Usually, A Family Lifestyle shares amazing wine tasting and purchasing tips. But this Easter we are going a different way. Tea!

Here at A Family Lifestyle, we are a tea drinking family. Me and Parker (our 6-year-old) love tea. We use tea for its medicinal purposes as well as our enjoyment. We have moved away from tea bags and into loose leaf tea. It’s amazing.

What’s the Difference Between Loose Leaf Tea and a Typical Tea Bag?
Loose leaf tea packs way more punch and flavor. You measure out the dried tea leaves into a metal infuser. The infuser holds the leaves in the correct temperature water (depending on the tea that varies) until the correct length of steeping time for that particular tea. You can pour the water over the infuser for single glasses, or have a submersible infuser for larger pots of tea. Then you remove the infuser from the water and the tea is ready to serve. If you want to learn more about different ways to use loose leaf and infuse your tea – check out this awesome tea site/blog. I personally use this type of tea basket.

Loose leaf tea is fresher. There is more room between the leaves in an infuser. This allows for a longer, stronger, better flavor from the tea. It only takes one cup of loose leaf tea to realize the difference.

 

 

Types of Loose Leaf Tea
You can get all types of loose leaf tea. From black (flavored and not flavored) to red, to oolong, and herbal, fruit and more!

The most heard of teas are black teas, green teas, herbal teas. However, there is so much to offer moving beyond those tea types. If you want to learn more about basic tea types check this article out. But let’s start simple for this Easter season.

Flavored Black Tea – Caffeinated
These are great, caffeinated teas. They can be enjoyed black without any additional components like sugar or milk, or cream. But you can also add sugar or cream to add more flavor if the tea isn’t exactly how you wanted it.

Tip: Be sure to heat the water to the correct temperature and steep the length of time for your specific tea. The wrong temperature and steeping time will cause teas to taste weak or bitter. Your loose leaf tea will come with instructions on steeping times and temperatures.

Black tea is popular in Europe but was initially grown and hardy from the China region. Different flavors and spices can be added to the tea making it a black tea with a flavor.

 

 

My Current Black Tea Favs
Vanilla Black – I am in love with this tea for early morning, or mid-afternoon pick-me-ups. It’s a traditional tasting black with just enough hint of vanilla to make it soft. No sugar or milk required.

Scottish Caramel Pu-erh – This tea is my go-to when I have had enough vanilla for the day but want something with some interesting flavor. I also lean more toward this tea when it’s raining for some reason (no clue why!). It’s really interesting and has some delicious flavor beyond the caramel.

Rooibos – Red Teas – Caffeine Free
This is the ULTIMATE favorite in our house right now. Me and our 6-year-old are in love! The best thing here is this is caffeine free! That means the 6-year-old can have this tea.

Red tea is newer to the scene and is from South Africa. It’s actually a low grassy shrub! This tea is the ultimate for relaxation and delicious flavor. This is the tea to have after you have had enough caffeine for the day or your mind is busy and it’s time to relax. Or it’s time for your little one to calm down before bed!

My current favorite is the Bourban St. Vanilla. This is the best tea I have ever had. Ever! This is a delicious red tea with the nutty and vanilla flavors that cause instant relaxation. This is good at any time of the day! It’s filling in flavor and helps curb hunger.

My next favorite is the African Autumn Red. This is another delicious red that you can drink any time of the day. It’s also caffeine free (as red tea is) so your little ones can have some too.

Herbal & Fruit Teas
Herbal and fruit teas are made from just that – herbal plant flowers and different combinations of tea and fruit. These are caffeine free as well. We love herbal teas for illness and relaxation in our house. Our current favorite is Chamomile. This Egyptian Chamomile is the most amazing chamomile I have ever had. Our son also loves this tea.

I am new to fruit teas and they are really interesting. They will be fabulous summer iced teas I think (I am new to them this winter), but I enjoyed them hot even in spring weather. My favorite so far has been the Angel Falls Mist. What a refreshing light tea. The fruit isn’t overly tart, which I found sometimes happens with the fruit teas.

 

 

What do you need to get started?
You need a loose leaf infuser, a mug, and your tea of choice. You can use your microwave to get started heating tea if you don’t have any other type of tea kettle. But an electric tea kettle that helps you monitor the temperature of the water is helpful so you can make your tea just right. Too hot or too cold and steeped too little or too long will dampen your experience with tea.

Take a moment this Easter, sit and relax with some delicious loose leaf tea. Your guests and family will enjoy the change also!



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Kate Bryant

Kate is a mother, wife, writer, and more! Her writing has been on Huffington Post Parents Blog, The Mighty, as well as other publications.