea is a combination of the two. This tea varies in color and aroma.
To make a good pot of tea:
Use good water with low mineral content and avoid hard water.
Bring water to a near boil or just to a boil but no more.
The amount of tea leaves will depend on the type of tea used.
Steep 1-5 minutes before pouring.
Subsequent pots of tea using the same leaves will need longer steeping times.
*Green tea should be brewed at a lower temperature.
Interested in reading tea leaves?
Reading tea leaves is personal and intuitive, but this will get you started. Drink your tea slowly until there is just a small amount of tea at the bottom of the cup. Swirl the cup three times and turn the cup upside down to drain the tea. Now, turn your cup over. What do you see?
Leaves closer to the rim tell of the near future.
Leaves down in the base of the cup tell of the distant future.
Look at the leaves and form pictures (like you look at clouds).
Interpretation will vary quite a bit, but here are a few items that seem to have universal meanings.
- bells: good news
- chain: success but requires work
- cross: suffering
- fish: news or traveling abroad
- key: solving of a mystery of finding lost items
- egg: fertility
- flowers: love
- spider: luck
What is your favorite blend of tea?
Celebrate with goodies from Zazzle
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