Saturday, January 16, 2016

Equipage... And it's All Mine!
Equipage is vital, indeed. When you become a true Tea Lover, you’ll be collecting all kinds of it, just as I do. [Don’t you just love that word: Equipage.  It just really means Equipment.] This includes everything you will need to brew, pour, serve, drink and enjoy a cup of tea. Read on:
Fannings.  Little tiny left-over pieces of tea after, bulk tea is processed. Some call it dust. Fannings are what you get when you buy a bag of tea.
Fermentation. The process of ‘aging’/oxidizing tea and breaking it down so it will release its properties and tastes.
Herbal Infusion. What you get when you steep a spoonful of tea or Peppermint or Sage in hot water. The water becomes infused with the properties and tastes of the item. The term ‘infusion’ is often interchanged with ‘tea’. Remember, they are entirely separate and different. An herbal infusion is most often referred to as tea. I guess if it comes in a bag, says tea on the box and brews in hot water, it is tea. Not. It remains an herbal infusion.
Infuser. They hold loose bulk leaves, inside the tea pot. They are often used in single cups. The best ones will have lids.
Pots. Look for the upcoming post dedicated to Pots, Cups and Saucers!
Spoon Rests. An entirely requisite piece of Equipage. I have had some really cool ones over time. Many of them are shaped like tea pots. I have one that is solid white porcelain, one that has Magnolia flowers on it. A few are just small, clear, round, two-inch saucers. They’re very good for holding infusers after use. They also hold used tea bags.
Steep. The process of extracting the properties of the herb by way of hot water. It may also be done in the sun over a long period of time or it may even be done through alcohol extraction. However, if you are drinking hot tea, just use boiled water.

Strainers. They look like spoons with holes. They are what you reach for when you use bulk tea in a pot. Otherwise, you will have to navigate the Tea leaves while you sip.
Tannins. What gives tea its taste and its properties of health. May be lighter or heavier, depending on the original tea.
Tea Napkins. It will come as no surprise to you, most of mine are linen Some of them are cotton and yet others are blends. A Tea Napkin is considerably smaller than a dinner napkin, as it is only used to remove crumbs from your lips.
Tea spoons are nothing new. There’s more to their story than an instrument of dry measure. You will be happy to know that they absolutely do have their origin in Tea culture. 
Timing. Someone is sure to tell you that there is a certain time to steep tea. There is not. The way to approach steeping time is: longer steeping extracts more flavor; longer time encourages bitterness and strength. If you like a stronger brew, then let your black tea sit for 5 minutes. China Green Tea starts to taste like medicine after more than 3 minutes. You decide.
Be Sure it's Hot Enough!
Water. This one likely needs no conversation. However, I will say this: I do not buy distilled water to make my Tea! I do not. I’ve ready several articles declaring that distilled water is required for good Tea. Not so. The City’s water right here in Cornelia, Georgia, makes perfectly good Tea. Trust me; I’m a Minister!

Thanks for sharing!

Sandra Teresa Davenport


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