Back in the day, tea meant one thing – nondescript black tea, usually in a little bag plunked into your cup. Chinese restaurants were exotic fare so if we were lucky, they served some jasmine tea in a little pot and small white cups (and washed the table with it too). Then it started.
First came herbal teas, then flavored teas and then special types and artisanl tea, like the now-commonplace green and white. Apparently, somewhere around 1990, tea consumption in the U.S. really started to take off and it’s been going full steam ahead (haha) since then, increasing year after year. Tea seems to be the perfect recession beverage, and specialty teas are a huge and growing arena.
At this years DC Fancy Food Show, there was so much tea we started to wonder whether we were some of the last remaining coffee drinkers left. Fortunately, we like tea too and drink it daily. And we can say that lot’s of it was delicious and some tea brands clearly go for a particular “tea experience.” One brand has packaging that implicitly whispers promises of reaching full spiritual enlightenment if you just sip in the right way or enough. (Actually we do know of a tea like that but that’s another option altogether). So how does one choose what tea to drink?
One of our favorite tea brands is Teatulia because their tea is incredibly delicious and they are really cool. Their nine flavors include some better known types and a few caffeine-free herbal varieties. They also have a Tulsi Infusion (you might know tulsi as Holy Basil) and a black-tea based Neem Nectar, which we haven’t tried yet but seems very curious. Neem (Azadirachta indica for all our latin plant name friends) is an amazing plant although known not necessarily for its culinary qualities.[Teatulia Varieties] Teatulia’s teas are all organic, of course, since it should go without saying, (meaning we’re saying it again), that you should ONLY drink organic tea if you can help it because otherwise you’re having a hot cup o’ poison most likely. Tea gets washed the first time when it’s brewed so whatever’s on it, you’re consuming it in your brew (yummy, fungicides).
And if that’s not enough, the ladies harvesting this tea sing to the plants as they pick. Now that’s the royal treatment we all deserve. Supposedly, it make the plants happier. Clearly, it makes the women happier (their labor also earns them really cool wealth items like cows – the do-goody part mentioned above). And it makes us happier too, even just thinking about it.
We agree. Emotions get into our food, so wake up and choose the feel-good route.