Hi tea and coffee lovers! At least I hope you are.

This is my blog on teas and coffees. Both are part of my life. I know some people are tea-lovers and others coffee-lovers but I just enjoy both, each in their place. It's kind of like cats and dogs, some people love cats and others love dogs, and some of us just love both and enjoy their differences. That's part of what makes the world great! (Now, of course, if we could just enjoy the diversity of people like that too ... )

I read a saying "Better to go three days without food than one day without tea." Couldn't agree more! Tea is what makes life enjoyable, bearable even. In fact, it's the first thing I need in the morning - don't speak to me until I have my cup of tea (or at least the water boiling to make it)! But usually I move on to coffee for "elevenses" (did I say I'm a Brit) and then back to tea for "afternoon tea" which officially should be around 4 o'clock, but I'm not that fussy. And then if I'm eating at home (which in these tough economic times is definitely the norm) we drink iced "mugicha" (roasted barley tea). Or if we're eating Chinese style food, we drink oolong tea. But if I eat out, or with guests, I'll have a cup of coffee with, or more often instead of, dessert.

So, let's start with teas. A nice "cuppa" is what I need to relax, revive, and just breathe. I'm happy to drink regular Liptons black tea with milk any time of the day. I love different types of tea too. But the other types I only drink 1 cup in a day, more than that just doesn't work for me. I love a cup of green tea around lunch time, seems to help with the digestion. I'll go for a good fruity (peach, blackberry, orange, lemon, whatever) flavored tea when I need something different. Of course the "lemon zinger" types are great with honey when I have a cold. And then there's ginseng tea which is just a great overall pick-me-up, love it as is or with a touch of honey. And then there's other types of black tea too, Lapsang souchong for a smoky experience, Earl Grey for that amazing "perfumed" taste, wonderful chais with spices, it's really quite endless. And let's not forget all the iced tea possibilities! So, hopefully blogs on all these different types will follow as I feel inspired.

And then there's coffee. My husband and I joke that this is our "essential thing" for getting anything done. We drink it with Half-and-half, a small luxury but I can't stand filling the mug with 2% milk or even whole milk and having the coffee go cold by the time it's changed to the color I like. I love the creamy taste of the half-and-half to balance the strong coffee taste. We buy whole bean coffee and grind it, usually not the expensive stuff but just grinding it and brewing it makes it seem more special. We also add some flavored beans, usually hazelnut but vanilla is good too, to the regular beans to get a hint of flavor without being overpowered by it. Mm, think I need to go brew some coffee now!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Yawn is a Silent Scream for Coffee

"A Yawn is a Silent Scream for Coffee" - I don't know who coined this phrase but I saw it written on the board outside one of my local coffee shops. It resonated!

It made me think of those meetings I attended where someone would yawn, and then of course more of us would yawn. These were long meetings and no coffee provided so we had to excuse ourselves and head quickly for the cafeteria and grab a cup of coffee. I used to meet one of the other participants frequently at that coffee machine in the middle of the long meetings!

Nowadays it's my husband who agrees on this "essential thing" in life. In fact, one of us can often be heard announcing "danger, essential thing is running out!" when the half and half gets dangerously low. Of course the actual coffee doesn't run out. I keep a jar of instant coffee in the cabinet to use if or when the real coffee runs out, or that tragic day when the coffee machine breaks down. Audible, highly audible, screams will be heard at that time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Another new favorite - Czar Nicholas II St Valentine Tea

I was just introduced to this tea by my daughter. And it's delightful!
It's a Russian tea so I fully expected it to be a good strong black tea. And I wasn't disappointed. But the great thing is the delicate floral flavoring. This tea is blended with rose petals and safflower. I don't really know what safflower tastes like on its own, but I assume it's what gives this tea it's unique flavor. Rose petals I know, and they are definitely present too. After all, what would a tea dedicated to St Valentine be without roses!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hojicha - Roasted Green Tea

I usually drink green tea at lunchtime, but this week I ran out. Out of such tragedies comes new understanding though, and I found this amazing roasted green tea all the way in the back of the shelf. No idea when/where we got it, but it's amazing!

 In Japanese it's called "Hojicha" and it doesn't look green at all, because the leaves are roasted at a high temperature. This makes the leaves turn a gorgeous reddish brown. And the taste, well you just have to try it to find out! I can only say it tastes like it was roasted, not exactly burned, but sort of like how coffee beans are roasted to impart that wonderful strong flavor. Not smoky like Lapsang souchong, just a roasted flavor.

The great thing about this roasted tea is that it's so smooth, no bitterness or nasty aftertaste. At least the Hojichi roasted tea made my Yamamotoyama is like that, can't vouch for other brands. It's my new favorite lunchtime tea!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lady Grey Tea - my new favorite!

I just had a delicious cup of Lady Grey tea, and it's now my new favorite special tea! My friend came over and brought a variety box of tea bags that included Lady Grey. Now, of course, loose leaf tea is better, but for trying out a new flavor of tea a tea bag is perfect!

She agreed with me that Lady Grey would be delightful for our afternoon together, and we really enjoyed it. Like Earl Grey tea it has that special flavor of bergamot, a strange citrus fruit that tastes like perfume, but more subtle, lighter, less imposing.

It made me think of how an Earl can be very strong, masculine, and dominating while his wife can be of equally high quality but gentler. Earl Grey and Lady Grey teas are kind of like that. (Of course, sometimes it's the lady that's more imposing, but that's another story!)

Anyway, I highly recommend Lady Grey tea. And I'm certainly going to buy my own stash next time I go shopping!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Drinking tea with friends

Sometimes it's not so much the tea that makes the world a better place, it's the people we chat with while drinking the tea.

Tea drunk alone is wonderful, but tea's most amazing property is that the very act of drinking tea creates a harmonious social occasion.

Here are some words from the "Book of Etiquette" that paint that picture:
There is something undeniably heartwarming and conversation-making in a cup of steaming hot tea .... It is an ideal prescription for banishing loneliness. Perhaps it is not so much the tea itself, as the circle of happy friends eager for a pleasant chat.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Even Harry Potter drinks tea!

In the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, things aren't going too well for Harry, Hermione, and Ron - especially Ron who's been wounded. To ease the situation, Hermione decides on the remedy that everyone in Britain turns to in times of trouble, saying the magic words:
I’ll make some tea,” said Hermione breathlessly, pulling kettle and mugs from the depths of her bag and heading toward the kitchen. Harry found the hot drink ... seemed to burn away a little of the fear fluttering in his chest. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

The power of tea!

Here's an inspiring quote about tea:

It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs. We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so. It dictates to us our emotions, our passions ...
After a cup of tea (two spoonfuls for each cup, and don't let it stand for more than three minutes), it says to the brain, "Now rise, and show your strength. Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature, and into life: spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming stars to the gates of eternity!" Jerome K. Jerome Three Men in a Boat

So I'm off to have a cup of tea - hope it has such a wonderful effect on me!