Thursday, September 16, 2010

Favorite # 8 - Tea

With fall fast approaching, I'm looking forward to those days where I can curl up on the couch with a good book and a steaming hot cup of tea* while staring out the window at the gray sky and watch the rain fall.

My grandmother was Scottish and emigrated to Canada at a young age, so my mum's side of the family is mostly Canadian.  As a result, tea was always a staple in our household.  When I was little, my mum and I would sip tea together and I felt so sophisticated!  One Christmas, she took my brothers and me to the Tea Room at the Four Seasons (now the Fairmont Olympic Hotel) in Seattle for a full tea service and I was in heaven.  When we were sick, she would make us lemon tea with honey and throw a shot of brandy in there to knock us out.  (No wonder I'm such a lush now!)

During my senior year in high school, I traveled to Ireland and England and one of the things I most looked forward to on that trip was the tea.  Everyone told me the tea just tastes better there.  And my god it does.  Even the crappy tea in the styrofoam cup on the airplane tasted better!  I drank tea on that trip like it was going out of style and brought pounds and pounds of loose leaf back with me.

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My love affair with tea has continued to grow as I've gotten older.  Even though I usually stick with the classics (black, green and white tea), I'm always on the hunt for new teas.  I buy most of my tea in bulk, loose leaf form from Market Spice Tea in Pike Place Market but I've found a few varieties at Teavana and other specialty tea shops that I love.  I also live across the street from Cost Plus, which has a great selection of both bagged and loose leaf teas.

I like to steep my tea for a long time so it gets that extra strong, earthy, almost bitter flavor.  I drink it extra hot, usually with no sugar or milk.  With certain teas, I'll add a splash of lemon juice.  

Do you like tea?  What are your favorite types of teas and how do you drink them?

*Please do not infer from this post that I don't like coffee. I love coffee. I also live in Seattle where it's required by law to drink a minimum of 3 specialty coffee beverages per day. I fulfill my coffee quota on a daily basis and enjoy every minute of it. I just really, really like tea.

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  1. I love tea as well. Nothing beats curling up with tea and a book on a rainy NW day. I tend to stick with black teas, not so much for the fruity herbal stuff.

  2. I'm a big tea fan as well, I think it stems from my g. grandma. I used to drink it daily with her and especially when I was sick so now I have all kinds at home.

    My favorite though is from Tea Forte, the black currant. I feel fancy when I drink it (probably because of the cute little pyramids) but I usually buy the loose leaf even though it's messier.

  3. Oh my gosh! When I was a wee little lass my Mom took us to high tea at the Fairmont before we saw the Nutcracker. We dressed up and it was awesome. I felt so grown up!

    I usually stick to the cheap Trader Joe's teas. Their new Duchess Grey is my favorite. But I like anything with bergmot in it.

  4. I was just thinking about my love for Market Spice tea, perfect for this rainy Seattle weather. I'm also a big fan or any variety of mint tea. PS - LOVE the coffee disclaimer at the end, classic!

  5. I'm drinking tea right now! I love orange teas.

  6. I think people who drink tea are fancy. I'm trying to become one of those people. I just started trying out different types of tea earlier this year, thanks in most part to my friend who's a "tea pusher" and makes me try things. So far I really like red teas.

  7. @E - I'm with you, I don't like the herbals very much. I love a strong, black tea!

    @Cass - I LOVE those Tea Forte pyramids! My mum puts a few in my stocking every year at Christmas.

    @Nikki - Is Duchess Grey similar to Lady Grey? If so, I'm a fan. It has the wonderful bergamot flavor, but is also light and citrusy. Tastes great both hot and iced!

    @Kim - I love the wonderful sweet spiciness of Market Spice! I had to add that disclaimer in there :-)

    @Ashley - Mmmmm, I love orange teas, too, like the classic Constant Comment. Delicious!

    @Becky - I love red teas! I prefer it just plain, but I've had some good tropical infusions that are pretty tasty.

  8. I'm also a tea drinker, though it's not surprising considering I'm from England; tea drinking's practically in our DNA!! ;-)I love black teas, especially a good English Breakfast, and drink them hot with a moderate amoount of milk. Not too much, not too little...I'm one of those awkward people somewhere in the middle lol.

  9. ronald brought me some fancy english tea last week. i can't get enough!! i LOVE tea!


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