Thinking Hot Thoughts

I’m brewing a cuppa’ as I type, which along with Monica‘s post, reminded me that I need to post week two’s discussion points…

Tell us about your favorite teas. Do you prefer black, green, white, red, or “herbal”? Do you like added flavors such as fruit, flowers, vanilla, chocolate, or spices, or are you a “purist”?

If I had to choose just one tea to drink for the rest of my life, hands down, it would have to be an Earl Grey.  It was my first tea, and I guess first loves really do stick with you.  (Y’all know I married my third-grade sweetheart, right?)  The Harney & Sons shown on the left is one often in my cupboard, but I also confess to having the best and kindest friends ever, so the precise brand varies.

But preferences?  Stay away from the red “rooibos” tea, and I’m game for most anything. 

I don’t like vanilla so much, but I do love chocolate mint teas.  In fact, I’m sipping one now. 

White teas, I like with a fruity twist.  Trader Joe’s makes a great pomegranate white tea.  It’s a tea BAG!  While I am a tea snob and prefer loose teas, I’m not going to deny that tea bags have a place in my life, and this is one of them. 

Green teas?  It’s all in the brewing.  Frankly, I only know of one other person who can brew the perfect cuppa’ for me, and that’s because she educated me in the delights that come from using the right water temperature and brewing times, especially for white and green teas.  

That’s my secret to the perfect tea, every time.  The Knight produces a perfect cuppa’ too, thanks to this baby.  He just has to figure out if it’s a white tea (there’s a Sharpie mark on my pot at home where I’ve found just the right brewing temperature), green (again, a mark in that green region near center on the dial), or black (of course!  a mark in the brown region).  That, and head for the low end of the recommended brewing time, and I’m all set.

Herbals have their place in my life.  Sissy comes by her love of peppermints naturally  erm, through me.  Celestial Seasonings Tummy Mint has been a staple in my tea cabinet for as long as I can remember.  I’m pretty sure I found it as an adult, out on my own, but I can’t recall when I was introduced to this balm.  I also keep plain ol’ peppermint, chamomille, something lemon, something orange and some version of a bring on the sleep tea in the cabinet.

Flowers.   On the table or in the garden, but not in my teas.  The fancy “art” teas like this are the worst.  It might make a neat centerpiece if I cared to sort out the details, but I’ve tried several brands, assorted varieties, and I just don’t like ’em.   Harney’s Chinese Flower loose tea is the sole exception.  It is one of a handful of teas that I always have on hand.

I do like to try new teas.  The Knight knows he can score brownie points for pointing out and/or purchasing teas that fit the above criteria.   This time of year, a good find will require a double purchase, because it needs to be on hand at home and at work. 

Well, I’m sure that’s quite enough of my babble about tea.   Please feel free to join in, for a single topic or for all of Hot Tea Month, over at the blog!  Don’t forget to link in if you do post!

13 comments on “Thinking Hot Thoughts

  1. Marjie says:

    I like Harney & Sons, too! I just recently bought their tropical green tea, and it’s the best green I’ve ever had. I’d have to say I love Irish Breakfast or English Breakfast Tea best, if I had to choose. I don’t like roobios, either, nor do I much care for white tea. And I adore mint with anything!

  2. Nichole says:

    Interesting… I’ve often wondered if those “pretty to look at” teas were tasty… now I know!

  3. gaylen says:

    I have a Harney & Sons Vanilla Camora that I adore. I was drinking it yesterday with just the tiniest drizzle of honey. Yummy – and I love the tins!! I have 3 big ones and one small and I’m looking for more – even if I don’t like the tea. I can always tuck it into a zip lock and ship it to you 🙂

    g

  4. needles54 says:

    Harney and Sons makes a tea for the Interlaken Inn that is so good but you have to go to the Inn to buy it, My sister brought some home and I loved it!!!!

    I like Red teas, and vanilla—occasionally I do find one I am not particularly fond of!

  5. Mr Puffy says:

    Interesting overview of teas! I agree with you on almost all points, except Rooibos. I enjoy a nice strong cup of that in the mornings if I want to avoid caffeine but still have a full bodied brew.

  6. Nice post for our second week! I’ll have to remember your preferences next time I am gifted with Earl Grey! Thank you for saying (out loud) that tea flowers are way more about looks than flavor!

  7. Sandy says:

    I’ve never seen Harney & Sons tea – maybe it isn’t available in Canada. I drink mostly black tea, with the occasional green or herbal. White seems blah and I don’t really care for Rooibos. My fave is Darjeeling and second runner-up would have to be English Breakfast. I rarely use tea bags either. Such a snob!

  8. anniebananie says:

    I must admit I’m not a tea fan. Never have been, never will be. However, when I’m sick, I do drink a cup of chamomile tea and it makes me feel better.

    I think I should have one today.

  9. Kathy says:

    I’m still drinking my Harney & Sons Holiday tea. It’s good stuff! I got it at Barnes & Noble. It’s teabags because that’s so much more convenient for the office.

  10. Barbara says:

    I’m an iced tea drinker most of the time. Except for chamomile. I drink a awful lot of iced tea though, every day. I really like the flavors offered by the Republic of Tea. Am drinking passion fruit papaya as I type right now. They offer new flavors all the time..I used some for stocking stuffers this year. Love their latest… Coconut Cocoa Tea.

  11. Ellen says:

    I’m going to have to look for that tummy mint. I’ve never seen it before…
    I’m getting so many good ideas reading all of the hot tea posts!!
    Enjoy…
    http://happywonderer.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/hot-tea-month-favorite-teas/

  12. Monica says:

    Ooh pictures! I wish I could include pictures but as I’m not home… no tea cupboard to photograph. Actually…. my tea cupboard is in a box because the kitchen is being renovated!

  13. laceylee says:

    Ive heard about those teas. Was it good. They have a great little tea store in Olympia that I loved going too. I saw the flowering teas there, but they were very expensive. I will have to try that some day

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