I often reflect back to the beginning of my tea studies.
Here I was in my kitchen in Rome, Italy, holding a thermometer in one hand and a tea timer in the other hand, nervously anticipating the right mix to get the optimal brew.
Fast forward now to my kitchen in Yangon, Myanmar, were I grab some tea leaves and throw it into hot water to get a wonderful cup of tea.
In a way the past year has liberated me from following the instructions on the box and use scientific instruments to make tea.
However the one area where I never felt liberated is how I always experienced buying tea.
In most shops a nice tea salesperson would carefully open a tin box based on my request and would allow me to have a careful glimpse into the box. In good stores they might let me smell the tea from a safe distance.
How should I choose my tea and how can I trust that I am getting what I am paying for?
One thing is for sure: if you buy tea bags from the supermarket aisle from a big name brand, you will get exactly the same thing: small bits of tea dust or fannings which will turn the color of the water brown and will taste like the same thing over and over. For some that is what they prefer, but I am reaching out to you on this one! There is another, far more amazing world out there of high quality loose leaf teas!
Yes, you have to be adventurous and you have to trust someone that they will sell you something that is of good quality, comes from the area they are advertising, and is free from pesticides or other items which are not good for your body. So which way to go?
Now this is not an attempt of hidden product placement, it is more an attempt to pay tribute and respect to the one tea company which ignited my tea passion and put me onto the road I am on right now (no worries – I am not getting any commission for writing this…).
The company I am referring to is tea retailer Twinings. When I was living in Germany, I was well before the point when I started my tea journey. Yes I admit, I was a tea bag dunker and certainly the shelves of supermarkets are full of all kinds of tea bag boxes. It was convenient and quick and I did not have anything to compare it to anyway as back then there was no ‘ loose leaf aisle’ for high quality teas.