Take the Tea Bag Out !!
What is the best way to drink tea? A question as old as the industry. There are as many different answers as there are tea drinkers. Though I plan on adding one more with this article, I intend to add a unique way that I hope you will find to be useful.
When drinking tea, I find that it makes life a lot easier to use a tea bag. Its easy to clean, they are pre-measured, there is no need for a tea strainer or other device, they are cheap, and a variety of other reasons. At the same time, there are a few major disadvantages; low quality tea is found inside, giving the tea a sharply bitter taste, and health benefits associated with tea are greatly reduced. (One reason why the tea bags are so cheap; cheap tea is included)
At this point you probably think I am writing an essay to promote drinking Loose Tea. Well, that is not entirely true. Tea bags still remain my preferred method of preparing and drinking tea whether I am making a pot or cup. I have found, that as with everything, the solution lies in somewhere in the gray. If we take the two extremes, high quality Loose Tea with no tea bag and Tea bags with low quality tea, and have them meet in the middle, we find the answer; gourmet tea bags with loose tea inside. A slightly higher price for a significantly higher tea.
With my weapon of choice exposed, I will now reveal my plan of attack. For a cup of tea, I will first take out a Double Chamber Gourmet Tea bag and put it in an empty mug. I will then pour hot water over the tea bag. This will thoroughly saturate the tea bag while running water through the two chambers of loose tea. After the initial pouring, I will bob the tea bag in and out of the water for a minute to continue with the movement of the water through the tea leaves or herbs (in the case of an herbal blend). When this is completed, I allow the tea bag to soak in the water for approximately another minute. During this soaking period, I wrap the string around the handle of my mug; anchored by the bead at the end of the string. This helps to prevent the string from falling into the mug, and any dripping that may occur as the water seeps up the string.
Up until now, this practice of tea drinking is no different then any other (with the exception of the gourmet tea bag perhaps). But here is where things begin change. After the tea bag is finished soaking for another minute or so, or whenever I feel the tea tastes how I want it to, I take the tea bag out, hold it above the cup and let excess water from the tea bag drip into the cup of tea. Then hang the tea bag on my Tea Stand (or you can put the tea bag on a plate or somewhere else) and save it for a second, third, fourth, and even a fifth cup with the same gourmet tea bag.
The benefits behind this practice of reusing the tea bags are various. First, by using a gourmet tea bag with loose tea, you will have the same ease as using a standard tea bag while drinking tea that provides higher health benefits and a smooth taste. Second, by reusing these bags, you will enter into a practice of drinking several cups of tea a day. This not only allows you to fully maximize the health benefits you will receive from each bag of tea, but you will also fully hydrate your body which will greatly aide in the cleansing of toxins. Third, by taking out the tea bag, you steep the tea for less time, freeing your cup from an overly bitter taste that is often associated with green teas. Last, but certainly not least, you allow the slightly higher price of a cup of tea using a gourmet tea bag to become less as you are making up to five cups with one bag.
Over many years of drinking tea, with even more techniques, I have found that this is the best way for me. It is not traditional, it may not be the best for you, but with my lifestyle that takes me around the a polluted city, while trying to work, maintain a family, and a social life, any way that I can make my life easier is a plus. And if I can make it better at the same time, then to me, it is an obvious choice.