History in the Making

Living That Tea Life

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!
Living That Tea Life

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.
The Tea
Loose Leaf Tea
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.
Tea tins
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!
The Steepers
Silicone steeper
Tea steepers
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!)
David's Tea Perfect Spoon
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.)
The Mugs
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.
David's Tea Iced Tea Press
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.
Davids Tea Travel Mug and Steeper
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…)
David's Tea Nutcracker Mug and Steeper
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?
Until tomorrow,
The Historian!
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33 thoughts on “Living That Tea Life”

  • I’m looking so desperatly to find this Nordic mug with nutcracker, would you like to sell it to me or exchange it for another ? plzzzzzzz ?

  • That is a lot of tea gear! My favourite tea for the last while is “Sencha Berry Beauty” from Hebden Teas in York. I loved it so much when we visited York that even though I’ve had trouble ordering from their website I call to place orders and pay for them to ship it to me. All their teas are fantastic; my boyfriend loves their coconut tea. I also really like Whittard’s Mango and Bergamot tea which is very similar to David’s Three Wishes tea.
    I used to love David’s tea back in Canada but about 3 years ago they changed all their recipes to take out artificial flavouring and all the teas I’d grown to love smelled and tasted completely different so I stopped buying from them. Have you had this experience? Have they changed their recipes back?

    • I’m so sorry for the late reply, WordPress marked this is spam for some bizarre reason! I did find that their teas changed, but for the most part, I enjoy them! A lot of what I drink from them is mint and vanilla flavoured, so I don’t notice too much of a change. However, they did change one of my favourite teas, Glitter and Gold, and I’m choked- it doesn’t taste anywhere close to as good as it used to, to the point that I can barely drink it. I think that when companies are going to make a change like that, it’s best to do it slowly throughout the product line, as I know many people like you who left altogether because of it. If they wanted the natural taste, I’m not sure why they didn’t start out that way!
      Those teas sound fantastic!! I was going to order another UK tea, TeaPigs, when I just discovered a grocery store that carries it here- I’m super excited to try it out!!

  • Nice post! I drink coffee to wake up, but I drink tea to enjoy it. You’re right about loose leaf – it’s better quality and not that much more work. Besides, the tea I like is near impossible to get in bags. I’m really into black and green varieties: Lapsang Souchong, Irish Breakfast, Orange Pekoe, Gunpowder, Genmaicha, that sort of thing.

    • I do love Irish Breakfast and Orange Pekoe! I can’t drink green tea (the tannins mess with my sinuses), but I will drink pretty much anything other than green/matcha. I will do a 30 second rinse for black teas so I can still enjoy them in the evening without the caffeine 🙂

    • I find coffee incredibly bitter 🙁 I don’t put sugar or sweetener in my tea, and I wouldn’t want to have to put it into coffee to make it palatable. There are so many varie-teas with tea (pun, haha!) that you can always find something!

  • I love a good cuppa!
    I really liked loose leaf tea and trying new types, but I am also very partial to the cheap, but joyous yorkshire tea. Sigh.

  • I like tea! I love coffee, but I also really like tea. I’m more of a traditionalist when it comes to tea, the simple ones are my favourite: earl grey, peppermint, just black. I do love pomegranate white from Tim Hortons. A few years ago, the grocery store I worked in had its own label loose leaf roobios tea which I ADORED! But then they discontinued it and I am forever heart broken.

  • As I read through your wonderful post, I couldn’t help but recall a popular book called “the history of the world in 6 glasses.” I’m sure an authentic historian such as yourself would probably cringe at the reference, but still, tea really has provided a profound impact on our culture.
    And I’m not just saying this because I’m a tea guy too 😉

    • I’m actually waiting for that particular book from the library- other historians may turn up their noses but I’m all for pop histories ? Tea has actually had such a large impact on the world’s development, even just looking at black tea – I think the argument could made that tea rules the world ?

  • I’m all about tea here too. I’ve always said the only stereotype about the British that is actually true, is that we drink a lot tea. It’s more of a ritual for us than just a hot drink. Anyway, have you tried Teapig tea? So, so lovely, but a tad pricey.

  • Some of those cups are so cute. I’ve never gone for the loose tea option, I really want to one day for some fruit tea but haven’t yet. I drink 2-3 cups of English breakfast tea every day and on occasions I’ll have a fruit tea. Currently in my fruit tea collection are: Strawberry and Mango, Cranberry and Raspberry, Honey and Vanilla (this one is quite disappointing as it has liquorice in too which ruins the taste) and rhubarb and apple (this one is sooooo sweet you have you really be in the mood for it). Sometimes I find the fruit tea a bit disappointing as it never tastes of what it should 🙁 but the Rhubarb one does actually taste like rhubarb. I’ve realised today that Tetley tea in the UK has started selling chocolate mint flavour tea and cookies and cream tea. I think I’m going to see if they have any when I go to the shop this week! But I like you am not a coffee drinker. I can just about tolerate vanilla latte and I’ve recently tried Mocha but they can make me feel sick 🙁

    • I was super hesitant to drink herbal tea for the longest time, but I wanted something completely caffeine free so I finally gave in- I slowly figured out that while the strawberries taste one way when you eat them, they have a different tea taste! Now I enjoy the tea taste as much as the regular for most fruits, but it took a bit to get there ?
      I have a chocolate mint tea that is amazing, I would drink BUCKETS of it if I could! And while licorice in tea is NOT my cup of tea AT ALL (pun intended), it does settle an upset stomach very quickly! If I do have to drink it, I usually will literally chug it down ?

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