I enjoy a hot cup of tea, so I usually pop a tea bag into a hot cup of water and let it brew. I drink de-caf green or black tea most often since my tea time is in the afternoon. I like to limit calories and I don't use refined sugar. Honey makes a nice addition to my tea, or Stevia for no calories at all. Sometimes Sweet and Low sneaks into my cup, but I like the taste of honey better. Point is, I am not a gourmet when I brew a cup of tea. The tea brewing experts that I know will say, "Don't you taste the paper of the tea bag?" I don't really know, since I never brew loose tea. "Loose" tea? No comment. If you can't be funny, don't be mean--just leave it alone.
I probably don't really know how a good cup of tea should taste. If it is hot, and not quite as boring as hot water, I figure I'm ahead of the game. I usually sip tea while reading, therefore, I don't pay much attention to how it tastes. I don't really savor my tea and pay close attention to the flavors as if it were a thousand dollar bottle of wine. My sense of taste is very unrefined.
I received a very unusual Christmas gift this year, and it is really eye-catching for any tea aficionado. My new little Teaposy is a cute experience that bears closer examination. I've heard about the extensive tea-brewing ceremonies practiced by some societies, but I haven't seen such a ceremony. My Teaposy is so interesting, it deserves a ceremony. So I read the directions and set up my camera to record this cutie. The videos on the Teaposey web site are very professionally produced and give a great perspective on the product.
The gift packet I received included the clear glass teapot with a strainer built in to contain the tea when it is poured into a cup. I opened one of the dozen little packets that were included to find a dry tea "bulb". You are directed to place the bulb in the teapot and slowly add hot water. I followed the directions as written, but I would recommend pouring the boiling water into the teapot, then carefully adding the delicate bulb to the hot water. I think this approach would protect the integrity of the flower and it would bloom as it soaks. As you wait 3 to 6 minutes, it blooms into a very colorful flower cradled in a base of tentacles that look like roots. I must admit it almost looks alive and a little like a tarantula. Their website explains that those are silver needle tea leaves packaged with a flower and dried together. This structure flavors the water into an herbal tea. I am familiar with trays of appetizers that include edible flowers, so tea made from a blooming flower isn't a far stretch. The gift set comes with an assortment of different flowers.
I would call the tea "delicate". The color is a pale yellow which is typical of many herbal teas, and the flavor is also delicate. I flavored the herbal tea with honey and I tasted the honey more than the tea. After the first cup, I got a bit more aggressive with this drink and poured a cup to heat in the microwave. I added Stevia to the reheated cup and got a bolder flavor that I prefer. After the fun of watching it bloom, I like the tea after it has steeped ten minutes, then reheated in the microwave. That takes away from the ceremonial aspect of it, but for flavor, it tastes very good when reheated.
It is a very interesting process to watch, and I can see that it would be fun for a ladies group or a group of friends you want to wow with a new experience. My granddaughter thinks it is really neat because it is so unusual. I think it would be a great way to introduce young people to the experience of drinking hot tea because the experience is unlike any other. It reminds me of times past and English gardens or Japanese Tea Houses where people had much time to indulge in the ceremony of drinking and appreciating hot tea.