Thursday, January 3, 2008

tea drinking season

by far, my favorite thing about winter is drinking tea, inside of a nice toasty house. ooh, i hate being cold and my birthday is in january! oh well.

i have promised that i would write about my collection of different teas. as i am writing this i am drinking ginger peach green tea by the republic of tea. they definitely are one of my favorite tea makers, i love their flavors and the packaging is beautiful.

first off, i have to say that the most important part of a successful cup of tea is the steeping time. i always put the timer on when i make a cup of tea to make sure it steeps for the correct amount of time. in general, black teas should be steeped for 3-5 minutes and green teas for about 2 minutes. white teas are usually about 5 minutes but i always check the recommended time and then adjust accordingly. if a tea is steeped too long it gets bitter and if it's a flavored tea, which are my favorites, the delicate flavor is usually overpowered by the tea leaf.

overall, my favorite teas are flavored black and green teas. i do not like plain green tea, that grassy flavor is too strong for me so i am glad that there are so many flavored ones to choose from. i am not really a fan of rooibos either, although i did enjoy the numi brand of red tea while we were at my in-law's house over christmas. usually the rooibos smells like olives or play-dough to me. yuck.

one of my favorite flavors, especially in winter, is chocolate--in tea. here are my favorites so far.
i was absolutely thrilled when i came across this very unusual tea in boulder, co. just the name and label alone were more than enough to make me buy it but the flavor is amazing! it's a ceylon black tea with flavors of chocolate and blood orange. i had never seen a chocolate-orange tea before and it really is in my top 5. unfortunately, it was a limited edition flavor so if anyone out there knows of a tea with these flavors please let me know what it is.

this is also one of my favorite teas and an exception to my dislike of rooibos. if you like a rich, chocolatey flavor you really have to try this tea. i would recommend getting the loose tea, it is beautiful and of a higher quality than the tea bags. i believe they have changed the name to yerba mate latte but it is the same flavor.

this is a simple but delicious tea i found at "the leaf store" in boulder, colorado. it is chocolate peppermint, a black tea with pieces of chocolate and chopped mint. you can order online with them at but it was nice to be at the store where they let me buy small quantity samples of several different flavors. there is nothing worse than getting home with a whole bag of tea that you don't like.

the tea in the foreground, spicy chocolate mint, by the republic of tea was a real disappointment. i was so excited to see a new flavor and it really sounded delicious but it really has no distinct taste, just kind of blah. i would love to know if anyone else has tried this and what they think. maybe i have not found the right steeping time to bring out it's best flavor....
well, that's all for the chocolate tea. there actually is one more that i love but i am out of it right now and don't remember the exact name. i think i can find it at whole foods so i will have to check there just so i can have a complete record for the tea story!! any excuse to buy new tea is good enough for me!
more to come...


Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Hi Laura,

Teas have become quite chic these days! Do you live near a mall with a Teavana? I visited one some time back and was dumbfounded by the selection and the knowledgeable sales people. They package their teas in these nifty tins that smell divine when you open them.

Thanks for the recomendations. I think chocolate organge tea sounds like a good idea!

--Robin (Bumblebee)

kate said...

Happy New Year to you, Laura! I have been waiting for the beginning of your tea collection posts. I am sadly lacking in my tea knowledge. I wouldn't have been able to pass up the chocolate/blood orange vampire tea either.

I like the Republic of Tea tin for the chocolate mint tea. Too bad it doesn't sound very good.

Unknown said...

Wow, a whole post about tea!!! You are my hero. Have you tried the celetial seasonings holiday teas? My favorite one is the Nutcracker Sweet. Thanks for the new teas I will have to try!