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International cuisine

What’s in Your Teacup?

Written by Emily Elwes

If you are a tea lover than finding not only a great teahouse near you but a shop that sells loose leaf tea is one of the first things you will want to do after finding monthly rentals in Madrid. Just because you are on vacation, retirement or moving to Madrid for a new career does not mean you have to give up your love of tea. If you are in Madrid and new to loose leaf tea you may want a better understanding of what it entails and where to find it.

Why Loose Leaf? 

Loose leaf tea is simply the luxury or highest quality tea that you can buy and often comes in hundreds of varieties, whereas bagged tea comes in a couple dozen different kinds. There is also a major difference in health benefits from loose leaf tea varieties because of the less processing involved than in bagged tea. Loose leaf tea can come in seven major categories with literally hundreds of varieties within each category. The seven major categories of tea include black, white, green, oolong, mate, rooibos, and herbal. Most people understand the concept of black tea such as Earl Grey and Orange Pekoe, or that green tea is one of the healthiest drinks yet by exploring the other categories of true appreciation can be had for all of the textures, tastes and ranges that loose leaf tea offers as a beverage.

Steeping Tea

In order to get the best results including the best flavors for loose leaf tea there is a specific steeping process that either your tea shop purveyor or you should follow in your home. The first is to understand that not all teas require boiling water to steep. In fact steeping green teas in boiling water will provide a very bitter and harsh tasting tea whereas most black teas require boiling water to provide the necessary flavor profile. The best tea shops will provide keeping instructions on their containers, and will follow them when making tea for customers. The steeping of the different categories of tea also requires different amounts of tea, different temperatures of the water, and longer or shorter steeping times depending on the type of tea. It is best to use clean water for boiling. Also, warm the steeping pot before pouring water into it, as well as teacups for a more enjoyable session and remember to remove the tea leaves from the pot after steeping by using an infuser.

Tea Shops in Madrid

Tea Shops of East West Company is a chain of tea shops that have a number of locations across Madrid and probably one near you. With over 40 stores across Spain, Portugal and Brazil they are one of Spain’s largest purveyors of loose leaf tea. Chaid Or, Serrano 56, is also a local tea shop offering quality teas with a lounge available to enjoy the tea on-site. If you are looking for a simple in-bag tea there are literally hundreds of coffee and tea shops and cafes around Madrid.

Simply walk out the front door of your monthly rental in Madrid and you will be within walking distance to the best tea shops in Madrid.

About the author

Emily Elwes

Emily is a freelance content editor & manager living & working in Barcelona. She's passionate about food, drink, language and collaborative consumption.

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