By the Cup – My journey with tea

“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.” – Chaim Potok

A little overdue but welcome to the ‘by the cup’ side of my blog. I plan to focus more on what’s in the cup rather than the book here, although I can’t make any promises that mention of the book might not come up if my thoughts venture that way.

My passion for tea started almost 2.5 years ago when I decided to host a tea party as a simple way to have a few friends over for a leisurely afternoon. I never had tea outside of Liptons (a popular bagged black tea which brews into a delicious batch of sweet tea, yes that’s all I knew). Little did I know with some help from a friend who was knowledgeable on loose leaf tea, my love of tea (obsession) would blossom into a passion and integral part of my everyday life. I’ve hosted a number of tea parties since (I would have one every month if I could spare the time) and everyone comments on how relaxing and enjoyable the experience was for them. But my favorite part is when they tell me they learned something about tea; how to prepare, why water and temperature are important, how long to steep (I cringe when people say they steep tea longer for flavor – that’s NOT how you do it but more on that later)

Of course I’m not an expert but I LOVE TEA. Yes, I take tea dear and I take it very seriously. Most of my friends affectionately call me a tea connoisseur but my husband tells me the plain truth, I’m a tea snob. I denied this but then I really thought about it: I do not use tap water for my tea, I will not use old water (water that’s been boiled and allowed to reach room temperature again), I need my tools: electric kettle, true tea spoons, agave nectar, loose leaf tea leaves, timer, etc, to properly prepare my tea because I know it will be done right. Nothing worse than an over steeped cup of tea (an exception is when I visit my local tea shop). So yes, he’s probably right, I’m a bit of a tea snob.

Since I’m always talking about my latest tea finds and what’s I’m enjoying, a few friends encouraged me to start a tea blog. Well I think this counts so here goes.

So without further delay here’s the details on one of my favorite teas.

  • Tea: Caramel Almond Pu’erh (aged black tea)
  • Tasting Notes: earthy, strong bold tea with bits of almond and caramel with a sweet decadent finish. Makes a delicious tea latte
  • Tea Rating: 5☕️ out of 5
  • Prep: 2 tsp tea, 5 min steep, water temperature 212°F

Did you know? Pu’erh tea comes in green and black variations, raw fermented green and ripe fermented black (according to some things I learned during a tea tasting at a local tea shop).

Pu’er…considered a ‘drinkable antique.’ Every sip–through powerful senses of taste and smell – – opens our hearts to remember family, love, and hardships that have been overcome.” – – The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Lisa See

Please let me know what kinds of things you’d like to see here in the ‘By the Cup’ section of the blog.

11 thoughts on “By the Cup – My journey with tea

  1. thisisoneforthebooks says:

    I knew practically nothing about tea (except Lipton, like you said but even so, my mother would make it for me when I was sick.. so basically I knew nothing) until 2 of my good friends started buying loose leaf tea and got me into it. I would love to see any of your hauls if you buy new teas, maybe what genres of books go well with certain teas? like a sweeter tea for a romance book etc, your favourite places to buy tea, if you have any cute tea cups that would be interesting to share, and how to host a tea party maybe / pictures from your next event!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Valerie says:

    Oh dear! After reading this, I’m afraid you’d be appalled at my tea prep habits in general. But I have to say that when you send me tea with steep times, I do prepare accordingly. I think part of my problem is, I’m always doing two things at once and get easily distracted from the clock.
    I like the previous commentors suggestions about matching tea and genres. And you certainly know alot of sources for tea that you could share. Look forward to more tea posts!

    Liked by 2 people

    • booksbythecup says:

      I assure you it does make a difference in the taste. It’s hard to resist walking away while stepping but believe me your tea and your palate will thank you 😉. look forward to sharing more soon

      Like

  3. The Litertarian says:

    I am a lover of tea as well and have actually been working on a blog post about my favorite teas…although now I am doubting my experience!! I have lots of different kinds of teas, but don’t pay overmuch attention to the exact temperature of the water or how long I’m steeping…I usually just go with my gut and experience steeping wise. Also, I love all kinds of teas, but Lipton is still my fav! I think because it is like a comfort from childhood, you know? I see you have a few more posts on teas – I will have to check them out 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • booksbythecup says:

      Thanks for stopping by fellow tea lover. I still brew Lipton for a batch of sweet tea, but I do understand about the comfort of enjoying something from childhood. I just can’t believe how much tea is available (although my tea chest and pantry is full) but I aim to enjoy as much as I can. 😊

      Like

  4. Sandra says:

    I am going to love the ‘by the cup’ side of your blog: I love tea too! I can see I’ll learn a bit here though; I’ve never thought about the temperature, for example. Favourite everyday tea for me is Earl Grey and I love white tea – which is always made in the pot with leaves. I love the ritual side of tea as much as the taste and the lift. There is nothing like settling with a book and a pot of the stuff!

    Liked by 2 people

    • booksbythecup says:

      A fellow book loving tea drinker! A perfect pair of pairs here you and I 😍 I’m so glad you are checking our this side of the blog too. There is so much about tea that I love; and don’t fret, so much to keep learning about tea.

      Liked by 1 person

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