Daily Archives: April 5, 2016

Best tea storage methods

I love my teas, every time I go shopping and spot a new flavour I just have to have it. It doesn’t matter if it is a herbal tea, a green tea or some variation on the black tea. As I have so many teas sitting at home in my cupboard, it is important to me that I store them correctly. Some teas have strong aromas which you certainly do not want contaminating a milder tea.

Added to the complexity manufactures also package their teas differently. There are the foiled wrapped teas to keep them fresher. The individually wrapped teas in pretty paper normally found in selection tea boxes. And if you are buying large quantity they are just all packaged together in a box or in a bag.

When storing tea, it is important to remember that tea does not last forever. It is important not only to store them correctly but also to have a labeling method to remember when you purchased them. They say some teas can last for two years and others, like green tea, are best used within three months.

As is true for most organic things, teas are affected by light, oxygen(air), moisture and odours. These odours don’t even need to be strong, for certain teas will easily absorb any odours floating around your kitchen. Cook a really strong spicy curry and you will be affecting your next cup of tea if you leave the teabag lying around. When teas are affected by these factors, it is not only the taste of the tea that is affected, but also the colour of the tea.

So how do I store my teas? I store the ones I use regularly in air-tight containers. For me, I like the wooden boxes with the rubber seal around the rim. This way I can leave the container on the counter top along with the container for sugar and cookies. The rest go in a dark cupboard which is only opened when I am looking for a particular tea. They go in individual airtight containers with a little white label telling me the date of purchase.

I have taken also to sticking a pretty sticker on the side so that I can recognise my teas. Lemon and Orange stickers for my Lady Grey tea, a strawberry sticker for my strawberry and loganberry herbal tea. I also have old biscuit tins to keep many of the teas that already come wrapped in individual papers. Here I am careful not to place any strong smelling teas so that they cannot infect my other teas. Each section of tea is separated with bits of cardboard (normally taken from the individual tea box) and again the date purchased is scribbled down.

I must admit I am not a fan of loose leaf tea, so I rarely buy these. But when I do, rather than storing the packet at the back of the cupboard with a peg on top (as I do for my coffees) I tend to separate it into smaller portions (either in a small container or a plastic sealable freezer bag) and then place these into an old biscuit tin. This way I know that as I shall rarely use it, I am not exposing the whole of the tea when I want to have just one single pot.

Cuban Cocktail

The closest thing to experience with Cuba I have is being involved in a high school production of “Guys and Dolls”. At one point in the play, a straightlaced girl named Sarah from a missionary is lured to Havana with the smooth-talking Sky Masterson, a slick guy who runs an illegal craps game. While there, Sky plies Sarah with drinks, and hilarity ensues. 

Well, the “Guys and Dolls” representation of Cuba may not be altogether accurate. And the drink that Sky keeps pushing on Sarah is actually a Dulce de Leche, so it is a far cry from the Cuban cocktail I am about to present. The Cuban cocktail is not a creamy, milky concoction like the drink in “Guys and Dolls”. Instead, this drink is a light and delicious mixture of brandy, apricot brandy, fresh lime juice, and white rum – certainly a much better choice than a Dulce de Leche for those looking to avoid feeling ill from the tropical heat!

These cocktails make great party drinks, and they are especially great for a poolside occasion or a late-night dance party. Sip one of these, and you will feel transported to the exotic streets of Cuba in an instant!

CUBAN COCKTAIL RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

2 measures brandy
1 measure apricot brandy
1 measure fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon white rum

DIRECTIONS

1. Chill a cocktail glass by filling it with ice cubes and cold water. Set it aside while you prepare the cocktail.

2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Pour in the brandy, apricot brandy, fresh lime juice, and white rum, then shake the mixture vigorously until it is well frosted. 

3. Empty the ice cubes and cold water from the cocktail glass.

4. Strain the drink from the cocktail shaker into the chilled cocktail glass. Serve and enjoy.