Sunday, August 29, 2010

Life-giving brew

English Breakfast tea
[Some boxes of English Breakfast tea that my father-in-law recently brought back from India.]

If you know me well at all, you'll know I'm addicted to black teas. This habit started when I lived in Scotland six years ago and my best friend there was constantly inviting me to her room for "a nice cup of tea." Twinings' English Breakfast is what she always favored, the water prepared in an electric hot pot and then poured into little tea mugs, given a brief steeping and served, piping hot, with a dash of milk. English Breakfast is still my favorite, but I'll occasionally branch out into other flavored black teas for a little something different. A few recent discoveries have been:

  • Lipton Vanilla Caramel Truffle tea -- a friend of my husband's said this is the most coffee-like tea he's ever tasted. To me, it's almost sweet. I like it as a treat and it's quite unlike any tea I've tasted before.

  • Simpson & Vail Decaffeinated Almond Black tea -- my husband picked this out when I placed an order recently, and I secretly thought it sounded ho-hum. But out of everything we ordered, it was the first to be finished off! It has a delicious almond flavor that is not "fake" as almond flavorings can often be. It reminds me of a homemade almond kiss cookie.

  • Simpson & Vail Victorian Earl Grey tea -- I believe this is my favorite Earl Gray. The bergamot and other flavorings are not too overpowering; only just right. Delicious!

    What teas are your favorites?

    1. Dear me. You don't want to get me started, Laura. =) I'll restrain myself by mentioning only two, but then you only asked for favorites, so...

      A favorite black tea is Good Earth tea which is also available caffine free and my favorite herbal tea is Comforting Tea from Aveda. I'll send you a bag of each if you send me your home address. =)

    2. Oh, what a perfect post! Tea is unlike any other beverage. I have grown to prefer it over coffee -- unless it's a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.

      I really love S&V's teas. Have you tried their Creamy Earl Grey? I will send you some. We have a pound of it and will never be able to drink it all. I'm also in love with a few from Harney & Sons, including their Irish Breakfast and Friesen Blend.

      My favorite? Hmm...a special green tea that I share with my father: Harney & Sons Yin Hao Jasmine. We also will swirl a caramel macchiato into a pot of it -- the floral flavor melds into the sweet and dark notes from the caramel and espresso.

    3. An exquisite post! I love the box of tea in the picture, what a treasure.

      I am excited to look for the teas you listed. I too love tea, it started when I was little and I have never outgrown it!

      The best cup of tea is in a Catherine the Great tea cup :) My favorite tea first is Republic of Tea Ginger Peach. Its still a black tea, but has a delicious aroma of ginger and peach in it. This is such an expensive one that it only comes to maybe once a year :) But Earl Grey would be my second favorite with the English Breakfast falling after that. How exciting that you lived in Scotland for awhile! I would love to hear more about! :)

      I am so happy you have returned to blogging. Your blog is so peacefull and cozy. And your little one is precious! I can't believe how big he is now!

      God bless,


    4. I like my tea very milky - the only tea I like black is green tea.

      Twinings English Breakfast is lovely - my Mum always has that brand. We tend to get Yorkshire Tea which is good too.

      I like Earl Grey and Lady Grey, but aside from that I can't really stomach any other sort of tea except green tea. I've tried fruit teas numerous times because they smell so nice, but they always make me feel naseous when I actually drink them!

      Whereabouts in Scotland did you live?

    5. What a beautiful box of tea!

      My favorite is Twinings English Breakfast and sometimes I will get a box of Irish Breakfast. I love tea! A bit of milk and some honey and a book. . .ymm. Tea is also a comforting companion while blog-reading. :)

      David likes Earl Gray so we always have that in the house too. One of my other favorites is peppermint tea, otherwise I stick to the above mentioned!

    6. My Old Standby is Twinings Earl Grey (I'm sipping some now, during naptime!). It must be genetic--my mother was an earl grey girl, too. I also love English Breakfast. My favorite treat tea--I have to make a pot, as it is loose!--is cream earl grey. Cream earl grey is so heavenly, my all-time favorite. Perfect for cozying up with a book or doing a bit of knitting or sewing.

      I have been wanting to try Yorkshire Gold tea for a while now. It came highly recommended but I haven't had the chance to order any!

      The teas you list look wonderful!

    7. Anything from Teavana. Hubby got me a cast iron tea pot from them along with some tea's for my birthday this year. BEST tea I've ever had - works well iced too.

    8. Mmmmm, tea. The best drink in the world. It is glorious to hear so many people giving it the praise it deserves!

      My favourite is Darjeeling, light and smoky, drunk black. It just doesn't taste the same with milk.

      When I'm feeling like a caffeine-free drink, I have chamomile tea. It makes me think of Lark Rise, where the women would 'drink it by the gallon'!

      My everyday tea is Yorkshire Tea - preferably Yorkshire Gold, but since the prices have rocketed I've switched to plain Yorkshire Tea because its easier on my purse. I also like the ethical principles of Taylors of Harrogate, who make Yorkshire Tea.

      How deliciously old-fashioned that is - to be affected by the rise in the price of tea. Has anyone else noticed this, or is it confined to Yorkshire Gold?


    9. I guess everyone likes Twinings English Breakfast - and I'll add my name to the list. I also really like the Irish Breakfast - it's nice and strong, so I like to save it for a treat on rough days; when it's a snowstorm, or a damp & nasty November day, or when I just NEED a strong cup! It's my treat. I also recently discovered peach-favored black tea, and I've had two different brands - Stash and another - they were both nice. I haven't had Assam in many years - that's another strong one. I will agree with Elizabeth's mention of the Republic of Tea - their stuff is great, and such unusual flavors! But not cheap. And, like Rachel, I drink green tea without milk - I always associate it with Chinese restaurants, and they serve it plain.

      I also like Lipton iced tea mix, with sugar and lemon, when it's 90 degrees out!

    10. My favorite black tea - Earl Grey. It is just perfect for when I need a boost in the morning. But the tea that I drink a great deal is the Kombucha tea by Yogi. This has become my favorite.

      India is well known for their Darjeeling tea and it is absolutely delicious with a chocolate truffle :)

      Great post!


    11. Thank you, everyone, for the tea suggestions! I am excited to find and try some of the ones you mentioned!

      Rachel, I like my black tea milky, too, although I drink my green tea plain or with just a bit of honey. Just to clarify I am talking of the tea leaves when I say "black," not meaning "milk free." Do you call it something else in England?

      I lived in Aberdeen in 2003-2004 while attending university there. :-)

    12. Ah, that's interesting - yes I meant black to mean "milk-free", but actually it can mean black as opposed to green or other forms of tea over here too! I suppose black tea is the most common over here, so people tend to just say "tea" unless it's another variety and only then do we differentiate and specify "fruit" or "herbal" or "green" :-)

    13. I like yogi and tazo teabag teas, but my all time favorite (not counting the pounds of our favorite bulk teas we go thru) Is Celestial Seasonings 'Morning Thunder', and Twinnings Earl Grey...
      In wintertime, i also like 'Good Earth' But no matter what kind- i eat lots of cream and honey... :)