The fall is my favorite time of the year. I love to smell the crisp, cool air and see the leaves all changing colors. I love when I can go outside with only a sweater or a light jacket. I love apple picking and carving jack o’ lanterns. I love hot apple cider and apple pie. I love bundling up under lots and lots of covers. And, I love sitting on my couch under a blanket with a nice hot cup of tea!
Tea is one of my most favorite things because there is such a history behind each different type of tea leaf. There is black tea, white tea, green tea, herbal tea, red tea – and varieties of tea within each of those categories. It’s unbelievable how good tea is harvested and how each individual list is cared for. And, of course, it tastes good!
Tea is almost like wine, in that you have to try numerous different types until you find the one you love! I love trying different types and brands of tea, but my favorite is black tea. It is so fun to see how each one tastes differently. I do have some favorites, but am always searching out something better.
I have a pretty decent tea collection at home, if you can call it that :-). It takes up an entire shelf of a cabinet! I do have a lot of popular brands which you can buy at the grocery store (because I always want to try something new!). However, my favorite tea is the loose leaf I buy from local tea shops. When travelling, I also seek out tea shops in new neighborhoods to try them out. Small tea shops are great! I purchased a bunch of empty tea canisters to store my tea away from light and moisture.
I picked up two of the teas below at a local farmers market!
I prefer loose leaf tea to tea bags, but tea bags are great for tea on the go. Although, when I have time, I usually make my own ‘tea bags’ using my loose tea, and tea-sacs.
Tips for Tea Lovers
It is important to take care of your tea, so below are some of my tips for purchasing and storing tea!
Purchasing tea – it is important to purchase whole tea leaves in order to get the best flavor from a tea. Most companies mass produce tea bags and do not care about the quality of leaves that they are putting into those bags! Many tea bags that you would purchase in a grocery store have the dust or fannings of tea, not the actual leaves. Tea is ranked in different categories, with dust being the lowest. Dust is the small particles that are left over after the tea is processed, thus being the cheapest form of ‘tea’.
Storing tea – Loose leaf tea does not like light, and keeps much better stored away from light and moisture. If you store your tea correctly, it can last for up to a year!
Brewing tea – it is important to only steep your tea for a certain amount of time. If you steep too long, the tea will taste bitter! The guide below shows some basic timeframes:
- Black tea: 3-5 minutes
- Green tea: 2-3 minutes
- White tea: 1-2 minutes
- Herbal tea: 5-7 minutes
A few of my favorite tea sites:
Windsor Tea Shop – adorable little tearoom
Tea Gschwender – their Oriental Moon tea is wonderful
Tealuxe – love the Lady Londonderry
My absolute favorite tea was found through a friend of mine. It is a black tea with both fruity and floral notes. I actually prefer fruitier teas, even though tea conoseauers would say it is a sin to add any flavor to a tea :-). This delicious tea that I found is by Mariage Freres of France, called Marco Polo.
Normally, I buy the loose leaf, but my tea shop on had the tea bags this time. But, I didn’t mind because they come in a gorgeous box and each baggie is individually hand tied in muslin.
How cute are they?! I am such a girl :-).
I just enjoyed a mug of this delicious tea this afternoon, with just a bit of honey. In the mornings, I normally drink my tea black, but I love to add honey as a treat! Because of my enormous tea collection, it would only be fitting to have a big collection of honey as well :-).
I like all types of honey, but I prefer something all natural made right from the honeycomb and not with any additives like those honey bears in the grocery store! I try to purchase local items to eat, so I always look for honey at farmers markets in order to support our local farmers!
I bought some delicious honey on our honeymoon in Mykonos, Greece. There was an entire honey shop with honey made from all different things. They type we bought was made from a fir tree! How cool! It definitely has a different, heavier and nuttier taste. It’s wonderful on cheese and crackers, and in tea, of course!
I’m off to my couch with my cup of tea!