wish list :: tea time

Despite the fact that I work at a coffee shop with delicious brews and beans, and despite the fact that I savor a rich, black cup of joe, appreciating all of the depth of flavor and richness, I am slowly transforming into a tea person.

The transition started this summer when I started waking up early for work. I would switch on the kettle and get ready while my hot water heated up, then down a cup of green tea on the drive to the cafe in the wee morning hours. Andrew followed suite with his early morning trek to work, and in the few summer mornings that we could enjoy breakfast together, we alternated between coffee in our percolator or french press (a rare treat!) and a hot pot of PG Tips tea.

We’ve come to the conclusion that, in order to stave off fatigue AND the jitters, drinking several cups of tea is a gentler form of caffeination than drinking several cups of coffee. Thus, the switch stuck, and has blossomed into a full-out tea obsession. Below are a few of my favorites:

From left: Sleepytime by Celestial Seasonings, SPORTea, Bodum travel mug, Wake Up Call by Savoy Tea Company, Temple of Health by Republic of Tea, Le Creuset enamel tea kettle, stoneware mug, Green Tea Lemongrass by Good Earth Tea, PG Tips. 

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I have been a fan of Sleepytime Tea since childhood. My parents would often brew a pot of this soothing, camomile tea in the winter, and we’d drink it while watching a movie or snuggling next to the fireplace. When I got older my mom revealed her secret: a dash of amaretto doubles the “sleepy” effects and adds a sweet almond flavor!

SPORTea is something I drink over ice at the cafe. Lightly caffeinated, with several herbs and some natural sweetness, it provides an energy boost without leaving me shaky, and is so refreshing when I’m in the hot kitchen. With green and black teas, mate, ginger and ginseng, I feel really good about drinking this.

I’m searching for a new travel mug for my morning cup of tea — I usually steal Andrew’s — and this Bodum travel mug fits the bill.

My newest favorite morning tea is from Savoy Tea Co., a little local tea shop and cafe with the sweetest owners and the most delicious, tiny cupcakes. This Wake Up Call tea is a blend of green tea, yerba mate, and eleuthero root ginseng — and unlike many herbal teas this actually wakes me up in the morning and is soothing to an empty stomach. I bought a sample sachet of this and I’m eager to go back and purchase more.

Temple of Health herbal tea tastes different every time I try it, but the herbal blend is so interesting and so healthy. With ginger, cinnamon, licorice, echinacea, lemon and lemongrass, it is complex and delicious — we order a pot of this when we go to a nearby cafe for some wi-fi and a change of atmosphere.

My Le Creuset enamel kettle came home with me from Ireland, and I love it for all of the memories that it holds. The kettle, coupled with our mismatched, thrifted stoneware mugs, makes for a perfectly eclectic tea at our house.

Good Earth lemongrass green tea is citrusy and energizing, and makes for a nice afternoon pick-me-up tea. I got a box for Christmas from my Uncle (who discovered it was a favorite of mine by reading my blog — how sneaky!) and I’m still savoring every last sachet.

PG Tips tops the charts as one of my favorite everyday teas. It goes beyond just a black tea — it’s flavorful and mellow, but strong enough to drink with breakfast. Coupled with the fact that it is so very British, it makes teatime all the more special.

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Do you have any tea recommendations? Or are you more of a coffee person? Let me know, I’m always curious!

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