Slowing down to take in a warm, steaming cup of tea on a cold day is a good way to pause, reflect and remember to breathe. In addition, what’s in your cup may serve a function other than just keeping you warm and toasty. Many herbs used in teas are beneficial to systems in your body—especially gastrointestinal, since it’s absorbed and processed through that system.
Take a stroll past the bulk tea secion next time you’re at the Co-op. Although it may appear daunting if it’s an unfamiliar territory, it’s a wonderful resource. Don’t let the price per pound price shock you—this figure can appear quite high; however, teas are very light, so a couple of scoops’ worth of tea will ring up lower than that price per pound on the jar. Record the PLU number down of the variety you’ve chosen, and your cashier will weigh the bag during checkout. The label on the jar will tell you how much loose tea to use for one serving (usually one tablespoon per eight ounces water).
Buying from the bulk jars allows you try a cup’s worth or two of a tea for less of a commitment than taking a chance on a whole box. Preparation takes just a little more time than unwrapping a bag and pouring hot water over it, plus you can pick up what you need to create your cup at the Co-op.
Steeping loose tea
There are two options in terms of what to use to steep the loose tea: disposable or reusable. We stock a variety of reusable tea infusers and brewing devices to suit your needs. While many cost about the same as a package of disposable single-use bags, they will certainly save you money inthe long run. We also have biodegradable, chlorine-free single-use bags.
Now that you’ve got you tea and your brewing device picked out, it’s tea time!
Water temperatures depend on the type of tea you are brewing. Green tea, for example, ideally needs cooler water than black. Rishi, who supplies much of our bulk tea, lists brewing temps for each of their teas on their website at www. rishi-tea.com. Once you’ve achieved the proper temperature, pour the water over the brewing device containing the loose tea. Each tea will have a recommended steep time—typically three to five minutes. Longer is not better, as it can quickly become bitter due to tannins contained by some of the tea’s components. You’ll remove the brewing device, and it’s ready to enjoy. Honey is a great addition to lend sweetness and also for its nutrition value as well as a throat soother.
By using loose leaf teas, you can re-infuse the tea leaves several times during each brewing session. Each brew will be subsequently weaker in potency.
Use as directed
Please keep in mind whenever you take herbal remedies—including teas—to use them as directed. Do not exceed recommended doses unless instructed by your herbalist or healthcare professional. If taking medication, or are pregnant or nursing, consult with your healthcare professional before taking herbal remedies.