Tea Anyone?

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Every moment is a tea moment………Tea anyone?

As a child, the only hot beverage I was allowed to drink was warm milk or Rooibos, saturated with condensed milk. Little did I know that the world of tea included a range of intriguing blends from White tea to Oolong to herbal and much more. My travels taught me that there is more to tea than the Roses and the Clocks :-)

Hello Hi! My name is Dee and I am all about tea. Starting today and monthly for the next year, I’ll be guest blogging on Momentsbydjzinhle.com – What an honour!!! Not only did I find somebody who shares my passion for tea but a humble woman who is all about uplifting, inspiring and entertaining us women. I’m truly inspired.

SO … blogging and writing is completely foreign to me. I’m just a girl who loves to travel and loves to share my love of all things tea with others. I have devoted my life to traveling and to experiencing this beautiful world. It is through my traveling that my passion for tea was born.

On my first international trip to Paris in 2008 I discovered a tea shop. That opened up the flood gates. Soon an opportunity to open up my own The Tea Merchant store presented itself. I had come full circle from that initial trip to Paris, I could not resist. I typed, signed and sent my resignation letter there and then. Leaving the corporate world was not an easy decision as it was a world known to me and a form of security but I knew that this was a path I had to take. This journey would mean I could use my Economics qualification to run my business and even better, I could discover much more in the tea world than I could have ever imagined. I took the plunge!

Most girls have a shoe cupboard but I have overflowing cupboards full of different type of teas and boxes in my garage of different tea ware. I have a couple cups of tea a day; at this point I think it’s safe to call me the Tea Lady.

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For the next year we will go on a tea journey as we explore the different teas and tea ware that are available for purchase from The Tea Merchant stores. There is so much to learn and my plan is that each reader should find the perfect blend to end off their day.

Tres bien, let’s begin …

The history of tea is deeply rooted in Asia namely China. Tea drinking originated in China many many moons ago and the world’s most exclusive Teas still come from China. India and Sri-lanka are renowned for their Black teas whilst East Africa also has some great teas available in the Market. We in Mzanzi have Rooibos which grows only in the mountainous Cederberg region of the Western Cape. Rooibos CANT grow anywhere else in world.

What is Tea?

Tea is the 2nd most consumed beverage in the world right after water. Surprising right?! Yep. Not coffee. All Tea, that being Black, White, Green, Oolong and Pu`er comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. The Tea plant is evergreen and grows in areas with sunny humid climates where there is plenty of rain. Harvesting takes place several times a year and most farms still harvest by hand. The plant is known to grow up to 15m but most are cropped to 1m for better maintenance. The average lifespan of a tree plant is 40 years with certain varieties going up to 100 years.
Each type of tea is differentiated by the oxidation, drying, fermentation and the withering methods. Anything outside of the above description, may sometimes be called Tea, but is not tea. An example of this is herbal tea and tisane in the market being called tea, but is really not. Is Rooibos Tea? We will discover the answer to that question in an upcoming blog post.

All teas have caffeine. The Cambridge dictionary states; “Caffeine a chemical, found for example in tea and coffee that is a stimulant (something that makes people more active.)”. It’s difficult to measure the amount of caffeine in a cup of tea because the amount of caffeine is determined by a number of factors. Firstly the type of tea, the temperature of the boiled water poured onto the tea and how long the tea is steeped. Another consideration is whether the tea is a loose leaf tea or in a tea bag.

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If I got a Mandela Rand for every time a customer asked me what’s the difference between whole loose leaf and tea bags, I may never have to work … I can only wish!

Here are the facts: Loose-leaf tea is made up of whole, unbroken leaves; it is not brewed in a teabag therefore the same leaves can be steeped (soaked) multiple times for several cups of tea. Leaf tea can seem overwhelming at first, but with one visit to The TEA Merchant, we`ll help you find the perfect blend to suit your taste. History of the teabag goes back to 1903, Thomas Sullivan, a tea merchant from New York is often credited with creating the first commercial tea bag concept.

In contrast, tea found in tea bags usually consists of smaller pieces of tea leaves or tea fanning’s (also referred to as dusts) which may give a quicker brew, when you use bagged tea, it has been prepared to deliver a very predictable product. At The Tea Merchant we sell silk teabags filled with organic certified tea. The difference between “normal tea” and Tea Merchant teabags is that our teabags allow the leaves to expand more than traditional teabags, thus creating a better brew. Tea Bags were certainly my way of drinking tea prior to discovering loose leaf tea.

Which do I prefer? Im a loose leaf tea kinda girl. The whole process of cleaning the leaves, pouring boiling water into a pot or cup using an infuser and sitting back and waiting for the leaves to brew magic. It’s not time consuming no… It’s actually relaxing. But don’t just take my word for it. Come visit us, to experience this magic.

Stepping into The Tea Merchant is an experience that includes tasting different types of teas, learning methods on how to make different types of teas, learning about the health benefits of the different types of teas and stocking all necessary tea ware to ensure you enjoy your tea at any time of the day.

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Visit any of the stores at Clearwater Mall, Cresta Shopping Centre, Fourways mall, Dainfern square and Woodlands Boulevard – (PTA) for your tea experience. Invite us to your event or ask any question by sending an email to dee@teamerchant.co.za.

Follow us on Twitter: tea_merchantGP
Follow us on Instagram: tea_merchant_gp

Love & Tea
Dee

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10 Comments, RSS

  1. Kgaleboe@icloud.com'

    Lebo November 25, 2015 @ 7:48 am

    Congrats on a job well done Dee! It is hard to set goals & reach them, but you have exceeded expectations & gone above & beyond!

    Keep up the excellent tea talk 😘😄

  2. obeezaa@yahoo.com'

    obee November 25, 2015 @ 8:57 am

    Interesting read Dee.. You make drinking tea sound so interesting…As we move away from Five Roses and Joko :)

    Cant wait for next blog <3

  3. pule.lethokwe74@gmail.com'

    Pule November 25, 2015 @ 1:54 pm

    Hey Deep, quite an interesting read or blog… 😄 I will be visiting the clearwater mall store soon… Hope to see you there for some more insight.

  4. zonhlapo@gmail.com'

    Zandile November 26, 2015 @ 11:13 am

    Wow Interesting stuff

  5. pzondani@mandelametro.gov.za'

    emaransa February 22, 2016 @ 2:04 pm

    I wanted to know, it is batter to stir tea with a wooden teaspoon or a metal teaspoon? does that affect the taste. Also putting sugar or milk does that change the taste of tea? or must you drink tea as it is with nothing added?

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