I love drinking tea. The second I pour myself a cup (or, better yet, a huge mug), I feel happy. Tea is so much better than coffee – it’s really good for you, it gives you just enough of a jolt without heart palpitations, and it doesn’t open the doors for ridiculous additions like sugar (or, far worse, artificial sweeteners), cream, syrups and all the other stuff you find in coffee drinks. Also, it doesn’t make your breath stinky. Best of all, it tastes great hot or cold. And I can let you in on a little secret: on a very hot day (like the ones ahead of us, we hope), a hot cup of tea will quench your thirst (and keep your body cool) much better than a glass of ice cold water (which doesn’t do anything good to your body).
When I have time to brew my tea properly – full leaf, with water just short of boiling, in a glass pot, for the right amount of time – I love watching the leaves open up, as if they are getting a new life. Here is my favorite tea pot from Chateau Rouge (great place for everything-tea):
Most of the time I don’t brew my tea properly (my European relatives and friends, please skip this part). But even when I’m in a hurry I still care about quality so I get most of my tea from The Republic of Tea. I love the great variety, the packaging, the round pods which are unbleached (!), their fair trade practices. My current favorites are: Almond Coconut Macaroon Red Tea, Plantain Coconut Green Roiboos, Mango Chilli Green Bush and my two everyday staples: Vanilla Almond (black tea, which I take with a splash of almond milk) and Green Earl Grey.
I love the ritual of drinking tea with friends (even though we never make it fussy) and I wish people hosted more tea parties with proper sandwiches and sweets – something I don’t do often enough. Maybe this summer?
But most of all I love giving and getting good tea. There is something so exciting about opening your tea gift box and finding a great new flavor! And there are so many goodies that can be tea-flavored, such as my favorite tea-infused chocolates by Mariage Freres:
and tea-scented candles also from Mariage Freres – another U.K. – based place for all-things-tea:
And for that very very special person you want to impress, how about some white tea harvested with golden scissors? 🙂
“To the ancient Chinese, the gift of tea represents the foundation of relationships, since tea is grown in the fertile soil. Tea draws on the life-giving essence of mother earth and is reborn when infused in water. Giving tea is planting the seed; sharing tea is nurturing the seedlings. Like fine aged teas, precious relationships continue to mature, unaffected by the passage of time and distance. Sharing tea nurtures relationships, clears the mind, and uplifts the spirit. The spirit of giving transcends national and religious boundaries. And, whenever the opportunity of giving arises, there is no better time to share a cup.” From Imperial Tea Court.
Which tea makes you tipsy?
Images via Cest La Vegan, Chateau Rouge, The Republic of Tea and Mariage Freres.