Friday, December 23, 2011

Special Teas and Tips


This photo doesn't have that much to do with this post
I am a little bit of a tea freak. Purists swear by loose-leaf tea but more often than not I use tea bags. I have a huge selection of teas at home, in my office and keep a few bags in my purse at all times. I'll even violate my “don’t eat anything offered by an airline” rule for hot water for  tea hough the nasty Styrofoam cup ruins my tea experience. A great article in Slate  “how to make a decent cup of tea”, posted on Facebook by acupuncturist extraordinaire Jill Blakeway, made me think more about the details of my tea preparation.
It suggested:
  • Tea is best in cylindrical cups rather than short, wide-mouthed options.
  • The article also discusses a topic debated by John Lennon and Yoko and sides with tea bag first then water.

Some of my tea tips:
  • Toss tea after six months, not to worry you're not the only one with tea older than your children, as the flavor and antioxidant level decreases significantly
  • Fresh brewed is always best, there are 20 times more antioxidants in brewed versus bottled teas (applies more to iced tea).
  • Preparation is different for different teas. Green teas and white teas need only a couple of minutes, ½ the steeping time of black and herbal teas.

Some of my current favorite teas (click on images for links) are:

Green and oolong tea have mild metabolic boosting effects, white tea is great for immunity and rooibos tea is beneficial for certain skin conditions including eczema. After dinner, a delicious cup of tea and a good book is the perfect ending to the day.
Are you a tea freak? What are your current favorites? Tea or water in the cup first? 

26 comments:

  1. Ooh -- I'm a little obsessed with pukka teas -- they have a three fennel that's delightful too, and a chai. Yerba Mate is always a good choice, too. I drink like 15 cups of tea a day, I feel so off balance if I don't! I usually put tea and milk in the cup first, then hot water.

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  2. Lauren, love pukka too interesting flavors. I think I am around 10 cups, 15- wow. I didn't get to mix-ins I'm not a milk in tea person except with black teas.

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  3. Definitely tea first! I rarely drink it, but when I do it's the tea first, and it's after dinner while I'm am relaxing. I love a good black tea.

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  4. I love hot black tea. Being English I don't get ice tea, that's just wrong. I took a American friend to an English pub once (in England) and she wanted iced tea, I said they wont have it but she asked for me to check. The guy looked at me like I was stupid and then said he could brew some hot tea and put ice in it?

    I struggle to drink just green tea on it's own so I mix a black and green tea bag together. I assume I am getting some of the good stuff from the green tea mixed in there somewhere.

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  5. Gina- black tea doesn't keep you up? Didn't know you were English Bzybee, yes tea mixing is fine. Maybe people need to add another flavor to green.

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  6. This post totally made me want to get into tea. I do love it...but I have a hard time motivating myself to make it or buy it over making or buying (my lover) coffee. I bought some of that Harney and Sons once and it was DIVINE!

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  7. Not to worry Cameo, I'm an equal opportunity coffee/tea drinker though it's 1 coffee to 10 teas. Nobody said skip the coffee, let's be clear. Love Harney Teas and the tins too.

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  8. I was more of a coffee drinker for a long time, but I'm getting more into teas lately. Thanks for the tips! Merry Christmas!

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  9. Mmmm...I love green tea. Unflavored, unsweetened green tea. I love the raw flavor and the astringent quality. I drink way too much of it, usually a half gallon a day.

    Funny tea story. My 9 and 11 year old cousins were in Dallas for a few days, so I took them shopping at the swanky mall to buy them extravagant gifts. The 9 year old loved every second of it, and she left with several cute outfits. The 11 year old is a little more cerebral and just wanted to get to the museum. And then she saw Teavana, a tea store that has a huge selection. She was in love. The 11 year old left Dallas with 2 tea pots, a few cups and like 5 types of teas. She's become obsessed. I got her a huge tea sampler for Christmas.

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  10. Love tea... I just wish I loved it more than coffee. And wow to the 15 cups of tea-a-day drinker!!

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  11. I mix teas too. One green tea bag, one Yerba Mate chi spice. Yum! Im a tea bag first, then hot water kind of girl. Good to know they dont last after 6 months. I carry tea bags in my purse too so when Im out and about Im never without.

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  12. Marie- I want to be your cousin, I want to be spoiled with tea and pots, you can keep the outfits. Lisa don't get me wrong my nespresso is right next to utilitea. Amy- would've never thought you were a tea freak, another thing to love about you.

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  13. I'm such a tea Granny. I've never really like coffee, but I drink tea several times a day. My favourite teas are mint (from my SIL's garden), rooibos and green. While I really like the flavour of loose-leaf tea, tea bags are much easier and require less clean-up, so that's usually what i go for.

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  14. I'm half-Indian so of course I love tea! My favorite is a black tea I found in Paris and I haven't found anything that compares. I also like the Kusmi Green Tea. Their brand is fantastic!

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  15. Tea first, water second. When in England, I will drink it with milk. I don't do that at home. My tea of choice is an imported tea from Ireland called Punjana. I get it from teadog.com. I like tea that can stand up and walk away from me, so (hold on to your hat) I leave the tea bag IN IT all the way to the bottom of the cup! I limit myself to one 16-ounce cup a day. I put two tablespoons of sugar in it. That's my sugar drink! My grocery store brand tea line has an herbal tea called Dream Easy. I don't usually like herbal tea, but this is good. I drink it without sugar and I take out the tea bag. I go through far more Punjana than Dream Easy.

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  16. have to check out teadog, lots of tea drinkers here.

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  17. I am such a tea freak. I've been really into gunpowder green tea pearls recently. I never really thought about it, but I always put the tea in first and add the water.

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  18. I love tea and i also always have about 15 different kinds on hand at any given time. I like both loose and bagged kinds, and when I use loose tea I make it with a disposable tea filter rather than a "tea ball" since I find those messy. Have you been to David's tea on the upper east side? I think there's also one in the village. Fantastic. I'll be ordering online from there since it's not that convenient...

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  19. How have I not seen/tried any of your faves?! ahhh must fix that super soon!!!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend Lauren! Happy Holidays! I'll be back to catch up on more of your bloggy after I get back from visiting fam! count on it! <3 MWAH~!!!!!

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  20. One of my favorite topics! Remember my tea drawer? :-) Current faves are Mighty Leaf Green Jasmine tea, and always love Tuli Holy Basil tea for an afternoon pick me up sans caffeine. Never thought about it before, but water first, then tea.

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  21. Good suggestions, Lauren.I hope you have a great holiday with your loved ones.

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  22. I love ginger tea and the spicier, the better! It's so good after a meal and is supposed to help with digestion. I'm not very good and drinking my water and herbal tea is my best way to stay hydrated.

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  23. I'm not really a tea person but a slew of tea shops have owned in my neighborhood over the lady year ( including Kusmi). I recently went to David's teas on 66 th street and loved their selection!

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  24. Oops. I hate iPhone's autocorrect! That was "last year".., not "lady year"!

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  25. I am trying to get more into tea, so this was a great post for me.
    I love rooibos, but definitely need to venture out. Thanks for the suggestions.

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  26. I pour a little hot water in a teapot to heat the pot, discard then add the teabags first then the boiled water. Cover the teapot with a tea cosy and let tea steep for 5 minutes... Karen

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