I think all of us have seen the million memes, instagram posts, and t-shirts with “But coffee first.” While I think we can appreciate the sentiment, there are a whole lot of us who don’t drink coffee. If my option is coffee or water, it’s always water. I’m a tea drinker, through and through from start to finish. The world is becoming more tea friendly as the years pass, but we’ve yet to get our tea shops where you can order any sort of tea concoction to go on our way to work. So, today I’m sharing my favourite teas and tea accessories to hopefully bring tea out into the mainstream!
Okay, so most people who have come across tea think of the cheapo teabags from the grocery store (200 teabags for $5 deal) that your grandparents may have given you at some point. However, that’s just the tip of the tea-berg! While the comfort of Red Rose/Twinings/Liptons still holds true for many of us tea connoisseurs, we still have varied and ever growing tea collections that would blow your mind.
I fully admit that I have a tea problem- I drink anywhere from one to two and a half litres a day of tea. Some back tea, some rooibos, and even herbal- most of it is loose leaf tea. The cheaper tea bags are often what is left over from loose leaf tea, still delicious but not necessarily the best. Loose leaf tea tends to be a higher quality! I have two go-to suppliers: David’s Tea and Fortnum and Mason.
Many people will pooh-pooh at David’s for added flavours, but I love it. Vanilla and peppermint are my two favourite flavours, and Santa’s Secret has both vanilla and peppermint. They also make such creations as Magic Potion tea (on my Instagram last week), which changes from a deep blue to bright purple when lemon juice is added! David’s does have “regular” blends but I get my standard teas from Fortnum and Mason. Located just down the street from Picadilly Circus, Fortnum’s tea is slightly on the expensive side (though not as much as you think) but is amazing quality with the most beautiful tea caddies. I am truly lucky, as several people have stopped there for me on their travels and grabbed me several different varieties!
Loose leaf tea might seem more complicated than regular ol’ tea bags but I promise it’s not! You can get tea satchels that you can fill yourself from David’s Tea, but if you are feeling pretty competent with your hand-eye coordination, grab a steeper! Many of David’s mugs (and other companies) come with steepers that fit perfectly into the mug, that even have a base to set it on after you are done steeping. Small, big, metal, silicone, the options are endless. Many travel mugs will also have built in steepers for maximum efficiency. (I even have one that is shaped like a squirrel at work- if I remember to, I will share it on Instagram this week!)
Also included, a Perfect Spoon! This is approximtely 1 1/2 tsp of tea, the perfect amount for a standard cup of loose leaf! (Most people recommend using double that for iced tea, but I just steep one spoonful for a little bit longer.)
Ahhhhh, my mug collection is out of control and I am not ashamed to admit it! Tea should never be served from a mug that has also served coffee- they will hold the taste of the coffee which can affect the taste of your tea. These aren’t all of my mugs but rather three types of tea specific mugs.
My David’s iced tea press is specifically made for iced tea! The loose tea goes in the outer cylinder to steep; when ready, you fit the inner cylinder full of ice in. The hot tea melts the ice, the filter below keeps the loose tea contained, and we all win! This was a steal in the recent David’s sale, as it’s regularly $30 CAD and I was able to grab it for only $9.
This is travel mug with both a built in steeper, and a compartment to store your tea once it’s done steeping- if this isn’t genius, I don’t know what is. It will also keep your tea steaming hot for at least 6 hours! (I will update this if I end up waiting longer to drink my tea…)
And the classic Nordic mug- holding 473ml (aka 16 oz), this is bigger than a lot of regular mugs. I am particularly partial to this mug specifically given it’s Nutcracker design. I know it’s August, but I use it year round!!
Are you a tea drinker? What is your favourite blend?