Pleasure of Tea
By Merrie Shonbach
Tea is a delightful beverage
and has a long and interesting history. Tea was discovered
in 2700 BC by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung. The first book written
on tea was in 1191 by Buddhist Abbot Yesai.
Tea comes from the leaves
of a tree, Camellia Sinensis. The Camellia tree can grow quite
tall, however, the tea harvesters keep it cut short and round
for easy harvest. The tea leaves are hand picked, cleaned,
dried then processed.
Tea is grown in a variety
of countries; India, Sirlanka, China, Indonesia, Argentina,
Kenya, Japan, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Uganda, Malawi, Turkey, Iran,
Brazil and Tanzania. The worlds largest tea producer is India.
Tea is an easy beverage
to store and make. Keep your tea in an airtight container free
of moisture and out of sunlight.
To brew the perfect cup
of tea start with spring water. Heat the water to boiling then
add 1 tea bag or if you are using loose tea, fill your tea
ball with one tablespoon of loose tea and let steep in the
hot water for 2 to 4 minutes until it reaches the desired strength.
We have included in this
article recipes for finger sandwiches that were often served
with tea, this was a common practice in the Southern States
and is a wonderful addition to any tea setting today.
1/2 stick butter
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
8 thin slices of white bread, crusts removed
1/2 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
In a small bowl combine
the butter and mint. Mix well. Spread the mint butter on the
bread slices. Lay the cucumber on 4 of the slices and top with
the remaining bread to make 4 sandwiches, cut them in half
diagonally. Makes 8 sandwiches.
Cream Cheese Sandwiches
8 ounces Cream cheese,
1/2 cup lightly packed finely chopped fresh herb leaves (parsley, watercress,
basil, chervil, chives or any combination)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Dash of hot pepper sauce
8 slices firm textured wheat bread with crusts removed
In a mixing bowl combine
cream cheese, herbs, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce, mix
Spread 2 tablespoons on
each piece of bread. Sprinkle with paprika.
Put the slices together
to make 4 sandwiches. Cut them diagonally into quarters. Makes
2 thin slices white bread,
2 tablespoons cream cheese with chives, softened
2 thin slices baked ham
1/3 cup watercress springs, thick steams removed
Spread the slices of bread
with the cream cheese.
Trim the ham to fit the
slices of bread. Layer the ham and watercress on the bread.
Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally.
Garnish with a mandarin
orange section and chopped red onion if you wish. Makes 12
For a wonderful
variety of teas and gourmet goodies visit Beans and Bears http://beansandbears.tripod.com Owner:
Lori Nanfeldt Jeffanlor@aol.com Copyright:
MIE 10/8/02 Writer: Merrie Schonbach-MBAS http://merriesbiz.com