I have been exploring the six classes of tea lately, and I recently discovered yellow tea.  

Yellow Tea is often miscategorized as green tea, but, unlike green tea that is unfermented, yellow tea is lightly fermented or oxidized.  Harvested leaves are either basket-fired or pan-fired, smothered, and then finish-fired.  “The smothering step, known as men huan, or ‘sealing yellow,’ is how yellow tea leaf develops its special flavor characteristics.”

This information was taken from Mary Lou and Robert Heiss’ book, The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook–a must for all tea enthusiasts.  Ditch the tea bags and give the six classes (green, white, yellow, oolong, black, and pu-er) of loose-leaf tea a try!  You can purchase good quality tea online from www.teatrekker.com.

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Most of us have heard about the health benefits of drinking tea, but did you know you can also “eat your tea”?  Robert and Mary Lou Heiss, the authors of two fabulous books about tea–The Story of Tea and The Tea Enthisiast’s Handbook–provide several enticing recipes for cooking with tea in this article from Delicious Living Magazine.  Bon appetit!

shrimp and corn assam soup

There are only two kinds of tea:  Red Rose and Lipton.  Right?  Wrong!  I have recently discovered that there are thousands of varieties of wonderful loose leaf teas, and they taste nothing like Red Rose and Lipton bagged teas.  You simply have to try a good, quality loose leaf tea to discover just how incredible a good cup of tea tastes.  According to Tomislav Podreka, a tea expert and author of the book, Serendipitea, there are four main types of tea:  black, green, oolong, and white.  Tisanes or herbal “teas” are not actually teas because they do not originate from Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, but rather from herbs such as chamomile, and rosehips.

So give one of the many varieties of loose leaf tea a try.  You can purchase good, quality tea online at Dobra Tea or Serendipitea.  Here are some articles on the health benefits of tea.  Who knows–you just might replace your beloved cup of coffee for a newly discovered cup of tea.  Pay close attention to recommended steeping times and water temperature.