Tea Time

Today we are going off the beaten path to talk about tea.  Yes, I said TEA.  And I am a coffee drinker, so what do you think of that?  Do you think you will just skip along through your Google Reader and maybe come back another day?  That is what you were thinking, isn't it?  Ha!

I need to preface this by explaining that for many years I was a manager at a Fortune 500 consumer goods company.  That very same company owns one of the major coffee brands you find in your grocery store.  For a few years my job was to work closely with that particular coffee brand.  In other words, I had no choice but to become a coffee drinker.  Without question I would have been fired if I hadn't been.  Now I am addicted to my morning coffee. 

My son PR, however, is a tea lover.  I am very aware of all the health benefits derived from tea drinking.  It is one of those things I often vow that I will start doing more of.  You probably have a list like that too ….  more exercise, more cleaning, more shoes, more handbags, more tea drinking.  Something like that.

A few months back my friend, Nike, pulled me into a tea store at our local mall called Teavana.  Teavana also has a tea bar where you can get a cup of tea to go.  That particular day they offerred at least five different samples of tea to try.  I admit I got a little carried away by the experience and really liked some of the samples.  "I'll just buy a few things for PR" (or so I rationalized).  Nike had to help me carry all the bags out of the store by the time I was done.  Of course, I only have one working arm so maybe it wasn't really as excessive as it sounds.  Yeah, right . . .

TeaCans

Did you know tea goes stale?  So here are a few of my air tight canisters of varying flavors of tea.  And yes, I still drink coffee every day, but now I also try to work in a cup or two of tea in the afternoon or evening.

Yesterday we had a rain storm here in the OC.  Rain!  In May!  And it included thunder and lightening and flash floods – all of which absolutely never happen here.  It is a thrill when we actually get a little weather.  Anyway, rain definitely meant I needed to make a pot of tea.  I decided to steep a pot of blooming tea … a tea called Blooming Tiger.  This tea starts off looking like a golf ball sized green turd.  (Sorry to be so descriptive … but!)

Tea

It is ugly to start with, but once in your teapot it blooms, literally, into a flower.  It is enchanting to watch the transformation.  Drinking a cup makes you feel like you are treating yourself to something truly unique and special.  The flowers can be used for more than one pot of tea so if you want a second pot all you need to do is add more hot water. 

TeaBloom

Pretty flower!  What a metamorphis – ugly turd to exotic flower.  It is a healthy white tea which is high in antioxidants.  In addition, studies show white tea may inhibit the growth of cancer AND reduce fine lines and wrinkles!  It tastes good too!

TeaFlower

Here's the slightly soggy flower after I removed it from the teapot so you can get a better look.

Here is the cute teapot that I (absolutely) also had to buy because it is glass which allows me to watch the tea as it blooms:

TeaPot

I love the candle underneath to keep the tea warm!

I admit that most of the time when I make tea I do not use the teapot.  Usually I use a great one cup maker/strainer that I also got at Teavana.  I pour some loose leaf tea in it, pour in a cup of microwaved hot water, set it on top of a cup and it strains the tea leaves resulting in a perfect cup of tea with no fuss.  My favorite flavor of the loose leaf tea is Jasmine Oolong (intoxicating fragrance!), but I also really like a Rooibos tea which is a red tea.  Red teas are actually better for you than the green teas that most people are familiar with. 

A week ago we had temperatures over 100 degrees here.  All of the teas I have are really flavorful so it was a no brainer to use them as iced teas in the warm weather.  You can find great teas anywhere, but for those of you who are interested you can also order online from Teavana.   

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