Lesson learned: The contents of a teabag do not loose-leaf tea make.
I learned that the hard way when I became desperate to try the gorgeous ceramic tea-steeping mug my friend Sarah recently gave me. With no loose-leaf in hand and such a pretty new toy, I could wait no longer. I ripped open a little bag of chamomile citrus and dumped it in the strainer. It took only a minute for me to discover the tea was ground up — not flaky or in pieces the way you expect with loose teas — which sent much of it straight to the bottom of the cup.
Did that stop me from brewing and drinking it? Of course not. I wasn't about to waste a perfectly destroyed teabag. It tasted fine. Real loose-leaf would've tasted better.
I'll answer the obvious question: No, it did not occur to me, at any point, to leave the teabag intact. The mug comes with a strainer, damnit, and I wanted to use it.
Now I'm on the hunt for loose-leaf teas. I enjoy drinking a cup of low or no-caffeine tea at night. Currently, I have green tea with peach, jasmine green tea and chamomile citrus teabags on hand. Perhaps I'll stop by the Argo Tea in my office building to pick up a sampling of loose-leaf teas (you can buy them by weight).
I want to ask you guys: Where do you buy loose-leaf tea? What brands or flavors would you recommend? Please leave me some suggestions. I need to put this mug to proper use soon, or desire will drive me mad.
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