Are you a tea drinker? If so, what is your tea routine?
My Nana would give me coffee or tea from the time I was about 8 years old, filled up with about half milk and lots of sugar, but I only drank it at her house. I am not sure if my mom would have let me? I wouldn’t have tea at my other grandmother’s house because she steeped it on the stove all day long. It was so strong you could stand a spoon in it, as the expression went! And it was served with canned, evaporated milk!
I started drinking tea after school every day when I was 14. This was unusual at the time since teens usually didn’t drink tea or coffee at all until they were out working. My family, like everyone else, bought Morse’s tea bags, a local blend made by Barbour. It is available only on the east coast (Canada). I never had coffee at home then, because we only had strong Maxwell House coffee made in a percolator – how evil!
When I was a kid, boxes of tea came with a little porcelain animal inside – which I learned only recently are called Wade Whimsies. Everybody and their grandmother had dozens of them!
I had only regular black tea as a hot drink until I was in my mid-20s, when I started working at a library department full of coffee drinkers. They converted me, and I’ve never looked back.
I currently drink 3 mugs a day of half-caff, and I have espressos on the weekends. Every day, my multiple mugs last me until about 2 pm, and in the evening I make a cup of tea. I just boil water in an electric kettle and use a tea bag and that’s that.
I am in the midst of a little personal challenge. Last year, I faced the fact that my stash of tea bags was ridiculous! Besides regular black tea (orange pekoe), I probably had 8 boxes of other kinds: a box of 100 Twinings Earl Grey from Costco, ginger peach, white raspberry, and you-name-it. In addition, Rom doesn’t drink black or green or fruit teas and has only herbal ones like rooibos and chamomile, so he has his own stack of tea boxes. Finally, on three different occasions, I’ve received large gift boxes of tea bags like this:
I probably had enough tea to fill a swimming pool! But I still came home and had my regular black tea every night. I had another kind maybe twice a week. So all my varieties and flavours of tea were going to sit there forever.
The first thing I did was use up the Earl Grey and not buy any more. I miss it! At the new year, I decided to finish up my last box of black tea bags and not buy any more until I’d used up all the other kinds. I have now been without any black tea for about 6 weeks. Of course I can drink green, mint, licorice, pomegranate, lemon and any other kind to my heart’s content. But I’m not content, am I?
I gave away all the unopened boxed teas to the food bank, but I had lots of opened ones. I took some to work. I’ve become somewhat accustomed to having my herbal teas in the evening but I still don’t prefer them. There are some varieties I like more than others but I am hardly going out to buy more!
I am finally down to just 17 tea bags – fruit ones mixed with hibiscus and rose hips, green, mint and lemon. The end of the project is in sight!
Our kid Link is now a tea snob and drinks only loose leaf tea, and they chose some for us for the holidays. I liked the ritual of brewing a little pot of tea, and it has the bonus of requiring barely a teaspoon, and generating no waste. Since I drink all my tea at home and have plenty of time in the evenings, I’ve decided to go that route too. So I’m looking forward to starting over with 2 or 3 kinds of loose leaf tea, and maybe developing my own little stock of favourites.
If I don’t like the black tea blends available, I planned to go back to tea bags – but just one brand! – because of course I have my brand loyalty – now Tetley. But the latest news is that Tetley tea sold in India is harvested with “slave-like” labour. So maybe I will make a special effort to find loose black tea that I like, which is also fair trade organic. If not, maybe I’ll go with the UK institution “PG Tips”- a brand with a short history in Canada, but all their tea is Rainforest Alliance certified.
I know that green tea is more healthful but I just don’t like it enough to make that switch on a regular basis.
What’s your tea preference?