on Friday, October 14, 2011 8:10:00 PM
The past decade has seen remarkable growth in the US market for loose
leaf tea. Just 10 short years ago, it was hard to find anyone who knew
anything about the tea other than the "fact" that is came in a Lipton
bag and was a perfect remedy when you were sick. Today however, we are
overwhelmed with choices from white tea to black tea, to numerous herbal
teas, from hundreds of different growing regions all around the world.
And more and more people are ditching the tea bags and switching to
whole leaf tea.
What is fueling this surge in popularity? I think
there are a number of factors that are fueling the resurgence of the tea
industry in the US market. The first major factor would be all the
recent studies that have been done on the positive effects of tea with
an emphasis on green and white tea in particular. The second major
factor is the ever growing library of information known as the internet.
Through the web, people are learning that not all tea is bitter and
that different regions, growing conditions, processing styles, and
brewing methods lead to vastly different tastes. And as American
consumers become more knowledgeable, they pass that information along to
their friends and family. Finally, I think there has been a surge in
interest due to the growing adaptation of the US tea market to the
preferences of US consumers, namely I think that the tea market has
started doing a better job at improving modern brewing tools so that
they are quick, easy to use, and easy to clean.
Today we see all
sorts of modern brewing tools, from gravity filters, to filter tea cups,
to all in one electric tea kettles that do everything from start to
finish. Companies have never tried harder to invent new, simple, and
easy ways to brew tea. And the result has been that more consumers have
been able to switch from tea bags to loose leaf tea and enjoy the full
flavor and benefits of tea without an added time burden.
being said, I think that tea is a contemplative drink. What I mean by
that is that tea is a great drink for meditation, for stimulating
conversation, for relaxation, and for heightened awareness. In other
words tea is more than just a healthy drink and more than just a quick
fix in my own humble opinion. So even though, I am constantly trying out
new brewing tools and techniques, I also try to take some time every
day or every other day to focus more on the process of making tea. I try
to use slower brewing tools that give me time to appreciate how the
leaves dance in the hot water, to enjoy the aroma and subtle nuances of
the tea that I am drinking, and to enjoy the side of tea that gives me
the calm and relaxation that I need to cope with the stresses of life.
regardless of how you brew your tea, do not forgot to enjoy tea as a
beverage and not just as a medicinal drink, I think you will enjoy it