Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tea, Tisane and Teapots

A lovely bright day today after much wind and some snow. The birds are back at the feeders. I got a "squirrel fooler" feeder for Christmas, which I am hoping I will be able to put up closer to the trees and then see if the little buggers and the deer can empty this one!

Do you know the difference between tea and a tisane or infusion? I'll tell you. Tea only comes from the tea plant - Camellia sinensis. Just like coffee comes from a coffee plant. Anything else is not tea. It is an infusion or a tisane. This includes all herbal teas, all rooibos, all mate, honey bush, peppermint, sage, tulsi, etc. There are hundreds, if not thousands of variants of tea, depending on where it is grown and how it is processed. Personally I don't really consider the tea drinks to really be tea, but just a step away from soda and almost all of the flavored stuff falls in that category to me, also. I really prefer my tea straight up, although I do occasionally like Earl Gray and Jasmine. I may report on them here, but if I am drinking tea, it is tea, period.

Today I am preparing the first of my 2 new YiXing teapots for use. This one is for green tea. I first scrubbed it with a new sponge to get rid of any dust clinging to it and then rinsed it several times until it no longer smelled of clay. It is very importent to never use soap, as the clay is very porous. You also only use one type of tea per pot. Then I filled the pot with hot water and let it sit while I brought a pot of water to boil, threw in a handfull of assorted green teas - obviously I am not a purist - and let that boil for 5 minutes. Then I drained the little tea pot, took out as many tea leaves as I could and gently lowered the teapot into the water and turned down the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. I drained the teapot and put it in a safe place to thoroughly dry. Then it will be ready to make tea.

This is one way to season a YiXing pot. There are others. This was the simplest. These teapots acquire a patina over the years, just as silver does. I've read that with very old pots, you can practically make a cup of tea from the pot alone. We'll see how this all works. Tomorrow I will do the other one for flowery Oolongs, which I prefer to the more roasted tasting ones.

1 comment:

Steph said...

Congrats on your new teapots, and Happy New Year!