It's only apt that my first post should be about that irreplaceable, irresistible classic - a steaming cup of tea. It's what wakes us up, calms us down and sets the stage for the best gossip sessions.
"Anyone for tea ? I'm making some !" has been my rallying cry to sleepy-eyed friends on many a cold/rainy afternoon.......and no one has ever said no (except G, who, for some incomprehensible reason, dislikes tea !). Whether it's 2 pm or 2 am, chai is the perfect background for whatever you're doing.
It was my most essential tool in my working days. Without the 4 cups a day, I just wouldn't function. Now that I don't need that level of focus any more, I'm down to 1-2 cups a day. But I put in much more effort into that one cup, and it satisfies so much more than those 4 hurriedly made, dunk-teabag-add-milk-back-to-work cups.
I'm of the old-fashioned, brewing-tea-in-a-pan-for-eternity school of thought; teabags seem like the poor cousins of the mighty loose-leaf. Here in the US, there's very few options for people like me - it's either make do with that Starbucks disaster called "Chai Tea Latte" (a cacophony of cinnamon, nutmeg and syrup that tastes less like tea and more like hipster juice) or stay at home and brew the darn cup yourself.
Now, I love the results of the brewing; I'm just not very fond of the work it requires. The million dirty utensils that are left behind in the wake of that perfect cup sometimes, sometimes, make it seem not worth it.
Which is where this genius invention steps in to save the day !!! The tea mesh ball that eliminates the need for a sieve, and the pot stays clean !! Discovered this in a tiny shop in SF Chinatown.........for $2.
So far, it's worked well - tea leaves stayed in, expanded well, and no pot scrubbing ! I might even go up to brewing twice a day. Aaaaaaaaaaah.
You can get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-Stainless-Steel-Mesh-Ball/dp/B00004RIZ7/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341855277&sr=8-1&keywords=tea+ball. Or try your local dollar store.
What's your take on tea ? Brewed, teabag or none at all ? How many cups a day ? Cinnamon and nutmeg, or plain Tata/Red Label ?