Terrific Tea!

Less than six months ago you couldn’t force me to drink tea.  I thought it tasted like water with a few bits of sticks brewed in for lackluster flavor.

Well. No longer.  I’ve become a tea addict, so I thought I’d mention a few of the different kinds of teas, and recommend some of my favs, in hopes you all will recommend your favorites.

White Tea has very little caffeine and are the least processed of the teas.  I haven’t tried any white teas (though I do like the low caffeine part).  What’s your favorite?

Green Teas have antioxidants and are high in caffeine (though still lower than coffee). They are supposed to sooth the stomach and the digestive system and help regulate blood sugar.  I haven’t ventured into the green tea arena yet either, only because I don’t like a lot of caffeine.  But I’m sure you all can recommend some great green teas to try.

Black Teas are my favorite.  They have a robust flavor, less caffeine than green tea, lowers cholesterol, stimulates the heart and circulatory system, and they taste great with cream/milk and sugar.  I’m a cream and sugar girl, myself.  I need that added creaminess and a touch of sweetness (Truvia).  I like most chai-flavored black teas and anything with spice.  Since Teavana is my favorite haunt I’ll list some of the black teas I like there: Skinny Chai Pu-erh (how can you NOT buy something with skinny in the name?) and Taj Masala Chai.  I also picked up a great vanilla/cinnamon blend at Trader Joes over the holidays, but unfortunately it was only a holiday thing.  These teas rock with a little Half & Half and a dash of Truvia.  Mmm…  (I also covet that cast iron tea spot in the picture, but have you ever priced a cast iron teapot?  Oh dear!)

Herbal Teas are my newest foray.  I never thought I’d go beyond the black teas, but recently have been adventuring in the fruity herbal stuff.  Warning: you can’t mix cream in herbal teas because the fruit acids will curdle your cream.  It took me a while to learn this, and for a few weeks in our household you may have suddenly heard me cry out “That just curdles my cream!”.  Teavana has a blueberry/pineapple mix that is delish.  Brew it about 10 – 15 for maximum flavor, add a hint of sweetness, and you’re good to go.  Herbal teas are also awesome chilled.   I picked up a black cherry and a peach tea in the grocery store and I love them as long as they are brewed longer than ten minutes.  (I need flavor!)  But my ab-fab herbal tea is the Azteca Fire Herbal tea from Teavana.  It’s chocolate and strawberry with hints of chili.  With cream and sugar, this tastes like hot chocolate, people!  I lurve this stuff.

Those are just a few.  I skipped Roibos, Oolong and Mate, but I’d love to hear about all of them.  And does anyone drink the tea blossoms that open up in the tea pot while brewing?  Share with me!  I’d like to discover some new teas to add to my list.


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11 Responses to Terrific Tea!

  1. Kylie Brant says:

    I’m not a tea drinker but my hairdresser has been pushing the benefits of green tea long before it became popular. I should start trying it in lieu of Diet Coke…someday!

  2. Leanne Banks says:

    Michele, Iced tea is the nectar of life for me.:) I add lemon and sweetener and I drink it almost every day of my life at breakfast and lunch. When I brew black tea for iced tea, I start with cold water and heat it to boil and I read that I was only supposed to brew it for about 5 minutes. I’ve made the mistake of leaving the tea bag in too long and the tea turns bitter. That said, I’ve tried some of the fruity teas, but now I’m wondering if I should have brewed them longer based on what you said. I will give them another go. I’m not much of a hot -anything- drinker, but every once in awhile if I want my tea, that’s the only way I’ll get it. I generally won’t drink bottled tea. Must be brewed!:) Love this post!:)

  3. Michele says:

    Leanne, when I go into Teavana they always tell me to brew tea for iced tea a long time. Herbal teas, especially. They brew theirs for 20 minutes and if you like it sweet, they recommend adding the sugar while you brew it (they use chunks of rock sugar).

  4. Helen Brenna says:

    I’m a straight-up plain green and black tea drinker and have been for years. When I get sick of one, I switch to the other. Don’t care much for the flowery or spiced teas, so I won’t be much help to you, Michele. Although I do like some of the stronger green teas with some dried apple or orange to soften them.

    Rooibus tea is okay. Not crazy about it, but I think it’s supposed to the one with the most anti-oxidants.

    I always thought black tea was higher in caffeine than green. No matter, though. They’re both so much lower in caffeine than coffee, you should need to worry about it.

  5. DebraDixon says:

    I’ve started in on some green teas and I like them, but I have to “make” myself make them. Instead I always reach for Crystal Light or reg tea. Don’t know why.

    I guess it’s just hard to start a new habit.

    Now if someone just brought tea too me…that’d be great!

    • Linda Morgan says:

      I am addicted to Crystal Light Green teas – the Peach Mango and the Raspberry. I used to drink their Rasperry and Peach teas but now I’ve switched to the green. They probably aren’t even real tea, but they are sure good and easy. I drink it from after coffee until bedtime, and I take it with me in a 32 oz styrofoam cup everywhere I go. I always order unsweet iced tea when out and add 2 sweet n low’s. Sweet tea is like drinking syrup. Lucky I’m in Texas and iced tea is available everywhere year round.

  6. Hellion says:

    I cannot stand tea. *LOL* I do give it a whirl occasionally when I’m in a health kick and think it will help wean me off diet soda. I have some black tea in my house–chai flavored. I’m intrigued by the Azteca Fire Herbal though. Making a note of it and getting some! *LOL*

  7. michelehauf says:

    Deb, yes having a ‘tea boy’ to bring the tea would make all the difference, wouldn’t it? I love using the loose teas though. I have a cool strainer that’s spring-loaded, so you squeeze it to open, put the tea in, then dip it in the cup. (Hard to explain.) Makes it kind of fun.

    Hellion, I think a tea hater would actually like that Azteca Fire HErbal stuff. Seriously close to hot chocolate for me. (If you add cream.) And no caffeine! 🙂

  8. cindygerard says:

    Yea, you, Michelle. I’ve always been a tea drinker. Tea was always my mother’s ‘comfort’ drink when we were sick. She’d make us pots of Liptons with sugar and cream. Now I’m a purist – no sugar for me. Don’t like my tea strong, though. And my fav is Celestial Seasons, Sleepy Time which is a decaf tea with rose hips and chamomile and a delicious hint of mint. Ummm.
    Can’t get myself to like green tea although I know I should be drinking it. I keep trying but always go back to my standard.

  9. MaryC says:

    I grew up drinking tea – the bulk of our tea was sent to us by our Hong Kong relatives.
    I like Chai teas, especially during the colder months. Another favorite is Harney and Sons’ Bangkok tea -it’s a combination of green tea, lemongrass, vanilla, coconut and ginger.

  10. Betina says:

    Michele, I grew up hating the taste of tea. But when I moved to Oklahoma, years ago, it was the drink of choice and so I learned to drink iced tea, and then hot tea. . . then hot tea with milk. I never liked the taste of green tea until lately. . . when i learned that you need to use not-quite-boiling water to make it instead of the usual boiling stuff. And you let it steep a while, but not too long. And it comes out delicious!

    It’s also good for you. The Anticancer program says three cups of green tea a day have real health effects and there is real scientific evidence to back that up. I take my green tea spiked with orange juice– so it gives me an extra boost of Vit C and whatever flavinoids survive the juicing process. I’ve tried nearly eery kind of tea available and love most of them. Michele, there’s a big wide world of tea out there just waiting for you!

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