[Review] Easy Leaf Tea by Timothy d’Offay

Publisher and Publication Date: Ryland Peters & Small. 2017
Genre: Nonfiction.
Pages: 144.
Format: Hardcover.
Source: Self-purchase @ World Market.
Audience: Serious tea drinkers.
Rating: Excellent.

Link @ Amazon.


Timothy d’Offay is a tea expert. He lives in London, England where he has a shop called, Postcard Teas. He mentions in the book of his travels to the countries who grow and produce tea. He has met with people who grow and harvest teas. He has studied the art of both developing the teas and in preparing the tea for drinking. I consider him a teacher and connoisseur of tea.

Most tea drinkers probably drink bagged tea. I do. I also drink loose-leaf tea. Loose-leaf tea is the subject of this book.

Easy Leaf Tea is a comprehensive look at loose-leaf tea. From a brief history lesson of how tea began to how to prepare certain teas and some knowledge about those teas.

My Thoughts:

Several reasons why I love this book:

  1. I love learning about tea types. Where they are grown, how they are grown, how to harvest them, and how to develop certain types of teas from these dried leaves.
  2. I love the luscious full-page illustrations. The color photographs are of women harvesting leaves, types of tea pots and other tea gadgets, different types of teas (the leaves and the tea from them), restaurants serving tea, lovely tables of teacups. I especially love the photos of making matcha tea.
  3. I love the list of twenty teas to taste.
  4. I love the recipes located in the back of the book.
  5. I love the information on how to prepare tea according to tea type.
  6. I love the size of the book.

Overall, this is a splendid book.

A great gift for a serious tea lover.

If I could add or change something about the book, I’d love to see more photographs of tea harvesting and the production of them. I’d like to read more tea history.


Tea and Books

Happy New year to you!

At Christmas, I received several new teas. Most of them I’ve tried and tasted.

Teas, in order from left to right:

Tea in Texas, Loose Leaf Black Tea, Big Tex English Breakfast. This is an average tasting black tea with a slight malt presence.

The Republic of Tea, Mulled Apple Spice Tea. This may be a discontinued brand. I purchased it at a close-out sale shelf at World Market. At The Republic of Tea site there is a Hot Apple Cider tea. The Mulled Apple Spice Tea is like drinking mulled apple cider in a tea bag form. Tasty. I enjoyed this tea drink during the holidays. The ingredients in the Mulled Apple Spice Tea are cinnamon, orange peels, cloves, citric acid, apples, natural apple flavor, allspice, natural orange flavor, stevia and natural cinnamon and rum flavors. The tea drink is flavorful but not a strong-tasting drink. Sometimes a cider or spice tea can be a bit tart or strong. I feel this is a tea that should be drank alone without an additional snack.

Highfield Cottage Tea. Link to Amazon-British Amazon, as I cannot find the tea at the American Amazon site. I cannot find the website for the tea. This is a hard tea to fine online. I’m not sure where my daughter-in-law purchased the tea. I’ve enjoyed drinking the Chai, English Breakfast, and Rose teas. All of these are black teas. I’ve also tried blending a tea in a pot with another tea, Barry’s Gold blend of Tea. The Chai, English Breakfast, and Rose teas are a little above average in taste. I prefer to blend a bag with the Barry’s Gold blend of tea in a teapot rather than as stand-alone teas.

Tetley British Blends, Dutchess Balmoral, tea bags. Link to Amazon. For $22.38, 6 boxes with 20 bags in each box and comes in 1 case. Enjoyable tea that tastes like a tea dessert. It’s a black tea and vanilla blend. I love it.

Harney and Sons, Tower of London Blend, sachets/fancy tea bags. Link to Amazon. All of the Harney and Sons’ teas I’ve tasted have been wonderful, some more than others. Tower of London Blend is a black tea with bergamot oil, honey, and a taste of stone fruit. I love it.

Harney and Sons, Florence, loose leaf tea. Link to Amazon. This is my absolute favorite tea of this bunch. It is a black tea, with a chocolate and hazelnut taste. The aroma of the tea is a high point as well as the taste. Luxurious tea. Excellent.

Link to Harney and Sons to see their full line of teas.

The teas are to be made with boiling water and steeped 5 minutes.

Books-my current reads.

  1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I’ve never read this book. I’m in a book challenge, and in January it is to read a classic children’s book I’ve never read before and must be written before 1960. I searched all the e-books on my Kindle and have decided to read all of the children’s books (total of 7+.) They’ve been on my Kindle a while. This is a perfect month to read them. Did you know The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is book 1 in a series of 14 books? After I’ve read the book, I’ll re-watch the film. I don’t know that I’ll read the other 13 books in the series. The other children’s books on my Kindle are Five Little Peppers by Margaret Sidney (a total of 12 books. I will read at least the first.) Anne of Green Gables (I’ve read before) by Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Story Girl Series (2 books. I may read both) by L. M. Montgomery. The link is to book 1, The Story Girl. The Boxcar Children (book 1) by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I finished this book on December 29, 2022. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgsdon Burnett. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.
  2. Dark Night of the Soul by Saint John of the Cross. A deep read. Sometimes I have to go back and reread a page. Paperback.
  3. The Collected Poems of William Wordsworth. Paperback.
  4. In Good Time by Jen Pollock Michel. Paperback. The author is hosting Zoom meetings for those of us who signed up. She will go over some of the points in the book and lead us to create healthy timely lives.
  5. Adam Bede by George Eliot. I’ll be reading this book a while as it is the book to currently read in the chapter a day book challenge. Paperback.
  6. Light to the Hills by Bonnie Blaylock. This is an e-book. This book is 80% read.

International Tea Day 2020

Today is International Tea Day. A year ago I would not have noticed this event. I became a serious tea drinker six months ago.
Every morning I make a pot of tea (about three cups.) It is usually loose leaf tea. I make a tea latte using a new item of kitchen equipment I received for Mother’s Day. It is a Breville Milk Café Frother. It heats the milk and froths it. There is two disc choices. My favorite disc will froth most of the milk to a thicker froth with peaks like in a cappuccino. The rest of it will be creamy which I love too. This kitchen item is easy to use!
I am not a connoisseur of tea, but I know what I like and don’t like. I’ve tried several different tea brands and I’ll share them with you. I am not an Amazon affiliate, nor am I compensated for the following information.

My favorite loose leaf tea is from The Steeping Room. It’s a business located in Austin, Texas. This link takes you directly to the tea choices: The Steeping Room. I chatted with a representative from this store. They try to buy all organic, as much organic as possible and certified with no agrochemicals. At least this is their goal. The teas are from the following countries: Taiwan, China, India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Africa, and Columbia. They’ve had big tea sales and I asked if this will continue after the COVID-19 restrictions? Yes, but they are unclear as to what extent the sales will be. Businesses are trying hard to maintain during this rough COVID event. I wish them all the best. The teas I’ve tried and love from The Steeping Room, black teas: Golden Monkey, Golden Langur Assam Blend, Ying Hong #9 Black Tea from Guangdong Province, and 2019 Old Tree Feng Qing Black. I have loved all of the teas mentioned from The Steeping Room, and would have a hard time choosing just one as a favorite. My goal is to try all of their black tea choices.

Other loose leaf teas I’ve tried: Taylor’s of Harrogate Yorkshire Gold Loose Leaf Tea. This is a much cheaper tea, but it is not at all in the same league as The Steeping Room‘s teas.
Stash Tea Double Bergamot Earl Grey Loose Leaf Tea. This is a good tea. I’d place it in 3rd place.
Harney & Sons Black Earl Grey Loose Leaf Tea. This is a very good tea. I’d give this second place just under The Steeping Room‘s teas.

If you are interested in becoming a loose leaf tea drinker there are some items you will need.
•A tea kettle. I have an electric tea kettle, but it doesn’t let me set the temperature. I’ve read that a tea kettle with a temperature setting is important. Hopefully in the future I will have one.
•A spoon to specifically measure the loose leaf tea. An average teaspoon, as we know it, does not correctly measure.
•A tea infuser. You can place this in your cup for individual size tea or place it in a tea pot.
The link is a good deal for buying both. Amazon.
I also purchase supplies at Cost Plus World Market. They have a great selection of tea stuff.
An extra item-a cool gadget I have. It will cover your tea cup to keep it warm. Kitchen Tool Tea Bag.
Another choice is to use a tea filter bag (reminds you of a coffee filter.) This will come in handy for using when you have fine tea. You can use this plus the tea infuser to keep particles from being in your tea you will drink. Melitta Loose Tea Filter.
•A tea pot. You don’t have to spend big money to buy a tea pot. I bought my white one at Target for $14.99.

I use a kitchen timer. Black tea should steep about 5 minutes.
I consider making tea an enjoyable morning ritual.


This handsome little man can be found at Cost Plus World Market

Other teas I love-these are bagged teas:
Most of these teas I’ve found in grocery stores. I’ve provided the Amazon link so you can see their pictures.
Pukka Night Time Tea
Clipper Snore and Peace Tea
Twinnings 100% Pure Black Tea, English Breakfast Decaffeinated
Stash Black Tea, English Breakfast
Stash Moroccan Mint Green Tea
Celestial Seasonings Green Tea Matcha
Twinnings Green Tea Jasmine

An honorable mention from Wholefoods Market:
Organic Rooibos Orange Vanilla Crème Tea  

My go to place to learn about tea is at Oh, How Civilized.  You can also find it on Facebook. Twitter.
Other online sources:
Tea House Times 
The Daily Tea
Tea Efficiency
From WebMD: Types of Tea and their health benefits

Did you know YouTube has a channel for tea drinkers? Afternoon Tea Jazz.