Sunday, November 18, 2007

ask monkey - all that's steeped is not tea

dear monkey,

i asked for a cup of tea at cafe today and was bombarded with a staggering list of choices: white, green, black, pooh air, oolong, red, herbal, mushroom, elixer, ginseng and matte. it was all so much, that i opted for orange juice. can you help me naviate through the tea jungle?

thirsty for knowledge,

dear leif,

camellia sennesis is not a foreign film star. it's the official name of the nobel bush that is the source of all genuine tea. originating in asia, this plucky little plant has been the basis of refreshing beverages, medicinal preparations, and colorful legends for thousands of years. white, green, black, ooling and even the trendy puh err all come from the same plant. what varies is the growing, harvesting and processing that gives each type of tea it's distinct charachteristics.

so, if the cup in front of you holds a liquid made from herbs, bark, twigs or berries you're looking at an infusion. like teas, their varieties seem to be endless. either way you go - tea or infusion - it's a cavalcade of beverage adventure. i heartily enocourage you to jump in and splash around!

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Blogger Rebecca said...

Should someone attempt chai this early in their tea drinking career?

4:30 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger hi!monkey said...

any time is the right time to try a new tea! chai is a black or green tea with various spices added such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon or clove. it can be enjoyed with milk and sweetener or plain. remember, everyone who makes chai spices it differently, so, if at first you don't like chai, give it a second chance when someone else offers it to you. you may meet the chai of your dreams.

5:52 PM, November 19, 2007  

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