Wednesday, July 19, 2006
A New Tea Gadget
This morning I tried a new tea gadget. It worked very well and the 'tea experience' was not diminished by the lack of a proper teacup. I purchased this gadget at the health food store yesterday. Called a bombilla, it is a strainer- straw for loose tea. Made from brass and coated in stainless steel, it is a product of Paraguay. Loose herbs or tea are placed in the bottom of a cup and hot water is poured over them. After steeping a few minutes, the bombilla is placed in the cup and acts as a filter, allowing only the hot beverage to come up through the straw, leaving the herbs or tea leaves behind. The shape and feel of the straw 'fit' my china tea mug well and sipping the tea was an enjoyable experience; nothing like sipping with a plain, plastic straw.
Traditionally, the Guarani Indians of Paraguay received bombillas from the Incas in exchange for sharing their knowledge of herbal medicine. The bombilla was an important tool at the time, and artisans derived great pleasure from creating them of gold, silver, and precious gems.
On a side note, Paraguay is also the origin of the delightful, sweet-herb, stevia. My tea this morning was a blend of my favorite tea herb and the sweet herb, stevia. All in keeping with my new Paraguayan tea gadget!