As you may know from my earlier post all about the Health Benefits of Tea, tea is very good for your health for many reasons. Whether you drink it hot with honey or over ice, tea can contribute to a happy, healthy lifestyle.
I am always looking for new tea flavors to try, and new ways to get more tea into my days. I have a tea pot and cups that a friend gave me for a birthday which I love, it strains the loose leaves and you can pour right out of the pot. I have a tea kettle my thoughtful brother gave me which has that classic whistle to it. And I am always on the lookout for new and exciting tea companies and products.
One day over a year ago, a friend who is a fellow tea lover recommended I check out The Tea Spot website. Located in Boulder, they are a local Colorado tea company producing high-quality loose leaf tea blends and tea products. Their website is also packed with educational information about tea, as I referenced.
As I’ve collected more loose leaf tea, I have enjoyed the winters much more. Unfortunately, during the summer I don’t want hot tea and I’m too lazy to brew it hot then cool it in the fridge before drinking hours later. The Tea Spot has found a solution! The cold brew steep and go.
This plastic miracle has an adapter which allows it to fit onto most standard sized water bottles. The top is a pop-up nozzle which clicks closed for no spills, and the bottom part is a filter which keeps loose leaves out of your mouth, and in your bottle.
To answer commonly asked questions when people see mine:
1. How long can you steep the tea?
As long as you want. I put it in the bottle at night, stick it in the fridge, then take it with me the next morning.
2. Doesn’t it get bitter?
Nope, not at all. I think this is because you put it in cold–room temp water rather than boiling water; it doesn’t release as many tannins.
3. How much tea do you use?
You only need about 1 heaping teaspoon per 16 oz bottle of water. And I’ve re-used the leaves for two brews with success.
You can choose to add sweeteners such as honey or splenda, but after one or two bottles I grew to prefer the taste of simple green tea. The only thing healthier is pure water!
When I first received the steep and go, I tried to put it onto a bottle directly. I could not get it to tighten, because I didn’t realize there are two adapter rings, one the color of the steep and go, and another clear plastic one. Both sides are slightly different sizes, such that the adapters can make the steep and go fit four different bottle types! The Tea Spot also has a re-useable bottle for the steep and go, which will definitely be my next purchase.
I have not yet tried to run it through a dishwasher, but if put on the top shelf the plastic seems hardy enough to not melt. I will likely end up hand-washing this every dozen uses or so.
Besides loose leaf teas, they now offer whole leaf tea bags as well. You may wonder, what makes these tea bags different from ones I can buy at Wal-mart? Let me allow them to explain:
“The differences between loose leaf tea and traditional tea bags are numerous, and it goes far beyond the surface. The leaves used in most bags are actually the “dust and fannings” from broken tea leaves. This is a huge compromise in quality from full leaf tea. Finely broken tea leaves have lost most of their essential oils and aroma. When steeped, they release more tannins than whole leaf tea, resulting in bitter astringent brews. The material, shape, and size of the bags themselves are also important factors. Most tea bags constrain the tea leaves, keeping them from expanding to their full flavor and aroma potential.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the sound of “tea dust” as a beverage.