Monday, March 17, 2014

What's On Your Tea Shelf?

Our tea shelves, or drawers, or cupboards, tell stories about us. Aaron and I have been drinking tea together since the first time he invited me into his room in Armington. We drank copious amounts during late night study sessions throughout college, and our habits didn’t change once we graduated. In fact, on one of our wedding cards, a friend said “The world will never know how much tea the two of you will drink together.” He was right. By the time we were getting ready to move from Santa Barbara, one of the lower shelves in my kitchen cabinets was totally devoted to tea. We had a lot of loose leaf tea in jars that we knew we couldn’t take with us, and were able to give it to some of our tea-loving friends.

One of the first items we bought upon our arrival in Connecticut, however, was tea. Never mind that it was summer; we still drank ridiculous amounts of tea. Perhaps it was a comfort thing for us. It was a link to our friends and former home.

You get the picture: we love tea! So I thought I’d share some of our tea favorites with you, and hear about some of your tea favorites.

Pomegranate White Tea is one of the staples in our house. We buy it at Trader Joe’s, and my mom knows to keep it stocked for our visits! We love this tea because it doesn’t have caffeine, so it makes for a good evening cup of tea. This one is Aaron’s all-time favorite.

Peppermint Tea is my all-time favorite tea. My love for peppermint tea began in college. My freshman year, I drank black tea every night while doing homework, with absolutely no idea of its caffeine contents. When I realized black tea had some of the highest tea caffeine levels, I switched to peppermint tea at nights, and still find it incredibly soothing today. In fact, this morning we were out of peppermint tea, and actually made an unplanned trip to the store to buy more.

Irish Breakfast Tea is what I love to drink in the mornings. I buy mine from Trader Joe’s now, although when we moved, I transported some of this tea that my sister-in-law brought me from Ireland. Many teas did not make the move. That one did.

Chai Rooibos Tea is another Trader Joe’s blend that we enjoy. As rooibos tea contains no caffeine, it makes another good evening tea. I guess it’s obvious that we drink a lot of tea at night!

Mint Mélange Tea is one of my favorites from Trader Joe’s. It kicks peppermint tea up to the next level with lemongrass and spearmint. I admit that sometimes I do get a little tired of peppermint tea, so I switch it up with Mint Mélange.

Harvest Blend Herbal Tea also comes from Trader Joe’s. I bought it while visiting Aaron’s family, and they all had a great time teasing me about how much cinnamon is in the tea. The first time I brewed a cup, everyone could smell the cinnamon from the other room; it’s incredibly strong! The first ingredient is cinnamon, and then three ingredients later, there’s natural cinnamon flavor. So if you don’t like cinnamon, don’t even be around someone who’s drinking a cup of Harvest Blend Herbal Tea. Or in the room next to them! I do like cinnamon, however, and enjoy drinking the tea when I want something punchy.

Jasmine Green Tea is sold by many brands, but I don’t think I have to tell you anymore where ours comes from. I’m not a big green tea drinker, even though I’ve read up on its many health benefits, but every once in a while I crave a cup of jasmine green tea.

Our friend who works in a coffee/tea shop sent us some loose leaf tea for Christmas, and although I couldn’t tell you what it is, it is delicious! We are lucky to have many friends who also share our tea obsession, and understand not to give Aaron a tiny teacup when they serve tea at their house.

On our expedition to buy peppermint tea, Aaron also picked up some herbal peach tea. I never liked fruity teas as a girl, but now I love them.

Many tea drinkers have a few tea bags on their shelves whose origins are unknown as well. We have a few assorted individual bags that people have given us or that we’ve collected. Our random collection was much larger in Santa Barbara, but it’s been growing faster than I’ve realized here. Maybe we have secret tea magnets in our fingers or something.

We have stories and memories associated with our tea, and it’s been fun to share our love of tea with each other and our friends! What is on your tea shelf? Or, if you’re a coffee drinker, what coffee blends do you have on hand?

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