Tea Overview

I am not a coffee drinker.  However, tea is my passion.  I enjoy trying new teas, and find the whole tea experience very soothing.  Of all the teas I have tried, below are some of my favorites.

Rooibos (Red Tea) - Rooibos has been my favorite tea since I discovered it about two years ago.  I'm not really a fan of herbal teas.  Other than an occasional Chammomile with cloves added to it, rooibos is the only herbal tea I drink.  It has a sligthly 'grassy' flavor, and the best caffeine free substitute for black tea I have found.  I love to drink it with milk.  Rooibos is high in anti oxidants, low in the tannins found in regular tea (even green), and may help with digestion.  I have yet to meet a rooibos tea that I didn't like, but I especialy like the selection of rooibos teas from Adagio Teas (check out the almond and vanilla ones - which are great when mixed together). And if you're in Canada (or an online shopper) check out the Rooibos de Provence from Davd's Tea, which combines rooibos, rosehip, black currants, rose leaves, lavender, raisins, red currants, rose petals and dried blueberries.  Rooibos de Provence makes a perfumey tea that tastes like a blend of earthy forest berries.

White Tea - White tea is made from young tea buds and leaves that have been left relatively unprocessed.  Though white tea has the same amount of caffeine as green and black teas, it is higher in antioxidants (which are more concentrated in the younger plants.  White tea brews to a very light color and delicate perfumey flavor.  My favorite white teas come from Adagio TeasI recommend the white blueberry and the snowbud. 

Green Tea - Green tea is processed in such a way that it is not allowed to oxidize, and hence its green color is preserved.  Green tea is high in antioxidants, and may decrease your chances of heart disease and certain types of cancers.  The highest brewing temperatures for green tea are 180°F to 190°F (81°C to 87°C), so let your boiled water cool for a few minutes before you brew your tea.  I sometimes find green tea to be a little strong and bitter, so I choose milder varieties.  My favorite mild green teas are Adagio's White Monkey and Pi Lo Chun.

Black Tea - Black tea is allowed to oxidize more than any other tea varieties.  As a result, it tends to contain slightly more caffeine and has a stronger flavor than its more green counterparts.  It also retains its flavor for longer than green teas.  To my palette, black tea tastes best with milk, though some also like to add a bit of sugar to counteract its strong flavor.  My favorite black tea of all time is Earl Grey, and my favorite Earl Grey is from Whittard of Chelsea.  Its virtually impossible to find this tea in North America, so it was the item I always requested from friends and family when they visited the UK.  This Earl Grey is so fragrant and delicious, it is the tea I will be brewing for myself when I finish this post.  Earl Grey is traditionally prepared with lemon and sugar, but I like mine with milk.  I also enjoy assam (my fave is from Taylors of Harrogate) and darjeeling (fave from Adagio). 

 When making tea...
I love to boil my water in the Bodum Ibis cordless electric tea kettle.  It was a little more expensive than the other tea kettles, it brings my water to a boil in a flash, comes in a variety of colors, and has lasted me a long time.  I also picked up a 'Perfect Cup of Tea Spoon' at David's tea, which is perfect for measuring just enough tea for one cup.  You will find me drinking my tea from either the glass Jumbo Tea Cup or glass Mug from Adagio Teas.  I love that these cups both have a fine stainless steel strainer that fits right into the cup, so I can just dump my looseleaf tea in and not worry about bits of tea in my teeth.  I also like the little glass lids that keep my tea warm while it's steeping.  If you plan on getting the mug, be aware that you can get it as part of a tea sampler gift (check under the 'gifts' tab).

And please note...
I do not work for Adagio, nor am I in any way affiliated with them.  I think their products are good quality, and I love their sample tins, which allow me to try many different types of teas.  The sample tins are only $2-$4, an last for about 8-10 cups of tea.  Not bad.

Are you a tea drinker?  If so, what are some of your favorite teas?

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