Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Tea Purist . . . Maybe

Greetings friends.  I hope you are doing well this beautiful Sunday afternoon.  This morning I had a lazy start to the day until I decided to do some never ending vacuuming 😂 because I got restless sitting in my chair and watching old British mystery movies.  It was then time for a cup of tea and I decided I would share with you some of my favorite teas.

I grew up in a household where my parents and grandparents were coffee drinkers.  We had tea in the home but it usually made it's appearance when someone was ill.  Many years later, I have acquired a taste for tea; but not just any tea.  My absolute favorite is from Fortnum and Mason and it's called Fortmason.  It is black tea perfumed with orange blossom.  Above is my new can of Fortmason which I haven't yet opened.

My husband's favorite tea is Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea.  He and I both prefer loose tea vs teabags.  This tea gives a wonderful aftertaste (if that's what is called).  I originally brought this tea back from a trip to England.  Now, I order it via Amazon.    Please, do not give me Lipton teabags.  Sorry, but to me they have no taste whatsoever.  

I've always been a fan of Darjeeling tea.  Here's some from Fortnum and Mason but I'll tell you a secret. . .  My dear son was home for the holidays and drank most of this can. Although I had another can hid away, I bought some inexpensive loose Turkish tea and put it in this tea canister.  He didn't know the difference!

If you would have told me that one day I would be drinking herbal tea, I probably would have laughed as I wasn't  a fan of herbal tea.  That was until I went to Turkey and drank pure unadulterated herbal tea.  The taste was heavenly.  Now, I buy my herbal tea from the Persian markets.  Above is Teekanne brand  (which means teapot in German).  They offer a lovely variety of different herbal teas.

The box on the left has sage tea from Turkey and the one on the right is thyme tea that I bought at an international market.  Again, both of these teas are not mixed with anything else.  And, they taste lovely.  From watching the tv show, At Home With Venetia in Kyoto, I discovered making my own herbal teas from herbs in the garden.

I bought this tea chest years ago at World Market.  It comes in very  handy to hold my favorite herbal teas along with some miscellaneous teas. 

My son is a coffee drinker.  When he comes home he finds his Dad's instant coffee or drip coffee not appealing.  So, out comes his Italian coffee machine.  I have no idea how to make a cup of coffee using this machine. 

Have you ever tried the tea samples at Teavana?  It's fun to try all the different teas they offer.  During the Christmas holidays, we stepped into a Teavana shop and my husband bought this can of tea for $36.00.  And, that was the sale price; a bit ridiculous!  The family enjoyed it very much.  For me, how can you call this tea with all the ingredients they add including little bits of chocolate?  It leaves a residue on the teapot too.  But, it's delightful to drink.

Before I sign off, I had to share with you another way to drink black, loose tea.  This is very popular in Egypt and it's called shai koushari.  Basically, you take a spoon of loose tea, put it in the glass and pour over the hot water.  Let it sit a bit before adding sugar and mint if you wish.  I made this glass to drink today and since I don't like my tea strong, it's very light.  And, I don't use any sugar.  

Lipton Yellow Label Tea is a very popular tea in Egypt.  The majority of the people like to drink a very dark, strong brew.  This tea gives that kind of taste.

  The tea leaves are cut and curled into tiny beads.  Quite different than the British style tea I drink.

So tell me, do you have likes and dislikes in tea or coffee?  I have a couple of pet peeves; one is when I order tea in a restaurant and get that little stainless pot with tepid water, oh how I dislike this.  Or when I'm on an airplane and served hot tea that has been put in a coffee flask. It tastes like coffee, not tea.  

On a bright note, yesterday my husband took me to dinner (it wasn't fancy), at our favorite Persian market.  And, guess what?  They offer FREE TEA!  Yes, boiling hot water, Persian style Earl Gray tea and proper sugar cubes.  I was in heaven.

I wish you my dear readers all the best.  And, I'd love to hear from you if you wish to add to this discussion. 

With  my best wishes,



  1. I liked tea when I was younger, I like it rather weak with lots of sugar. My daughter has given me some wonderful Japanese tea that I keep for special occasions. But for every day I want and need coffee. I drink it black with nothing in it. My husband makes it with a French Press and we use Dunken Donut Dark roast.

  2. Your comment about tea served in a coffee flask reminds me of the famous quote from Abraham Lincoln: "If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee."

  3. I confess that I like coffee and herbal tea. Mostly herbal tea in the winter months.

  4. I'm definitely a tea drinker. My favorites are Brodie's Scottish Breakfast and Teatime, also Twinings Irish Breakfast and Earl Grey. Nothing warms the body like a good cuppa tea ~ brewed in a pot, covered with a tea cozy, cream and sugar. :-)

  5. We are coffee drinkers, but at home we keep Yorkshire tea for youngest daughter, she will not dink any other teas.

  6. I love tea, all kinds!!! I have lots of loose tea and have made some of my own blends (chai, chocolate chai and mint with rose petals so far)... I love tea! I have not had the brands you mentioned, but had some Le Palais des Thes - their Blue London tea is very good.

  7. Hello Pat,
    Twinings Earl Grey has been my favourite for years, but I do enjoy a plain simple PG Tips too but I definitely need a cup of coffee in the morning to get started. But nothing can make one feel better than a hot cuppa tea. Hmmmm...

  8. It was interesting to learn about some different teas here, Pat! I love your pretty tea tins and the box is wonderful, too. I think that learning about tea is like learning about many kinds and so little time! At least after you drink tea you are still coherent. haha! I love Chamomile tea with honey, and I grow my own lemon balm and mint to make an herbal tea, which I am out of right now. I do love a mix of black and green tea, too. I like cream and honey in my tea and I love pretty tea-tins. I've been known to buy a tea just for the tin :) Sending hugs xo Karen

  9. I enjoyed reading about your teas Pat. Chris and I are both tea drinkers. Chris will drink coffee when we are at a beach bar, but I never touch it. But I really do like my tea made with loose leaves in a tea-pot. Loose tea is not used here in Spain and I have to buy mine from UK. I also like some of the herbal teas. I drink them in-between but not instead of a good fresh brewed cuppa of the real thing. Kate x

  10. What an interesting blog about tea! I'm a herbal tea person. I have even converted my husband, who is British, and drinks strong Yorkshire tea (we call it 'builders tea') with milk. We live in Spain and the herbs just grow along the road. There is mint, verbena, thyme, majoram. We can buy the dried stuff loose like camomile. At the markets I can spend a happy hour looking at all the loose herbal teas mixtures for sale. I like anything with fennel or aniseed in it, or liquorice. There are also medicinal mixtures (digestive, laxative, relaxing etc)
    I don't drink coffee, but the hubby has a fancy grind and brew machine that I don't know how to use, lol.
    I occasionally love to indulge in hot chocolate, but not the normal kind. I once had a tin of cacao with chilli. It made an amazing cup of hot chocolate! (I have not been able to find it since)
    Lisca x


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