Monday, January 25, 2010

Guide to Drinking Tea

I am a tea drinker.  More than water, more than wine, more than anything else.  It has been implied that I may drink too much tea, although I don't really believe that that is possible.

I'm not talking about being a cute little classy or sophisticated tea drinker, either.  I'm more of a giant cup, multiple tea bags, water stains all over my desk at work kind of tea drinker.  I take this stuff seriously.  My favorite teas (right now) are: Choice Organics Ban-Cha- which is smokey and wonderful, Yogi Green Tea Kombucha- a nice change from bottled kombucha, Traditional Medicinals Organic Chamomile with Lavender- which I love before bed, or my own mix of fresh ginger, lemon, honey, and green tea that I drink obsessively when I'm feeling a bit blah.

Over the weekend I acquired a small and wonderful Le Creuset tea kettle that I am madly in love with, and have since come to the very harsh realization that my at-home tea drinking needs a bit of a makeover.  I owe it to my tea kettle, don't I?

- My current collection of drinkware consists of one proper tea cup- sans saucer, four very cute but very small mismatched mugs from Goodwill, and one ceramic tumbler without a handle.  Tragic!  I have my eye on at least one of these: here, here, here, here, and here.

-  I used to think that tea cozies were ridiculous- until I realized that I am notorious for both burning my hands on hot mugs, as well as sloshing tea all over myself and the floor every time I take more than two steps.  I think it might be time to embrace their practicality (yeah right... really I just think they're cute).  Some of my favorites are: here, here, here, here, and here.

- I have just started to experiment with making my own loose leaf tea blends, and although I have yet to come up with a balance that isn't too bitter, too tart, or too floral- I'm having a lot of fun doing it.  Mountain Rose Herbs is my favorite online source for loose teas, although I'm lucky enough to have several grocery stores within walking/riding distance that carry bulk loose teas, as well as herbs.  Etsy has a huge number of sellers who make their own blends: here, here, here, and here are all good places to start.  Muslin tea bags are my favorite way to brew loose leaf teas.  I also have a travel mug with a built in tea infuser that I love, but it was a gift from my mama and I'm not sure where it came from originally (a Google search for "Travel tea infuser" came up with some good results if it's something you're interested in).

- As far as I'm concerned- honey is the only acceptable sweetener for tea.  I also strongly believe that local honey is the best, as it contains regional pollen that is beneficial for seasonal allergy sufferers (like me! yay!)  I'm a lucky duck, and my neighborhood grocery store has local honey on tap!  My suggestion for purchasing honey is to go through Local Harvest and try to find a farmers market in your area.  Pasteurized grocery store honey is fine as just a sweetener, but lacks many of the benefits that local, raw honey provides.

- Lastly- because I really, really love tea.  And I mean- really.  I think it's crucial for my tea habit to also include tea party rubber stamps, printed linen tea towels, and of course honey lavender tea cookies.  Duh.

What are your tea related essentials? 


tiina said...

This is a great post, love your style of writing! I'm a coffee drinker, and try to replace some cups with tea sometimes. This got me inspired to do it more often:)

Michelle said...

I love tea, too! The only thing I asked my boyfriend to get me for Christmas was a nice tea kettle and he did fantastic!

Lilee▲ said...

hehe cute!

Nettletown said...

during the winter i pretty much only drink tea-my favorite tea drink a accessory is a plug in electric stainless tea kettle - it heats super fast. this is the best thing if you drink tea all day long and dont have a gas stove.

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