Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a nice cuppa. Anyone who’s known me since I was a child is now scratching their head and wondering when I had my brain transplanted, because I used to think tea was vile. The thing is, my mom drank black tea. Specifically, it was Orange Pekoe (Red Rose brand, if I remember correctly) and it was gross. She had it with milk, which made it turn a lovely creamy beige colour, but did not improve the flavour.
A few friends tried to convince me to try herbal or fruity teas in my younger days, but I still didn’t like them much. In retrospect, they were often cheap, mass-market teas that had been brewed too long.
Sometime in recent years, I discovered really good looseleaf herbal teas, and all hell broke loose. Or, maybe I just got a little obsessed with teas. I started to discover (in part thanks to some amazing tea my brother sent one year) that not all black teas are the same – some are really delicious. Of course, I make mine very weak and tend to stick with fruity black teas.
Now I’m a certified tea snob and lover. I take my own tea with me when I travel and I’m fiercely loyal to a few brands:
- David’s Tea (loose leaf tea of all types): Pretty much everything is pure gold. I always have Mother’s Little Helper on hand and recently discovered to pure awesome of Redberry Tonic. They also have some ridiculously good black teas that are wonderfully smooth but still very flavourful when made weak.
- The Tea Girl (formerly Steeps Glenora) (loose leaf tea of all types): Basically a smaller version of David’s. They have some wonderfully unique blends as well as favourites from Steeps.
- Steeps (loose leaf tea of all types): Again, a smaller version of David’s. Both Steep’s and The Tea Girl are also awesome places to hang out.
- Yogi (bagged tea): Egyptian Licorice Mint is divine and I really like their Lemon Ginger for when I want a smooth and mild tea when I have a cold (add a bit of honey to make it extra good)
A have a friend back home who’s husband runs a tea shop, World Tea House, that specializes in organic fair trade teas. I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting yet, as they opened after I moved West, but I’ve heard great things about them and their teas look amazing. They are currently one of the only “most visit” shops on my list of places that I must visit next time I’m back home. Actually, now that I think about it, they are the only shop on the list. I also have a list of several teas I want to try there (this, this, this, this, this, this, and this), so I may need to make multiple visits next time I’m back home (or, I could just order them online).
And, if you think I’m kidding about loving tea, here is my tea cupboard:
It used to also have tea cups and snacks, but now it just has a few tea cups (my favourites) and some small glasses. Everything else has been slowly, but surely, pushed out of the space.
I also have 8 teas in a drawer at the office (not including the random samples and such). I’d have more, but there just isn’t enough room.