I used to hate the taste of most teas, since they lacked the sweet and pungent flavour of the drinks I typically reach for. I began experimenting with mint tea after seeing one of my friends order a mint green tea from Tim Hortons (ask for a large, get two tea bags, one green and one mint). It was then that I realized I was doing things all wrong. Here is what I have learned about tea brewing and now follow religiously.
1. Adding sugar to most teas is a no-go
Sugar frequently throws off the natural flavours of herbal teas. I only add sugar to fruity teas since they can be a bit too tart.
2. I carefully read the packages and only steep the tea for as long as it recommends
Over-steeping especially ruins green tea, which can result in a bitter mess. You're usually safe with a 2-5 min brewing time, if not specified on the package.
3. Drink tea around 10 minutes after pouring in the boiled water, and finish within 15 minutes of that
Cold herbal tea usually tastes nasty. Drinking my tea earlier than 10 mins in will typically burn my tongue, so I always wait.
Here are my three favourites:
$0.15 per bag- caffeinated
The classic taste of green with a zing of fruit. Love this one for mornings when I don't feel tired enough to justify brewing a cup of coffee. Regular green tea can be a bit dull for me, so this one is perfectly enhanced.
$0.25 per bag- caffeine free
I am a huge fan of spearmint gum, so when I found minty tea, my heart started to sing. This one freshens your breath and is said to improve digestion. A cup of three mint is my ideal pick-me-up afternoon treat to help reinvigorate myself. I purchased this specific tea in Iceland, but it is an English brand so I'm sure it can be found somewhere in Canada.
$0.15 per bag- caffeine free
Who would have thought that combining chamomile, spearmint and lemongrass would be the equivalent of a sleeping pill. I am not a huge fan of chamomile and lemongrass on their own, but when combined with my beloved spearmint, it all tastes heavenly. Although it is definitely half mentally conditioned, when I start to sip on my warm cup of sleepytime, the eyelids are sure to start drooping.
P.s. To save some cash, carry around a tea bag or two in your wallet and only order a cup of boiled water at coffee shops. It's typically around $0.25 and you can completely customize it.