Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How Do You Take Your Tea?

I grew up drinking tea, but only with ice. It’s a Southern tradition, served at both mid-day and evening meals. Southerners are renowned for their “sweet tea,” usually with lemon, the more ice the better.


I didn’t begin drinking my tea hot until I was well into my 30s. Now I drink hot tea, many varieties, throughout the day. I rarely drink iced tea anymore, except when I’m served it at someone’s house. Or on a hot summer day.  I still like it --- no sugar, please --- but I prefer drinking water with my meals.

We are told of the many health benefits of tea, especially the green variety. I have had to train myself to “like” it and now drink it at least once a day. I also enjoy many other kinds, including red, white, Chai and many herbal teas.

I am not brand loyal tea with it comes to tea purchases, but I have enjoyed many of the Tazo teas. The Tazo Rest, a herbal infusion consisting or rose petals, valerian root and comfrey, will lull you down into a good night’s sleep. I have to ensure I don’t drink it until I’m actually within 30 minutes of being ready to sleep. It’s that powerful for me.

I enjoy Twinings English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast teas, but I still have to have my coffee to get me going each morning. Earl Grey is a nice afternoon tea.

I began my tea journey with Celestial Seasons teas, mostly herbals, and still enjoy them.  The fruit teas also are nice. And if you’re trying to wean yourself off coffee, you might try their Roastaroma, which, to me at least, has a distinct coffee taste.

I drink peppermint tea for indigestion or upset stomach, fennel tea for good digestion and lemon balm for its calming effect.

Whites and reds are a good substitute for those who don’t like green tea. Tea of Life has a good white tea with pomegranate; and I currently have Bentley’s Red Rooibos, which is a South African tea.
I have recently began drinking Kusmi Detox tea. Good cleansing tea. I highly recommend it.
There are so many choices when it comes to tea. I think you just have to experiment and find what you like. All of it is good for you, even the black tea, that is unless you load it up with sugar!

I like to brew mine in a pot, but because I’m often “in a hurry” and time for only one cup, I just heat the water in a cup in the microwave to boiling and plop the bag in to brew. Not a very elegant way to drink tea, to be sure, but at least I still get my antioxidants.

I can dream of going for afternoon high tea at The Ritz in London and eating crumpets, sponge cake, scones, cucumber sandwiches, blackcurrant jam, fairy cake and all the other traditional tea favorites along with my Earl Gray. But even if I cannot, I’ll still enjoy my tea in a mug several times throughout the day.

Tea was the tipping point of the revolutionary spirit in America that resulted in English tea being dumped in Boston Harbor in 1773, culminating in the War of American Independence. We have been a coffee-drinking country since that time. But more and more, we are discovering the joys of tea drinking.

Are you a tea drinker? Hot or iced? (Is it only in the U.S., especially in the southern states, that we drink iced tea?) What are your favorite teas?


  1. Tea is my hot drink of choice. (I just took the pictures to do a post on it myself.) My favorite herbal tea is Tazo Refresh, which is peppermint and spearmint with tarragon, which I have with milk. My daughter just introduced me to the new Rest tea and I agree about its soothing properties. Red tea (Roobios?) just doesn't taste like tea to me, so I avoid it. As for Green tea, even if it is brewed properly (never over 3-5 minutes or it gets bitter), still tastes like hay to me, but I will drink the flavored varieties. My favorite tea is Black. I have some amazing Black teas from the Marriage Frères store in Paris - Wedding Impérial and Marco Polo. Because I'm a joiner, I'm planning on getting into iced tea this Summer, even though it's always been Lemonade for me when I lived in the West.
    Where do you find Kusmi tea? (I have seen it in France, where they have it in the markets and individual store devoted to it, but not here.)

    1. I will look forward to your post about tea. Will look for the Taxo Refresh. I ordered the Kusmi tea from the official site on the Internet. Enjoy your iced tea this summer!

  2. Sorry to comment first now on this post.
    I have started to drink coffee from a very early age, as that was what the rest of the family had.
    No tea in my childhood home.
    Therefore, I rather drink coffee now too. Tea only sometimes. Rooibos Africa, the flavored & caffeine free tea is my evening " drink ". Iced tea - great in the summer!
    The younger generation over here is accustomed to drinking tea. They also drink all the special coffees.
    A cup of coffee in the morning is a must for me though!

  3. I need my coffee to start my day. Do people in Finland drink as much coffee as the people of Sweden? I guess nobody drinks as much as the Swedes!


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