Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Callie Craves: Tea

Tea can be intimidating. There are a million kinds of tea and there's no Mr. Tea to make it just the way you like it. It doesn't have to be hard, here's my crash course.


With a Tea Bag.

Boil water, pour the hot water over the teabag in the cup as well as any sugar or sweetener. Do not put in the tea bag afterwards, this is much less effective. Pouring the water over the sugar makes the sugar dissolve into the water more easily. Steep for the desired amount of time. Remove teabag.

With Loose Leaf Tea.

You need something to put the loose leaf tea in. I use the Perfect Teamaker from Teavana- found here

I have also used those mesh metal tea balls, there are tea bags you can buy, and kettles are usually equipped to be able to use loose leaf tea, they include strainers.

Follow instructions to make tea with a tea bag.

To Make Decaffinated Tea.

Make a cup of tea normally. Throw out the liquid, use the same tea bag or loose leaf tea to make another cup. This will get rid of 90% of the caffeine. Note: most tea bags are not able to make more than one cup. Oolong tea makes particularly good second rounds of tea.


Hurry Up Method - make hot tea using twice the suggested amount of tea. Pour over Ice.

Sun Tea Method - put tea into room temperature water, you want to be able to put a lid on this. I like making it in mason jars. Leave in the sun. The next day you will have delicious tea!

Cool It Method- make hot tea. put in fridge. drink after it's cold!

point of reference: 8 oz of coffee has about 100mg or more of caffeine. All caffeine counts are based off of 8 oz. Black Tea

  • has 40-100mg of caffeine 
  • best steeped for 2-3 minutes
  • will taste bitter if steeped too long
Black tea is the classic type of tea. Black tea is what is found in Lipton's, Earl Grey, and is the typical type used in Britain as well as restaurant Iced Teas. If there is no description of what kind of tea it is, it's probably black. I prefer my black tea mixed with sugar and a little bit of milk.

Green Tea

  • has 26mg of caffeine
  • best steeped for 1 minute
  • will taste bitter if steeped too long or using boiling water, let the water cool briefly
Famous for its popularity in Japan and other Asian countries has recently become popular for it's antioxidant properties and possible weight loss properties. Comes in leaf form as well as powders which are frequently used in desserts and in cooking.

Yerba Mate Tea

  • has 80 mg of caffeine
  • best steeped for 5-6 minutes
Yerba Mate tea is a relative newcomer to American tea culture. It's famous for its presence in Che Guevera's writings. I like it as a morning tea, as it has more caffeine. Has lots of antioxidants and is traditionally served in gourds. It has a deeper taste than most teas.

Oolong Tea

  • has 30 mg of caffeine
  • best steeped for 3 minutes
Slightly fermented, and super refreshing in Iced form.

Red Tea and White Tea

  • have negligible amounts of caffeine
  • best if steeped 5 minutes
Red Tea looks different than one may be used to, and is also known as Rooibos, it tastes slightly deeper than other non-caffeinated teas, it is not actually tea. White tea is lighter and is actually tea.

Herbal Tea

  • no caffeine
  • best if steeped 4-5 minutes
Mint, Chamomile, and various other teas make up this large category. Most teas one sees advertised as having no caffeine fall into this category. Not technically tea.


  • caffeine content of tea is debated, but this is the general consensus. Tea has different amounts of caffeine when it is dry and when it has been steeped, and time left steeping also affects caffeine.
  • filtered water makes tea taste better
  • water temperature does make a difference, but that's fancy. This is a crash course.

It Begins

The point of this blog is to share the things in life that help me to be happy. Here are the major things that I love:

Eating Out- I am currently living in a city in the midst of a revolution, a food revolution. Right now in Los Angeles there are more and more unique, delicious restaurants that are more and more accessible. The atmospheres are comfortable, the prices are right, and the food is world notch. LA just beat out San Francisco in's showdown.

Cooking- I am a fairly simple cook, but I do bring my lunch to work every day and don't like sandwiches. Thus, I spend a lot of time cooking. Pastas, rice dishes and other fun things are what I live for. I'm a very carb-heavy eater.

Cocktails- Learning about different drinks and the different ways to make drinks is exceptionally fun. I include wine and other kinds of alcohol in this category, I love matching them to food and discovering new delicious things. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get great drinks if you know where to go.

Clothes- jewelry, make-up, shoes, all these things inspire me. I think about what I'm going to wear on any given day way more than any person should. Hopefully keeping a blog will keep me actually taking photos of the clothes that I wear.