Okay, I am sure that you have seen several varieties of tea at the supermarket that range from bagged tea leaves to loose tea leaves to bottled teas to herbal teas, like mint, chamomile, jasmine, etc. There are so many types that it may be hard for “neo-tea drinker”s to choose. I used to be one of those neo-tea drinkers, but after traveling to China, my appreciation for tea grew tremendously! Not only did I learn about the history, I learned what to look for when selecting tea and how to steep the perfect cup of tea! In fact, my first tea party was in Shanghai, China!
One of the biggest things that I learned is that full tea leaves that are mostly sold loose are far better than the crushed tea leaves that you get in most bagged tea. The flavor profile is far more intense and you get more of the wonderful antioxidants.
My recommendations for selecting green tea:
- Select a green tea that is 100% green tea leaves or green tea leaves mixed with other tea leaves or natural herbs/spices such as mint leaves paired with green tea leaves. Avoid the tea that is mixed or infused with flavors such as vanilla, caramel, etc. The tea will lose more of its natural properties as these flavors are processed and added to the tea leaves.
- Stay clear away from those bottled green teas that have a long list of ingredients that includes high fructose corn syrup and food coloring! This is not good for the body.
- Purchase loose green tea leaves at least once to experience its natural flavor. You will need to purchase a tea ball or a cup with a basket to hold the leaves as the tea steeps or else you will have leaves floating in your cup, which is how it is consumed in China!
My top 3 favorite brands of tea when I am not drinking Longjing Green Tea from China are as follows:
- Tazo® Zen – full-leaf tea leaves with green tea, lemongrass, and spearmint; available in silk bags at Starbucks retail stores or on their website.
- Revolution® Tea – full-leaf tea; available in silk bags or loose in several varieties.
- Mighty Leaf® Tea – full tea leaves; available in a proprietary silk Tea Pouch™ or loose in several varieties.
These brands can be purchased from selected grocery stores/specialty stores or ordered online.