Here’s a Tea Tip. My mother and I were walking around Westboro this past weekend (taking a break from the world) and I was on the lookout for decaffeinated green tea.
So we walk into this little tea shop that is full of bamboo, tea settings, small round tables and tins (presumably with tea inside) lining the walls. And I ask the young woman there for decaffeinated green tea.
“We don’t have any decaf teas here, because of the processing, but you can naturally decaffeinate your own tea, if you like.”
Yes, I like. And how do I do that?
Apparently caffeine dissolves fairly quickly once the tea leaves hit hot water. Therefore, take your tea of choice, submerge it in very hot water (Does it need to be boiling? She didn’t specify, but I would imagine not simply because green tea isn’t meant to be served at 100 degrees.) and let sit for about a minute. Then drain that water. About 75% of the caffeine will have drained away.
Now how is that for a useful tip? After wowing us with her helpfulness, she then proceeded to show us several varieties of green teas and had us sniff each container as she explained the tone and taste of each tea. Clearly she knows her stuff.
Honestly, I had just put on some sample hand cream at the previous Westboro store we’d visited, so half the smells were lost on me (She suggested I might notice how one tea was more grassy than the other, but the subtle smells were overcome by rosehips and lemongrass – though it was very lovely hand cream.) However, smelling and learning was nevertheless a lovely way to buy tea. Considering green tea is meant to be all kinds of good for you – it’s nice to see shop owners who take it very seriously, and want you to have the right choice. Actually, I think it somehow gave the tea additional magical powers, because we treated it with reverence, as though it was not just a drink but a total experience of the soul. In the end, Mom and I settled on a green tea which is high in amino acids but has a delicate flavour. It’s in my tea pot and steeping at this moment.
I’m counting down the minutes before I can indulge. Maybe one more. Then I’ll pour a cup.
And that was your Tea Tip, brought to you by that charming tea shop in Ottawa’s Westboro Village.