Does your mama like tea? This mama does. I’ve always been a tea drinker (henceforth causing my suitcase to weigh just a tad too much when I returned home from a trip to London a few years ago. Insert husband-eye-roll here). I love antique tea jars (although I don’t own any. Someday I’ll find some). I love the way tea smells, brewed or just dry. The slightly bitter thing appeals to me for some reason. I like it iced, I like it hot. Caffeinated or without. Green, black, white, you name it. And the more I’ve been reading about the stuff, the more we all should be drinking more of it. It’s good for you…lots of antioxidants, especially in the green teas. Do you know why they are green? Simple answer: the leaves haven’t been dried in the sun as long, therefore retaining more of it’s good nutrients and antioxidants. White is even more delicately dried than green, making it the grand-poo-ba of tea health. The trick, though, is finding GOOD teas. If you have not wandered beyond the supermarket aisle, then you haven’t lived yet. Not to say there aren’t some tasty ones there…but great tea places are popping up all over, so why not branch out? You’ll find some lovely leaves on those branches. Ha.
Pictured above is one of my most favorite kitchen gadgets. No, not the mug. The other thing. It’s called IngenuiTEA by Adagio Teas. My mom-in-law, who also loves tea, gave me this a while back and I not only use it all the time, but I’ve given it as gifts now. It’s great because it’s a surefire and easy way to actually brew loose tea without getting tea-schrapnel at the bottom of your cup. Tea balls? Don’t work. Those holes are too big. The little frou-frou strainers that sit on top of cups? Eh, if you pour too fast, then the leaves overflow into your cup. IngenuiTEA WORKS. And, you can even put it in the dishwasher, my favorite appliance in the whole kitchen. My version of Dante’s Hell would be to spend eternity washing dishes and turning into a prune. While having to listen to album after album of the Carpenters. But that’s just me.
Back to the tea. So, Adagio. They have a website, aptly called www.adagio.com. Oodles of teas to choose from! Green to herbal and everything in between. Of course they also sell the IngenuiTEA brewers and gift packs, too. With this brewer, you put the loose tea in, fill it with boiling water, let it steep the appropriate amount of time, then put the brewer on top of your mug and it will then fill it. Yes, my kids like to say that it looks like it’s peeing into your cup. Whatever. Again, back to the tea. Adagio teas are a big hit in my book because they are (somehow) moderately priced, they have tons of types and the leaves are really good quality. Translation: not all dried teas look the same, as they most often do when they are squashed and crushed into little dunkable bags with tags. Some are honest-to-God big leaves. Some are twig-like (such as the Silver Needle white tea or the Kukicha green. Both delish). Some, like my favorite, Genmai Cha, actually has some popped rice in it. I kid you not. The first time I looked into the Genmai Cha bag, I didn’t know what the heck was in there with the tea. Turns out that the popped rice adds this fabulously nutty flavor to the tea. Adagio helps, too, because there certainly is a lot of tea out there to navigate. Their descriptions are spot on and also, the bags (of loose tea) aren’t too huge. You won’t be saddled with 20 extra servings of a tea that doesn’t excite your taste buds.
This Mama’s Day, tell your Mom all the things you love about her…her CreativiTEA, her BeauTEA, her HonesTEA…and brew her a cup.
(sorry to post so late this morning, everyone…Guess I need a little caffeine, lol)