Organic Authority’s popular Jasmine Pearl tea

“A cup of tea awakens your senses. Be present in the moment. Observe the beautiful colors and unfolding shapes of the leaves as they steep. Appearance is very much a part of the experience. Inhale the tea’s unique aroma as it rises from your steaming cup. Be mindful of all the many flavors swirling in your cup. Relish your tea to the last sip!”

These words of advice come from Nancy Raimondo and Andres Ranz, the wizards behind the Health Tea Wand. They believe that making tea should be a sensory experience: “Savor the smell of your tea leaves as the infusion cultivates,” they urge. “Drinking tea is a vacation from the tensions of life…an escape to your inner sanctuary! Tea reflects the present moment—your preferences, tastes and mood. Be creative.”

But with so many choices available, shopping for organic tea can be confusing. Which type of “delivery system” should you buy? Here are some guidelines from Nancy and Andres:

  1. Choose loose teas over tea bags. “Different teas have different weights,” they explain. “With lighter-weight teas, add enough leaf. Use about 4 grams of tea per 8 ounces of water.” Tea bags, upon which most Americans rely, brew the weakest cup of tea. The richness of the tea has a hard time penetrating the bag.
  2. Tea balls—the equivalent of strainers—are better, but we often pack leaves too tightly in them. This doesn’t allow the leaves to expand, which weakens your tea’s flavor.
  3. French coffee pots properly brew tea and prevent leaves from reaching your cup. You’ll enjoy flavorful tea, but everyone must settle for the same blend if you’re entertaining.
  4. Teapots are the best way to brew tea, note Nancy and Andres, “but you will need a filter to stop the leaves from going into your cup.” Once again, everyone must drink the same brew if you’re making tea for two (or more). This is why the “tea wizards” invented the Health Tea Wand, which allows each person to select a custom blend.

As for Nancy’s and Andres’ favorite tea combination, they enjoy a mélange of Jasmine pearls, rose petals, cinnamon, anise and green tea.

Don’t forget to visit the Organic Authority Boutique for Publisher Laura Klein’s divine line of organic teas, which make perfect holiday gifts.