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A Green Tea Resolution

January is 'Hot Tea Month' in Canada and the US. It makes perfect sense for those of us who are experiencing below freezing temperatures. Hot tea for me, please, but I have a confession to make. I do not practise what I preach when it comes to drinking green tea. So in this early part of 2015, I have decided to make green tea consumption a habit - a New Year's resolution so to speak. I grew up on black tea - good old regular black tea. It's black tea that I enjoyed with my grandparents. Of course, in the last half of the 20th century in the Maritimes and most of Canada, green tea was not in our thoughts. Little did I know that black tea was the end of a process in which the tea leaf was green!

I have tasted all the green teas that I sell, enjoying them but not wanting to substitute them for my black tea routine which amounts to 4-5 cups a day. In spite of the health benefits, I have been stubborn! I asked Jen, my now full-time assistant, to take the journey with me in my quest to find real comfort in a cuppa green tea and she agreed wholeheartedly. Green tea has not been on her better health and comfort list either!

[caption id="attachment_1910" align="aligncenter" width="473"]Jen starts the green tea journey with me with a cup of Sencha Cherry Jen starts the green tea journey with me with a cup of Sencha Cherry[/caption]

Yesterday she suggested Sencha Cherry and she even offered to brew it. It was lovely (as I expected)! It was not at all bitter. Why? Because I learned that green tea is best brewed in water that has not come to a boil. 85C is a good temperature. I learned in one of my tea classes that when using a premium loose leaf green tea, boiling water will bruise the leaf and cause bitterness. If you bring it to a boil, allow the water to cool for 5-8 minutes before pouring on the leaves.

[caption id="attachment_1911" align="aligncenter" width="597"]Early January and my cuppa comfort in Sencha Cherry Early January and my cuppa comfort in Sencha Cherry[/caption]

Sencha is Japan's most popular tea and varies widely in quality and price. The quality that is in my store is intended for everyday use. The natural cherry flavouring in this blend has been added to celebrate the cherry blossoms that so gloriously bloom in Japan. Without the flavouring, Sencha is delicate, sweet and mildly astringent. With the cherry flavouring and rose petals added, it is even more so. And there is a bonus--Sencha is high in Vitamin C--just what I need this time of year!

I'll keep you posted on this green tea voyage. If at any place along the way you would care to join me and Jen, hop on board! We can compare notes.

Happy New Year, my tea friends!
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