Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Perfect Cup of Tea

by Donna MacMeans

The high today is to reach all the way up to 18 degrees farenheit. Brrrrrr..... That high is lower than our average low for this time of year.

So I'm sitting here sipping a nice, hot cup of tea.

Now those that know me know my preferred beverage comes in a chilled aluminum can with a pull tab. I love the pop and sizzle when the can is opened, then the bubbling effervence as the carbonation fizzles on the back of the tongue before slipping down the throat in a smooth sweet surge. About the only way I drink tea is in a tall glass with
ice, a sugar substitute and a thick slice of lemon.

So why tea now? My daughter purchased a class for the both of us last Sunday at the Blue Turtle Tea & Spice Co. on how to make a perfect
cup of tea. I'd taken a similar class at a
culinary store a year or two ago. That class covered the proper preparation of tea (i.e. one should heat the tea kettle before adding hot water - never from the tap). This class concentrated on the different varieties and quality of the tea itself.

I found the class particularly informative. For example, did you know that all teas - black, green and white - all
come from the same bush, even the same
leaves? I had assumed
they came from different strains of
tea plants. Wrong. The difference lies in the amount of oxidation the tea leaves receive after picking. If the leaves are bruised and allowed to fully darken with oxidation before being
heated and dried, they produce black tea. This is also the tea with the most caffeine which is a result of the oxidation. Even with the higher caffeine content, a cup of tea made with black tea contains only 20-30 percent of the caffeine in coffee.

We brewed some Ceylon tea which is a popular type of black tea. I instantly recognized that familiar flavor from countless glasses of iced tea. At this point I'm still preferring
my can of Diet Dr. Pepper.

Next we brewed some green tea. I'm sure you've heard of all the health benefits of green tea. Green tea is made from the same leaves as black, but it's given a shorter oxidation time. It's more delicate so it takes a shorter brewing time.
We tried a green tea called Gunpowder (the name comes
from its shape - not its taste). This tea I liked. Perhaps it reminded me of the traditional Asian wedding cake made with green tea that I had several years ago. Hey - anything that reminds one of cake can't be a bad thing!

Oolong tea, a variation of green tea, is a hybrid between black and white. We brewed Pu-ergh tea that comes in little pressed conical bundles (see the picture to the right). I wasn't fond of the musty flavored tea, but to each their own.

We brewed a white tea which is the least processed of all the teas. We tried White Peony which is very light and velvety, I prefer the Gunpowder.

Amanda, the instuctor and owner of the shop, brewed a popular herbal tea, Berry-berry. Tasted like cough syrup to me, but the rest of the class seemed to enjoy it.

Finally, we made Provence, a rooibos tea(also known as red tea) that is made from the dried leaves of trees grown only in the Cedarburg district in South Africa. Finally, I found the tea I loved. Who knew? I have a number of pretty tea I might get to use them.

According to Amanda, tea has medicinal abilities that can prevent or decrease a number of ailments. Everything from a tea to help fight belly fat (bikini blend) and assist weight loss
to a tea to help cure insomnia (sandman). We even tried a flowering tea, tea that is hand-tied to flower blossoms. Very pretty.

I bought Pure Energy, a green tea to help with a needed mid-afternoon boost. We also bought a chocolate chai, a vanilla chai, and a Georgia Peach (roobios). We passed on a smoky tea called Lapsang Souchong which seriously smells like pine smoke. Immediately it had me thinking of a campfire and s'mores. My daughter picked up Cloud Forest
Rainbow (because it looked so pretty) and Blueberry Superfruit Green.

So how about you? Are you a tea or coffee drinker - and what does that say about you (grin)? Or are you, like me, partial to carbonated drinks? (I'm trying to cut back - I really am). Are you partial to pretty tea cups even if you don't care for a hot beverage? Pour yourself a cup of your favorite brew and settle in for a chat.

If you'd like to try any of the mentioned teas, or consult Amanda's expertise, the website for the Blue Turtle is Gotta love the internet!


Jane said...

I love Coke, but I have been cutting back and I don't drink a can every day. I drink both tea and coffee. I like black tea the most. My favorites are Assam, Darjeeling and Orange Pekoe. I also drink Chinese tea and my favorite is jasmine.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Jane - Hope it's warmer by you, for the GR's sake!

I aspire to one can a day (grin). Seriously, I down at least four or five daily - but I only drink diet - not the hard stuff. I know I should be drinking more water, which is one of the reasons we took the class. It does feel more adult sitting down with a cup of tea and a good book.

Next thing you know I'll be making cucumber sandwiches (grin).

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jane, way to go on the chook!

Donna, I had to smile. I just sat down to finish my page quota for the day (it's 5pm here in Oz)and guess what I had in my hot little hand? You're right! A lovely cup of milky black tea. Yum! I drink this stuff like it's going out of style especially when I'm working on a book. Actually I think it's quite good I'm addicted as it means I get up from the chair on a regular basis. If I sit there too long, my back starts to protest.

Your tea making class sounds like a lot of fun! Loved your descriptions of all the teas.

Cath's Chatter said...

Yum.....I love black coffee or when feeling special a Chai Latte. I'm partial to Lady Grey and Earl Grey tea or a nice Green tea with a citrus hit.
Much to my Grandmothers disgust I don't make my tea in a pot (she's posh English when it comes to tea)A bag in a cup is fine with me:)

Tawny said...

I drink tea by the gallons every day :-) My traditional drink is unsweetened black tea on ice, but I've been known to curl up with a nice hot cup of Pu-ergh *g* when it's chilly out and I'm feeling the need for a comfort drink.

I haven't tried any of the special blends, but love the idea of weight loss tea :-D

Sheree said...

I have a variety of drinks that I like, depending on my mood and time of year.

Coffee: pretty much espresso only but when I'm at the local Borders, I order their specialty lattes albeit with half&half. At the local coffee place, I get shots of flavored syrup in my espresso.

Soda: until the store runs out, Diet Pomegranate 7Up. Also, Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi, or Coke Zero.

Tea: I prefer Chinese teas, oolong (mostly tikuanyin) but green (gunpowder or dragonwell) and black are okay, too. There was a local tea company that came to the farmers market and I used to buy special Chinese teas from him (until the company got too big for the farmers market; now I have to buy the tea in Whole Foods). I'm not that enthused about Puer or anything that strong unless it's specifically for "old people tea" which is more of a ceremony (with lots of conversation) than just drinking tea.

Flowering tea is excellent at a restaurant; I would ask for hot water and a wine glass. It's always a head-turner.

Kim in Hawaii said...

I am addicted to DC but collect antique tea cups and saucers (I started the collection in the Netherlands when the Americans hunted for antiques in the local "Goodwill" shops - the Dutch were tossing out Granny's goodies in favor of modern stuff).

I grew up making tea for my British mother when she came home from work. But I never developed the taste for it. Even as I attended "teas" with the British Ladies at our NATO assignment, I just added a lot of milk and sugar. Now Pimms in another story ...

It was a common joke that the British Officers took tea at four pm every day at work ... so if there was a crisis, they would simply ask the enemy to join them. Because nothing couldn't get solved over a cup of Earl Grey.

Helen said...

Well done Jane have fun with him

Loved the post I drink more coffee than tea and I am a big fan of pepsi max LOL.

As for the weather here in Oz it got up to 32 celcius today and heating up by Wednesday they say it should be around 40 celcius where I live in the western suburbs of Sydney thank heavens for air conditioners LOL so at the moment I am drinking more pepsi max than anything else.

But I do go down to Barbara's a lot for a pot of tea made with black tea leaves and yes over the years we have been known to finish a couple of pots although these days Barbara has a pot that makes
4 mugs so we have 2 each if her hubby isn't at home if he is then she uses the bigger pot so the 3 of us have 2 mugs each LOL.

At home I use teabags and I do have some lovely fine bone china tea cups and I really think the tea tastes better out of them.

For me coffee or tea and pepsi max or diet coke. Stay warm Donna

Have Fun

Minna said...

I'm a tea drinker. I love flavored teas! I've even swapped stuff to get some teas they don't sell here in this small place. And I miss Twinings wild strawberry tea. I haven't seen that tea for a long time.

Anna Sugden said...

Great post, Donna!

You won't be surprised to find that I'm a tea drinker *g*. I'm very boring, though, in that my favourite is a nicely brewed cup of English Breakfast tea. We used to bring bulk packs back to the States from every trip home!

Not too strong (in fact my family tease me that I drink it too weak). A splash of milk. No lemon or sugar.

No ice (sorry, Tawny *g*).

I can't stand Earl Grey (shocking, I know!)or flavoured teas, but I do like green tea. There is an apple and pear green tea that I really love, but I always forget to make it.

I also love tea cups and saucers ... and the cake plates/stands that go with them. I don't collect them (like I need anything else to collect!) but my hubby's elder daughter does and it's such fun to scout out different ones for her. She particularly likes Royal occasions china, so we got her an antique tea cup and saucer from Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee for Christmas.

BTW did you know there is a tea-cup shape called a corset?!

Keira Soleore said...

Donna, this is such a fun post!! Tea, right after mine own heart. Thank you for the tidbit that all types of tea come from the same plant. I thought a green tea plant was different from a black tea plant. If every type of tea comes from the same plant then it's a rather versatile plant, I must say. Grow one, use in a wide variety of ways.

I confess up front, I'm not a green tea drinker.

My regular go-to tea every morning is Tetley British Blend. However, I'm game to try out different teas for the second cup. Right now, we have an Irish tea by Bewley's Gold Blend and Twinning's English Breakfast (which is not my favorite English Breakfast).

Vrai, I'm not too fond of PG Tips, finding it too mild, but I really like Typhoo. I'm another one who cannot stand Earl Grey. I know it has an "ooh la la" status, but that Bergamot oil is just too much for my tongue.

One flavored black tea I really like is Coconut from Adagio.

Ah, Lapsang Souchong. Sherlock Holmes's favorite tea. Depending upon the mood, I do like it.

Donna MacMeans said...

hi Anna - So glad I caught you with tea in hand. I'm trying to get addicted to tea. It has to be healthier than my addiction to carbonated drinks. Too much sodium. My daughter has been buying no calorie, no sodium flavored carbonated water - but I like the idea of trying all these different teas with exotic names. It'll give me something to work through.

Donna MacMeans said...

Cath -Do you know Lipton makes a green tea with citrus in a bottle? I like that - especially the convenience of no brewing (grin).

All the teas we made were loose, and several we made in a cup with a small tea strainer. The trick seemed to be how much tea to put in the strainer as some expanded so much. The store also sold biodegradeable tea bags and we used those as well. I'm all for convenience!

Christie Kelley said...

LOL, Donna. Rooibos is about the only tea I drink now. I love it and it makes an awesome iced tea. I don't even add any sweetener to it.

Donna MacMeans said...

Tawny - I've seen the commercials for a green tea that supposively promotes weight loss, but "Bikini Blend" is an oolong. It's a pretty tea with lots of flowery things in it - I'll have to send you some to try.

I'd never heard of Pu-R prior to this class. Of course, I'd never heard of tea in little conical pellets either. Most of my sampled teas were from Lipton or Twinings who would be low on the tea quality charts (all mechanized handling due to the quantity of teas produced). This has been an experience.

Gillian Layne said...

My mom gave me two new (to me) teas at Christmas; Celestial blends Blueberry and Peppermint. I'm pretty addicted now to both of them. The peppermint is a double delight because it also calms the stomach. And the blueberry tastes like pure spring.

I've never liked Earl Grey. But I've heard Lady Grey is milder, so I'll have to give it a go sometime.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Sheree -

I'm most definitely NOT a coffee drinker - can't stand the stuff unless it's coffee ice cream. My toes curl at the thought of expresso. But I've got a stack of cartons of diet carbonated drinks (my favs are Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper). I know I'll have a caffeine headache if I don't start the day with a can of Diet Coke.

I didn't know you could order a flowering tea at a restaurant, what a cool idea. They are truly beautiful. While I'd seen them advertised in magazines, I hadn't realized you could actually drink the tea. Makes me want to buy a glass teapot.

Donna MacMeans said...

Kim - Ahhh...Pimms - now that can be a whole different blog (grin). My British friend, author Rosemary Laurey, introduced me to Pimms a few years ago. Lovely drink.

There's something so civilized about a lovely decorated tea cup. I have a few though my mother always thought it was stange that to have a cup and saucer and not the whole place setting for china. Maybe I'll have to go antiquing in the Netherlands (grin). I have a book translated there. Works for me!

Donna MacMeans said...

Helen - Love the thought of you and Barb sitting down over a cup of tea. I'm not a coffee drinker - it's too strong of a taste for me - but I think I can become a tea drinker. I'm trying at least.

Wish I could import some of that heat over here (grin).
The sun is shining. It's beautiful bouncing off the snow clining to the evergreens and bushes outside my window. Looks like a light misting of snow must be blowing off the roof. The sun catchs the tiny flakes and they sparkle like fairy dust in the air. But you know it has to be frigid outside if the snow is shining and no snow is melting. Good tea drinking weather.

Donna MacMeans said...

Minna - you would love this place. You walk into this charming little shop in my sleepy little burg and one entire wall is lined with every kind of tea imaginable. (The other wall is lined with spices. My daughter went nuts!) Quite honestly, previous to this class, if the tea didn't come powdered in a jar, I didn't drink it. That limits one fairly quickly (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna - I didn't know that about a corset tea cup. Makes sense though. I imagine it's the design that is wide at the top, then as a sharp narrowing before continuing to the base. Wonder if I can find a cup with lacings (grin).

I believe I tried Earl Grey years and years ago and didn't like it. The shop owner said it was one of those teas that people either love or hate. Guess we know where we stand (grin).

I bet there's some new royal china being designed for the impending royal wedding - is there? I like the idea of collecting decorated cake plates - but it would a clumsy collection to display. I'd be too tempted to keep them filled with cake!

Donna MacMeans said...

Keira - Thank you for letting me know that I'm not the only one who didn't know that all tea came from the same bush (grin).

I didn't know Sherlock favored Lapsang Souchong. It did have a delicious smoky scent. We didn't brew that particular tea, but I'll have to give it a try.

I'll have to try Coconut as well - sounds like a candy bar (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Gillian - I just love those boxes of Celestrial Seasonings. Heck, just reading the boxes is soothing (grin). I may have to try those again. Blueberry sounds lovely. I'm not a big fan of peppermint, but maybe it would be better as a tea. You know peppermint is supposed to make your brain sharper - wakes it up so to speak. Heaven knows I can use anything that wakes up one's brain (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Christie - i know! Me - who always adds sweetener to everything - enjoyed roobios without! I'd never heard of this tea before but it's becoming a favorite now.

jo robertson said...

What a unique topic, Donna! Who knew there were so many varieties and blends of tea -- and the names are probably the most interesting part!

I don't drink coffee, never acquired the taste for it. Tea has always symbolized comfort for me. My mom used to brew a cup of it when I was sick.

Favorite drink??!! Is no one surprised?

One word -- P E P S I!!

Although, like Jane, I'm tring to limit myself to no more (and preferably less) than one a day.

Deb said...

I like a cup of hot tea. My fave is English Breakfast. My mother will not drink tea from a mug; she a cup. :)

Every spring, our church circle has a tea along with a fashion show. I haven't decorated a table for a few years, but am going to do so for the tea in May. I haven't decided whether to do a theme or not. Ideas, anyone?One year, a friend had all different teacups and saucers and it was actually a very pretty table.

P.S. My husband likes iced tea, but he says we Iowans don't make it sweet enough (he's from TX). He really makes very good iced tea.

Deb said...

Hehe, my mother likes to drink tea from a cup....

Nancy said...

Jane, congrats on the bird!

Donna, what a fun class! I tried white tea recently and liked it. This particular sort was also lower in caffeine than a lot of black teas are.

Republic of Tea has a green tea with orange spice flavoring that's low in caffeine and so is safer for me at night. I tend to drink hot tea daily in the winter, usually a black tea or but sometimes green tea. There's a spice tea I like, Comfort & Joy, that's available only around the Christmas season.

Having been raised in the South, I'm very fond of iced tea in the summer, though no one else in the family drinks it. I seldom make a pitcher just for me.

catslady said...

I'm a freshy ground, black coffee drinker mostly. When sick we always got tea as children and for the longest time I couldn't drink it at all. Now I do have it sometimes (especially when sick or eating chinese lol). I have heard how good green tea is and am trying to drink more of it.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

So how about you? Are you a tea or coffee drinker - and what does that say about you (grin)?
I prefer coffee but I only drink one cup in the morning, of course that one cup is strong enough to come to me when I whistle.

Or are you, like me, partial to carbonated drinks? (I'm trying to cut back - I really am).
I was a Coke drinker but switched to water over a year ago. Hasn't really seemed to help weight wise but I am at the point now I get messed up sleep wise if i deal with caffiene.

Are you partial to pretty tea cups even if you don't care for a hot beverage?
I love pretty cups and glasses, I don't have very many now because of storage restraints but I love looking at them.

BJ said...

How fun a Tea class....
Well I drink coffee and tea but my tea is in little packs that sit in hot water and's done...LOL
I don't drink Soda haven't had one in 3years....Yes I miss my Diet Dr. Pepper but since my Meds make everything with Carbonation taste gross I'll remember it how it was...Gosh darn migraines!!!!
Such is life...LOL

Donna MacMeans said...

Jo - We're like those superbowl commercials. You'd be chanting Pepsi and i'd be chanting Coke. I'm not fond of Diet Pepsi, but I'll drink it in a pinch. i much prefer Diet Coke. But I envy you the one can a day. I drink much more than that - LOL. So what do you drink the rest of the time? Water??? Granted - it's good for you but...

Donna MacMeans said...

Jo - We're like those superbowl commercials. You'd be chanting Pepsi and i'd be chanting Coke. I'm not fond of Diet Pepsi, but I'll drink it in a pinch. i much prefer Diet Coke. But I envy you the one can a day. I drink much more than that - LOL. So what do you drink the rest of the time? Water??? Granted - it's good for you but...

Donna MacMeans said...

Deb - Oh a theme for a tea party! What fun.
Let's see - you can do a Mad Hatter's theme and have everyone wear crazy hats. That works with different mismatched place settings.
A Day at the Races - Everyone has to wear a wide brimmed hat. You must have Pimms on the table, of course.
A Garden Party - Everyone must wear flowers on a hat or in their hair...(why do hats go so naturally with tea?)
Give Peace a Chance party - Everyone dresses in clothes of the 60s, lots of peace symbols and earth friendly tea
or wait's the best idea...
A novel tea - Everyone brings their favorite book and a book to swap. I have a teapot that I love, but would never use. It 's covered with pictures of books and classic titles. The lid has a stack of books to use to lift the lid. There's a place online you can order teabags that have literary sayings on the bag holders.
Whatever idea you use, sounds like a great time.

Donna MacMeans said...

Nancy - White tea tastes like tepid water to me. I need something with more flavor. As the caffeine develops as a result of oxidation, the less processing done to the tea, the lower the caffeine. Green teas are less than black and white is less than Green.

Do you know how to decaffeinate a tea and still retain the flavor? Here's what I learned. Caffeine is water soluable. Within the first 30 seconds, all the caffeine comes out of the tea and into the liquid. So dump the liquid and steep the tea a second time. You still get the flavor but you lose the caffeine. Sweet dreams!

Anna Campbell said...

Keira, had to laugh. Lapsang Souchong always tastes like overcooked hamburgers to me! There's an Amanda Quick where the hero drinks it and so I decided to try it. Bleuch! Didn't know it was Sherlock's fave.

I just don't get cold tea. I wasn't brought up with it and it just doesn't appeal. I remember those conferences in Dallas and Atlanta where there was cold tea on the tables! Now that was a culture shock.

Anna Campbell said...

Anna, clearly we're going to be drinking lots of tea when you visit! And that's just how I like mine (although perhaps with a bit more milk). I'm not an Earl Gray fan either - another bleuch moment! Flavored teas generally don't do it for me - I like the classics!

Donna MacMeans said...

Catslady - It must be a shock to go from the full bodied coffee to green tea! I think that would taste much like drinking hot water (which is what white tea tastes to me).

However there are lots of health benefits to drinking green tea. Per Amanda, there's only 5 - 10% of the caffeine of coffee in a cup of green tea. It's antioxidants boost the immune system. It's high in fluoride, aids in detoxifying the body and has high levels of polypenols for cancer prevention. Makes for a powerful argument to have a cup or two.

Donna MacMeans said...

Dianna - Crap! I was hoping that you'd say that switching to water made the pounds melt away. I'd been counting on that benefit as I cut back on my Diet Dr. Pepper intake. I think the weight benefits come if one stops drinking the full-test soda rather than the diet brands. I'm strictly diet soda. The full-test ones are too sweet for me.

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna C. - I love, love, love iced tea. It's a staple for me in the summer. However, "sweet tea" that you find in the south is too sweet for me - and I must have lemon in my iced tea. Don't need it for the hot version.

I told Cassondra once that I judge the quality of a restaurant by the size and thickness of its lemon slices when one orders ice tea. Some places slice them so thin - they're translucent. Even worse are the ones that give you lemon juice in a packet. i don't go back...or if I do, I certainly don't order iced tea.

I'm going to have start connecting my heros to different tea flavors. The exploration would be fun.

Donna MacMeans said...

BJ - Hugs on your inability to drink Diet Dr. Pepper. I'm addicted to the stuff. I can't drink it, though, when we have Chinese as it makes the taste of the drink gross as well. I do appreciate the "little packs" concept. I think the preparation is what kept me from drinking tea earlier. When I want something to drink - i want it now - not after I have to boil water and wait for it to seep. I'm all about the convenience. LOL

Louisa Cornell said...

Jane! You got the GR AGAIN? People will start to talk!

Ah, Donna! Tea, a subject near and dear to my heart.

I never drink coffee, a fact that my late deeply Southern maternal grandmother never got over. The years when most children in the South learn to drink coffee my brothers and I were in England and the three of us are still devoted tea drinkers.

I've had three cups so far today! And as much as I hate to cross the anti Earl Gray ladies, it IS my tea of choice! I drink other teas, but my daily tea intake consists mostly of Earl Gray. I just love it! I keep a pot of it brewing all day on my days off.

Because they know I am such a tea addict my brother and his wife always buy me tea for Christmas. They have found some really great unique teas that I might not have tried otherwise. This year a strawberry flavored tea and a lemon flavored tea were their choices and both are delicious.

I do have tea bags of my favorite teas for emergencies and to take to work. But for the most part I brew tea leaves in the more traditional way.

My Mom collects tea pots and has since we lived in England. She has some really lovely ones and some really strange ones too. She has one in the shape of Eeyore, her favorite character from Winnie the Pooh.

I collect English bone china tea cups. I started when I achieved my first writing contest final and I have a different tea cup for each of my contest finals (and I don't think it is odd at all to have just one cup and saucer from a set!)

I've been to the Netherlands, darn it. Wish I had known about those antique tea cups!

EilisFlynn said...

Perfect timing, this topic, because we had an afternoon tea, the time with clotted cream, yesterday! The teas were scrumptious (the food so-so, but the food's not the point), and I even learned a few things about pearl of jasmine tea (they used too much in the pot, apparently). I loves my coffee, loves my tea, but the ceremony of tea, both East and West, makes it art, in my opinion.

Donna MacMeans said...

Louisa -

You would think you'd died and gone to heaven if you were to step into this little shop. Their teas are so unique and wonderful. Someday, dear Louisa, you will have to get up this way.

I absolutely love the idea of collecting cups and saucers for contest wins! I wish I had thought of that. I like tying a purchase to an event for memory sake. A friend of mine says she buys a piece of jewelry everytime she sells a book - but I'm not a big one for jewelry (much to my husband's delight). I like the idea of buying a cup and saucer better.

Perhaps we'll both have to book that flight to the Netherlands - I have a contact there...

Donna MacMeans said...

Eilis - That sounds so refined (grin). Must admit, I do enjoy the food that accompanies a tea. Something about the hot brew just enhances the delicate munchies that accompany it. We didn't try Pearl of Jasmine, but it sounds lovely and exotic. The shop owner at this class emphasized the brewing times and warned us not to use boiling water with some of the more delicate teas. About the only mention of too much tea came in the form of ... tea leaves will expand so be careful not to fill the little strainers with too much tea so the water won't be able to filter through.

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, what a cool way to celebrate your contest successes. And hopefully soon publication landmarks! In Australia, we call a tea set with different patterns a crazy tea set. Do you call it that in the States? Apparently there was quite a fashion for them in the 1940s here. My mum had one.

Lisa Cooke said...

Hi Donna--I've never liked tea or coffee which I think means I may be from another planet (going to check my birth certificate one more time) Anyway, when I'm cold, it's hot chocoalte for me. I just wish it didn't have so many calories...ugh.

Danielle Gorman said...

I love coke and iced tea. I do like to drink coffee when it's cold out. I also like to drink passion fruit hot tea. So good.

Cath's Chatter said...

DONNA WROTE:Cath -Do you know Lipton makes a green tea with citrus in a bottle? I like that - especially the convenience of no brewing (grin).

Oh yeah I know, and it GORGEOUS, but sadly full of sugar and other stuff you'd be better off without lol

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Donna MacMeans said...
Dianna - Crap! I was hoping that you'd say that switching to water made the pounds melt away. I'd been counting on that benefit as I cut back on my Diet Dr. Pepper intake.

In defense of the water....that is all I did, no more exercise than usual, no other good eating habits to go with it so no benefits other than I can sleep better doing without caffiene. You are way more active than I am so the water should really have an effect on you.

jo robertson said...

Donna said, "So what do you drink the rest of the time? Water??? Granted - it's good for you but..."

Oh, dear, sweet Donna, so innocent. Remember, I'm a Pepsiholic. The operative word here is TRY. My new mantra is one 12-oz Pepsi a day, but remember mine is fully loaded, no diet, no non-caffeine.

I drink water (a lot) or Crystal Light which I enjoy with my meals. I love, love, love milk, but drink 1% so I limit that too and pop calcium tabs with vit D as a supplement.

Pissenlit said...

TEA!!!(and coffee!...and Coke!)

I mainline Red Rose Tea's orange pekoe(the US blend differs greatly from our Cnd one, much to my dismay one trip South of the border) with either 2% or whole milk and sometimes with sugar. I love tea but I'm fairly picky. On occasion, I'll drink Earl Grey(black, no sugar) but only Twinings or the loose leaf from Orange Alert(organic, fair trade coffee place). Several years ago, I enjoyed a cup of Lyons' Earl Grey at someone's house and it was only afterward that I realised it must've been a reeeeeeally old teabag. Ha! I find Lipton's blend really really gross. I also have an aversion to herbal teas.

As for Chinese teas(had to do some googling for usual spellings), I grew up on Pu-erh which is the default tea at most dim sum places around here if you don't ask for anything different. I like it a lot but I prefer Tie Guanyin which is an oolong. I don't mind Sau Mei which is a white tea.

I do love pretty tea cups and saucers but I tend to use a large tall(keeps the heat better) mug for its capacity.

Donna MacMeans said...

LIsa - Well - you're well acquainted with my diet pop obsession, I generally travel with a case in my car. LOL.
You can afford those calories from hot chocolate, but sadly - I cannot. You really should try some of these teas. They're not at all the flavor that I associate with tea. These are much better - and healthier.

Donna MacMeans said...

Danielle - Passionfruit hot tea? Yum. I think I've had an iced tea version of that. I do enjoy the flavored ice teas. Never really considered that for hot tea. I'll have to try it (though that berry-berry concoction that they made at the shop sort of turned me away from that sort of thing.)

Donna MacMeans said...

Cath - Oh don't tell me that! I thought I was doing the healthy thing drinking those pretty little bottles. Should have known. There's not much truly healthy that comes pre-packaged, you know? Except water, I guess.

Donna MacMeans said...

Jo - LOL must have missed the "try". I'm a fan of milk as well. The waitresses look at me like an idiot when I order a glass of milk for breakfast. I guess they're just waiting for my cereal order LOL.

Patricia Sargeant said...

Hi, Donna!

I'm definitely going to check out the Blue Turtle Tea & Spice Co. I love tea. Thanks for the great post!



Donna MacMeans said...

Dianna -

I think the effect water will have on me is even more rushed trips to the bathroom (grin). I have to be pretty active in the evenings as the rest of the day I'm on my butt in front of the computer. Some days I can actually feel my butt spreading (grin).

I was on a good track to take off the Holiday poundage, but we're celebrating my daughter's birthday today. We're going to a really nice restaurant (calories, calories) and having an extreme chocolate ice cream cake for dessert. Guess I better start brewing that Bikini Blend tea right now!

Donna MacMeans said...

Pissenlit - i never really considered that tea could get old, but after that class we came home and tossed all our old teabags. I had loose leaf tea from when I went to London some 25 years ago LOL. (I did keep the tin, though. It was just too pretty to toss).

So we're starting fresh with good quality teas. LOL, Who knows, if I drink enough of this stuff - maybe I'll develop an English accent (or more likely a S. African accent as I really like the roobios).

Donna MacMeans said...

Patricia -

Hey! If you're in Westerville, you better give me a call! You'll have to tell me what kind of tea you like. I'll shop for you and bring it to you at our next shared booksigning. Thanks for stopping by!

Sheree said...

Donna, I'd bring my own flowering tea to a restaurant and ask for hot water and a wine glass. Rarely do restaurants stock specialty teas like that. The resulting tea is rather mild, even for a green tea.

Sheree said...

Also, I never add sweetener or milk to tea, hot or cold. I like it straight. But I also don't drink Lipton and such, especially in teabags. Blech!

Donna MacMeans said...

Sheree - That makes sense. I bet the other patrons were impressed. I wonder if they asked the servers for "that tea that woman has - the one with the flower".

The shop owner said that milk would curdle in green tea - so it's good you don't add any to that (grin). I tend to add milk and sugar to black tea, so any health benefits are pretty much negated by those additions. But the green tea and roobios I can drink straight.

Laurie Faelan said...

I love tea. When my daughter was growing up, I had very few over the counter medicines in my home. We brewed tea for just about every ailment from a sore throat and stuffed up nose to a stomach ache. Tummy Mint, Sleepy Time, Tension Tamer, etc., were always in stock here.

My favorite tea to drink is Assam, a black tea. I love it hot or iced depending on my mood.

For 48 years I never drank coffee (with the exception of the occasional frozen mocha latte) but now I have one cup every morning with unsweetened baking cocoa, sugar-free vanilla creamer, and a touch of whipped cream. Yum!

I also love soda and allow myself one a day. I found a diet white birch beer sweetened with Splenda. I can't wait to find one sweetened with Stevia - much more healthy.

Great post today! It was interesting to read about the different teas.

Donna MacMeans said...

Laurie - You sound like the owner of the shop. I swear she said she could cure virtually every ailment with tea. Your morning concoction sounds yummy - makes getting up in the morning worth the effort (grin). I applaud your one can of soda a day. That's my goal, but it's a way off yet.