Tea Time

I'm wavering off my normal blogging path today to discuss tea.  

Ages ago, when I had only one reader, I wrote a post about tea. 

To be honest, I barely remember it myself.

I drink coffee every morning, but I like tea too.  The weather is so warm here, a lot of time tea means a glass of iced tea for lunch.  I'll often make a cup of hot tea when I'm writing or editing photos.

Tea has a lot of health benefits.  I think a lot of us know that, but how many of us really drink it (especially here in the United States)?  

I've always been a tea drinker, but I increased my tea consumption a lot after being diagnosed with melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) several years back.  Tea, green tea in particular, is an "anti-cancer" beverage.  It has been over six years now, with no cancer recurrence.  I'm not sure if that can be completely attributed to my tea drinking or not, but I think the health benefits of tea are real.

I'm sure I don't drink as much tea as I'm "supposed to," but I know I drink more than most of my friends and family members.  My son, PR, loves tea too and drinks a cup most nights as he works on homework.

In recent months, I've been drinking less tea than normal.  Over the last two weeks, I got my butt kicked by The Plague.  On Friday, I went down to my favorite tea shop and said, "Help! Make me well!"

They fixed me a large cup of tea which was a blend of four different teas.  

The four teas were:  

•  Silver Yin Zhen Pearls which is a white tea.  It's supposed to detoxify your body and provide antioxidants.  I needed to be detoxified, did I mention I've had The Plague?

•  Gyokuro Imperial which is a green tea.  Green teas are rich in antioxidants, may prevent some cancers, and help boost the immune system.  My immune system was in need of some serious boosting.

•  Peppermint which helps with many ailments including sore throats, headaches, and pain.  I'm not a big fan of peppermint flavored things, but it's very healing.  (Also, I think most people like the flavor of peppermint – I'm just weird!)

•  Honeybush Vanilla which is an herbal tea (blend) rich in vitamins and antioxidants.

Three of the teas listed above steep together for 5 minutes.  The Gyokuro Imperial is added in for just the last 45 seconds of steeping time.  

I'm not kidding, I started feeling better that afternoon.  My sore throat decreased in severity, my coughing lessened … I just felt better.

Coincidence?

Probably.

And yet, it re-motivated me to increase my tea consumption.

Did you know Rooibos tea can help with allergies and colds?

Or that Oolong tea boosts your metabolism, causes you to process carbohydrates faster, and may help with weight loss?  (By the way, Jasmine Oolong is one of my all-time favorite teas.)

Different teas have different health benefits.  I find the science behind tea fascinating.

I'm fortunate to have an amazing tea shop close by.  

The shop is also very expensive.  But?  I haven't found better tea, or a better selection of tea, anywhere.  When I buy tea, I store it in air-tight tins.  The tea stays fresh for a year if it's stored this way.  If you leave your tea sitting out, it won't stay fresh.

My husband cringes when he sees the receipts from the tea shop.  (He doesn't drink tea, ever, so the only thing my tea habit represents to him is less money.)

The positive?

A tin of tea lasts so long, I don't need to buy it very often.  I suppose, when you look at it THAT way, it isn't as expensive as it first appears.  I usually only stock up on teas once a year.

I ended up making a second trip back to the tea shop yesterday.  I decided to purchase the four "get well" teas they steeped together for me last Friday.  I want to have them here for myself, and my family, in the future.  Three of them are great preventative medicine.  I intend to drink them on a regular basis – either individually or steeped together.

This isn't a sponsored post, but I know inquiring minds will want to know.  I buy my tea at a local Teavana store.  I sometimes use a teapot, but I most often steep my tea in their Perfect TeaMaker which I love.  (It's also a great conversation starter – everyone who sees how it works falls in love with it.)  

I also use Teavana tins for storing my tea because I don't want to spend the money to buy high quality tea and have it lose its health benefits before I steep it.  (I buy the cheap Teavana tins vs. the more expensive decorative ones.)  When I run out of tea, I take my tins into the store to have them refilled.  This saves me from having to buy more tins for storage.

I look at my tea purchases as an investment in health.  Drinking tea is an investment in me.

And now, I'm curious.

Are you a tea drinker?

And if so, what's your favorite tea?

© Twenty Four At Heart 

23 Responses to “Tea Time”

  1. Deidre

    I boycotted American men…but that’s because I prefer men with sexy accents.
    I drink tea but I am super sensitive to caffeine so I have to be careful.
    My favourite tea is just a squeeze of lemon and honey mixed into hot water. My mom used to make it for me when I was sick and hers always tastes better than mine.
    When I went to India, every household I visited had servants and they made the most EXQUISITE chai ever. I’ve never tasted anything like it in the tastes.

  2. karen

    I do drink tea, but I haven’t given it as much thought until now. This is a great post, and how I wish we had a tea shop around here somewhere… I buy the herbal teas that you find in grocery stores.
    Love the teamaker!.. My allergies have been miserable for a month now, I’m going to give your recommendation a try.

  3. Catch the Kids

    I love a cuppa. My whole family, kids and all do too. There’s nothing nicer than everyone sitting around the kitchen table, chatting and sipping. There’s probably some health benefits in that too!

  4. Diane

    Yay! I am a devoted (some would say obsessive) tea drinker, and I agree with the comment above – it’s so lovely to sit around with your family and a pot of tea. Jasmine is also my personal favorite, and although I prefer loose leaves to bags, I am currently sipping a cup of Tazo’s green ginger tea. Lacking a good tea store in my area, I mail order my tea.

  5. Jenny in MN now AZ

    I love tea, but haven’t been very adventurous about trying new things until my massage therapist kept giving me different cups of tea after a massage. Your post has made me want to try more new teas now too. Thanks for this post. I looked up tea stores near where I live now and I have 2 Teavana’s near me. Woo hoo! I think I will go explore. I’ve gotten away from drinking tea lately and was thinking that I needed to get back to it. This was the boost I needed. See, you helped someone today! 🙂

  6. WebSavvyMom

    –>I grew up on unsweetened sun tea and stil like to drink it. I haven’t strayed into other types of tea though but now I’m curious if I’d like them.

  7. yvonne nc

    Having had a Brit as a Grandmother you know I drink tea. Every. Single. Day. I love black tea, straight up in the morning and herbals in the evening. How relaxing.

  8. Alexis (Minnesota)

    Good Morning! I’m a die-hard coffee drinker but there are a couple of SERIOUS tea drinkers in my family and I’ve been to several tea shops (which are very relaxing places usually).
    The two teas I’ve tried and really liked were “Ambrosia” from http://www.atlanticspice.com/store/bulk-teas-green-tea-and-other-gourmet-teas,category.asp and one I can’t remember the name of but it was a flower bud that opened and was very pretty to look at as it steeped. Usually though I go for the cheap stuff have a cup of Constant Comment because it smells so good to me.
    Hope you’re feeling better Suzanne!

  9. Lewaletzko

    Welcome back! I can feel you “normal self” is back in your writing!
    My favorite is Republic of Tea Organic Tumeric Ginger. I love it in the winter and cold brewed in the summer.
    http://www.republicoftea.com/product.aspx?p=V02140
    (Loved that you left the boycott American women comment up….It totally made me giggle.)

  10. Kay

    I’ve been having a mug of caffiene free green tea every night for the last couple weeks. Decided it might help with my new fitness and weight loss goals and so far I think it is helping. I love tea and it seems to help me relax before bed and sleep better! Glad you are feeling better.

  11. Judi

    I drink tea every morning, but I generally don’t like the taste of herbal teas. I like black tea – English breakfast or Irish breakfast with sugar (or lately, agave nectar) and soy milk or some kind of creamer. I also found a pumpkin spice decaf black tea over the holidays that is great on a cool evening. I despise coffee and anything coffee-flavored.

  12. MidwestClassicK

    I love tea! I drink a cup of English Breakfast with honey every morning. I also love the pomegrant white tea from Trader Joes.

  13. Michelle Pixie

    We are huge tea drinkers here. Peppermint is my most favorite and Blueberry tea is the hubs and the kids will drink any of it as long as it comes with a spoonful of honey. We watch both Food Matters and The Beautiful Truth a week ago and that just reinforces my commitment to natural healing!

  14. Keary

    I love Twinnings Prince of Wales Tea. It is great on its own meaning without milk and sugar. It is now very hard to find in Denver. They used to have it a Whole Foods and now the only place I can find it is Cost Plus world market, and they only have it every third time I go. I also have about 25 different varieties of tea on hand from christmas time to Pg tips.

  15. Amy_in_Stl

    I’ve never had the folks at Teavana be helpful like that. The store is usually so packed with folks I have a hard time getting the attention of someone to ask a question. So I quit buying from there and usually buy at my grocery store or Whole Foods. My current favorite is Republic of Tea Cranberry Blood Orange.

  16. Elizabeth

    I love your blog; I’m in awe of your photography, and blown away by the strength you’ve shown in dealing with the heavy stuff that’s been thrown your way. Just had to de-lurk to tell you that, but it took a tea post to make me do it. We pretty much only drink tea (coffee makes me way too hyper to live with), but live at the end of the earth, so we order from Upton Tea. They’re here on the east coast, but they’re fantastic, and they have every tea you can imagine. Very fair prices, too. They’re online at http://www.uptontea.com
    Not trying to sell you something, but I couldn’t survive without their mail order!
    Thanks for your writing and your images!

  17. Jan

    I am not a bit surprised that you started to feel better after drinking your tea concoction, and doubt that it was a coincidence at all. That being said, I love herbal teas but don’t drink them nearly often enough – although I love Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepytime Extra. It’s one of the few things that can actually stop my insomnia in its tracks (well, sometimes).

  18. LPC

    I am completely with you on tea. We buy ours from Teavana too, for the green teas. Dragonwell, to be specific. I also drink English Breakfast in the mornings, Organic Breakfast teabags from Whole Foods. On the mornings that I drink extra Dragonwell, I can feel my IQ increase:).

  19. palinode

    I have around two dozen different kinds of tea, and I usually drink three or four different cups each day. Usually I start with a black tea in the early afternoon – right now I’m alternating between Hazelbank Assam and Golden Monkey – then move on to a Tie Kwan Yin oolong and finish with a green or white in the evening. I’m finishing up some gyokuro right now (damn, that stuff is expensive) but I have a bag of leopard snow buds and some yin zhen as well. Oh, and I bought something called sweet lemon black tea the other day, which looks like a blend of Indian teas with bits of lemon and sugar.
    In conclusion, I drink way too much tea. But since I started drinking the stuff in earnest about six months ago, I’ve lost around twelve-thirteen pounds. On my frame that makes a lot of differnce.

  20. Maura/@CountessMo

    Though you wrote this almost ages ago, I wanted to comment. I love tea and drink it exclusively over coffee (which I don’t particularly like), and I’m fascinated by how many different kinds there are.
    When I had what I felt was The Plague last year, I drank so much tea I thought I was going to grow leaves. I never had any that made me feel noticeably better (I just liked the comfort factor of it and its usefulness as a Honey Deliver Mechanism, since I was voiceless), so maybe next time I need to look into blends.
    We are fortunate to have some good tea places here in the Bay Area, too, so I’ll let you know if I find anything good. 🙂

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