As a person that is always telling people that I love tea, I’m a bit embarrassed right about now. See the thing about it was that I was buying the tea from the store. The instant tea, that comes in all these flavors and assortments. I was thinking I was some kind of guru because I had tasted all these different kinds of tea. Which is another reason why when I started this thought of exploring tea, I thought there is no way in the world I will ever finish tasting just the teas they sell at the grocery store.
I realized now that most of the teas in the grocery store are HERBAL teas. Let me tell you how I came to realize this.
I’m currently reading, Tea: History Terroirs Varieties (second edition) by The Camellia Sinensis Tea House. They explained that there are 200 species of Camellia theaceae, but only one is used to make tea. Camellia sinensis is the only species used to make tea and it has three main varieties. At this moment, I’m like there’s only three varieties of this plant and I’ve got over 20 boxes of different flavors of tea in my kitchen, how can this be possible.
I continued to read about tea families.( I will be making another post on the difference in these teas) White tea, Green tea, Yellow tea, Wulong or Oolong tea, Black tea, and Pu Er Style teas, but there’s no mention of herbal teas.
I decide to Google “herbal tea.” Herbal tea is tea made with HERBS which sometimes contains actual tea, but is based from HERBS. HERBS.
Now, I’m trying to be optimistic that I still know a thing or two about tea, but my mind is like girl, this is a new territory. I’m going back and forth whether or not I should check my tea boxes or not. I don’t know if I want to know that I’ve been thinking wrong about tea. Then, I’m thinking to myself I can’t get on here and blog that I knew teas when it hasn’t even been TEA TEA.
I rushed to the kitchen picked up one of my favorite Celestial Seasoning teas and right there on the label it said HERBAL TEA. I wasn’t sure whether to throw everything out or switch my studies to herbal tea.
I had to speak to my mother. I said, “Meme, I’ve been living a lie. I don’t even drink tea, I drink HERBAL tea. What the heck is TEA? Do I even know what tea is? Have I ever had tea?” She just laughed at me.
I’m here to find out what tea is. I’m here to explore tea. I’m here to explore tea away from the instant brands and go to the leaves which they come from. I’m not going to throw my herbal teas away and I’m not going to stop talking about them. There will be reviews on herbal teas, but I now know that there’s a difference.