Teatime again

I have finally said goodbye to teabags for my daily cuppa. My tea is now in the form of leaves and made using an infuser – either in a pot or a mug. This means that there are no more teabags containing plastic going on my compost heap.

Left: Nilgiri; Right: Yunnan

Left: Nilgiri; Right: Yunnan

I have sampled a number of types of tea… dismissing the ones made from ‘fannings’. One of the reasons I have avoided  leaf tea for so long is that I detest having debris in the bottom of my cup – those little fragments that escape through the strainer or infuser. Fannings are the smallest grade of loose tea (the stuff called ‘dust’ goes into teabags) and they often get into the brew. A conversation with the very knowledgeable owner of our local tea and coffee shop, The Mecca, helped me to identify some suitable candidate teas of a better grade and I have now settled on buying China Yunnan FOP a lovely medium strength tea and Nilgiri SFTGFOP , which doesn’t seem to get stewed if you leave it brewing for a long time…  a boon for someone as easily distracted as me!

I now know that FOP stands for Flowery Orange Pekoe and is a “high quality whole leaf tea made from the first two leaves and bud of the shoot”, whilst SFTGFOP is Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe – “an even higher quality with more tips than FOP”.  Both grades make tea with little debris in the cup.

New tea tins

New tea tins

This morning I bought supplies of both these teas along with suitable receptacles for them. I chose tins with tight-fitting lids, which I can take into the shop to be refilled. In this way, I will be able to avoid any plastic packaging as well as the plastic in the tea. I know that lots of people enjoy the ‘ceremony’ associated with making tea, but I’m afraid that this is not something that I relish, so I have also ordered an infuser designed to sit in a mug (the diameter of the current one is too small to sit over the rim of the mug – it is specifically designed for its teapot) so that I can quickly make tea without all that mucking about with a pot (sorry tea aficionados).

And, thus, hopefully, ends the saga of the plastic tea (which started here). Who would ever have though that something as simple as a cup of tea would lead me on such a journey of discovery?

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