Did you know tea can be brewed in just about any liquid? It can! When baking, I often steep tea bags in cream, milk or melted butter. For we purists, of course, water is the liquid of choice when brewing it for the perfect, refreshing iced beverages — or soothing, comforting, beverages — or homey, warm, soul-renewing beverages. 🙂 You can make them all with the delicious flavors of Bigelow Tea! There is a very simple art to brewing delicious tea and you’ll be able to learn it in a snap! It’s so simple, in fact, that it’s tempting to just throw the tea bag in hot water and brew it any old way. You COULD do that, but you won’t have the same warm, wonderful experience as you will if you follow these simple tips. These instructions will result in consistent, delicious results every single time (If you’re using deliciously consistent and high-quality Bigelow Tea, of course.).
Regardless of the type of tea, brewing it is pretty much the same, except for temperature and steeping time. And ALL teas — black, green, white, oolong, etc. — have amazing health benefits. You may not realize it, but they all come from the same plant – the camellia sinensis. So, don’t let anyone fool you! Tea has important health benefits whether you enjoy green or black. Go for it! Choose your favorite. The differences in tea types are about WHEN they are picked and how they are handled after picking. All Bigelow Teas are carefully hand-picked, regardless of type.
All tea leaves are “withered”, in direct sunlight, after harvesting. Green tea is then either steamed or pan-fried to denature plant enzymes and prevent oxidation of the polyphenols. That’s also why it retains its green color. It is more delicate and has a shorter shelf-life than black tea.
Black tea enzymes oxidize when exposed to the oxygen in the air, which also allows the breakdown of chloryphyll in the leaves and changes up the nutrients by breaking down, or releasing, polyphenols and flavenoids. Studies are finding that black tea brings stress hormones back into normal levels and has good antioxidant properties. just like green tea, even though the specific properties are different.
The special properties that make both black and green teas unique, also affect the way we should brew them for the optimum cup of tea.
To brew the perfect cup of tea, always start with fresh, cold water and bring it up to a boil. Black teas should be brewed in water that has come to a rolling boil, while green tea should be steeped in water that has been brought just to the point of having small bubbles begin to form. Pour the boiling water into a mug, over your favorite Bigelow tea bag. Green teas should steep 1-3 minutes, and black teas for 2-4 minutes, depending on your personal taste preference. The important thing to remember is not to EXCEED those timeframes and NOT to squeeze the tea bag into your cup, before discarding it. Brewing for too long. and squeezing the tea bag, can both release bitter tannins into your tea and spoil the smooth, rich flavor you are working to achieve. Just don’t do it! 🙂
The simple instructions for brewing Bigelow Teas are printed on every package, so pick up a box at your local Walmart and get creative with your favorite brew. Mix and match favorite flavors or steep your tea in a liquid you’ve never considered, before. I made delicious Spiced Chai Tea Cocoa by simply steeping Bigelow’s Spiced Chai Tea in cocoa for 4 minutes. The flavor was amazing and I added the extra healthfulness that comes from black tea. Plus, in the four minutes it took to steep, I was able to create this sweet snowman to bring a smile to the faces of my grandkids! You’d be amazed what you can accomplish in only four minutes!
I know your time, like mine, is precious and always seems to be in short supply. So, making the most of the time I’ve been given makes good sense to me. My tea steeping time gives me four minutes to complete a quick project or do something creative, so in order to make the most of that time, today, I created simple Sledding Snowmen to complement steamy mugs of Chai Tea Cocoa and elicit a giggle or two from my delighted grandkids. 🙂 I used a dot of Royal Icing between each marshmallow and to “glue” the mini candy cane runners to the Hershey bar “sled”. It only took three squares from a full-sized Hershey bar to make one sledding snowman. Use pretzel sticks for your snowman arms and a little more Royal Icing to affix him to the sled. You will actually be able to complete two or three of these in your 4 minute steeping time, if you have the icing already made and in the fridge. Go ahead and give it a try! You’ll definitely bring smiles to the faces of anyone who sees them.
Bigelow Tea is the quality start to an unlimited array of creative and delicious beverages. You can easily find many of their delicious flavors in the coffee and tea aisle at Walmart. It’s a good idea to follow them on Facebook and Pinterest, too, to learn about new flavors, recipes and exciting deals!
Now, you have it! The secret to a perfect cup of tea AND four minutes to do something amazing!
What project or creative activity could YOU complete in four minutes, while your tea is steeping?