By, Lady Mary
I am not here to incite any arguments between tea drinkers. Goodness knows that is not productive, nor worth my breath. I am purely going to share some information with you that will allow you to make INFORMED choices.
I got an early start with tea--I was raised in the 1960s on good old Lipton Tea in the bag. I knew no other tea even existed. It was what we had; it was what we could afford; it was delicious!
Fast forward fifty years and now I have a little more information about tea under my belt. I am prepared to impart this information to you as we visit over a cup of tea.
When loose tea leaves are picked from the tea plant, they go through a drying process that gets them ready for consumption. After this oxidation process is complete, loose tea is stored in enormous containers until it is ready to be packaged and distributed. Loose tea leaves contain many nutrients, natural oils and delicious flavors. Great care is taken to carefully package the tea leaves to keep them as in tact as possible—thus, not losing their high quality properties. After these highly prized tea leaves are carefully packaged and ready for sale, the tea dust from the bottom of the barrel is then scooped up and put into tea bags and packaged for grocery store distribution.
Tea in this powdered form has lost most of its essential oils, aroma and healthful properties. However, with the assistance of plenty of sugar and ice cubes, we then have the southern drink of choice—delicious SWEET TEA!
While no one is asking you to survive the North Carolina summers without sweet tea, if you are wishing to get the full benefits of tea, whether for taste reasons or health reasons, loose tea leaves would be a great path to explore.
Always remember, and never forget: Bottoms up!!