When I go to a cafe with friends, they like to order coffee such as cappuccino, latte, americano and flat white. As the coffee is being prepared, the Barista is working away at the machines with their interesting hissing and gurgling noises. There is the feeling that something special is happening to produce this wonderful cup of coffee.
However, not being much of a coffee fan, I ask for a tea. I am presented with a cup of hot water and a paper sachet. I open the sachet, drop the bag into the cup and wait for the tea to infuse (while poking the bag down - since it has a tendency to float, after all this is meant to be a 'special' tea and it needs to infuse for a few minutes. Not convinced it can do that bobbing on the surface.)
While I am drinking my low grade tea (the tea in bags is dust) my friends are luxuriating in their specially prepared coffees. Perhaps I should have brought a flask of hot water and my own tea with me, or stayed at home. Mind you, I would miss the conversations.
This is where I thought about the idea of offering loose leaf tea to people who want something more luxurious and tasteful. There are over 200 types of loose leaf tea! The different flavours are produced from the altitude and latitude of the tea plantation, plus the soil type, oxidation process and the fruits/flavourings that are brought near to the leaves during the drying process.
When properly prepared, loose leaf teas are delicious and there are so many different flavours. I am now hooked on loose tea and discovering more flavours all the time.
Oh look, miserable looking teabags. They contain dust, which is the lowest grade of tea, and the bags can only be used once (unless you like very weak tea). Loose leaf tea can be steeped several times and they release more antioxidants as well! It just gets better.
Now this is what it's all about - the lovely taste and smell.
Oh, here is Assam loose leaf tea from the Original Tea Company alongside
a loose leaf tea from a leading supermarket.