Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Refreshment Down to a Tea: Leaf

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.  ~JAPANESE PROVERB

I’m British and I don’t like tea. I should, us Brits are well known in the western world for our tea drinking habits. But I still don’t like it.

Last year, I would have upheld my strong opinion and practiced being anti-tea, but now I’m converted!

After years of being subjected to inferior cuppas, and trying to develop a taste for the stewed orangey-brown, bitter, tannin laden liquid, invariably on the overly milky side, I have finally had an epiphany on the tea front.

Whilst at The Real Food Festival, back in April, I was offered a tasting of some tea from Leaf. Memories of tongue curling, face cringing tastes came flooding back, and I almost refused.
My husband accepted the sample on offer (he’s not usually a tea drinker either) so I couldn’t really turn it down.
I took a sip and my taste buds beheld a refreshing and fragrant flavour that was smooth and an absolute joy to drink. We tried various other types and flavours, and that was it – we were hooked!

We bought a selection of taster tins enabling us to sample the delights of all their varieties – nice packaging too.
There are two sets – one of traditional tea and the other of herbal (no caffeine) infusions.

This new practice of tea drinking has meant purchasing a suitable teapot. My husband found a nice glass one from Bodum, with an integral, yet removable infuser compartment.
This is perfect, as you can see the water taking on the colour and the leaves unfurling. When the tea has finished infusing (and I am following the instructions on the labels to the letter) you can lift out the infuser to prevent any stewing from taking place and spoiling the taste of the tea.
We always use filtered water too, as suggested by the producers. It’s important for the water to be pure to make good tea.

Leaf teas are proving to be quite addictive (in a good way) in our household, that we now look forward to trying yet another flavour.
When all the little tins have given up their contents, I’m going to have to buy some more – and quick!
The teas seem expensive at first glance but when you work out how much they are per cup (probably fifty pence, at the most) it puts everything into perspective.
I can justify the cost, because the quality far surpasses any ordinary supermarket tea and the farmers/pickers get a decent living too… and what’s more – I love it!

For more information about Leaf tea, visit www.leafshop.co.uk
To read about The Real Food Festival click here

Lead product image from leaf website


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