Friday, February 6, 2009

Tea!


Lots of glorious tea!

I drink black tea and I'm a big fan of Earl Grey with Irish Breakfast a close second.

A few months ago I found a coffee shop in Spencer run by a Russian lady who sold loose tea in cans. I bought a can of Earl Grey for $6.00 and I was a happy woman.

If you have never used loose tea, it is a little different than teabag tea. for one thing, the tea leaves themselves are bigger--teabag tea tends to be made of crushed up leaves that are then bagged. I suppose it makes little difference, but to me the loose tea has a brighter flavor and Ive always thought it was because of the leaf not being as crushed.

You can make loose tea by simply putting the leaves into a teapot and pouring boiling water over them (boiling, not boiled---the hotter the better), then using a strainer when you pour your tea. Or you can use a teaball to hold the leaves. The teaball is like a little closed strainer that will separate the leaves from the water so you don't need to strain your tea later.

To get back to my story...I ran out of tea a couple weeks ago. Crisis! The Russian lady's shop was closed and gone. Oh no!

A box of teabags held me over as I searched online for a good source of tea. I found tea for reasonable prices, but the shipping! Ack!

Then I looked on Amazon. Low and behold, for $24.66 I could get SIX cans (3.5 oz each, that's a lot of tea). And if the order was over $25, it qualified for free shipping! So I found something else I needed (wanted) and send off my order. The snow delayed things a bit, but before long my tea arrived.

I am now so stocked up with Earl Grey. I noticed that Amazon also offered Irish Breakfast ...another order?

22 comments:

laoi gaul~williams said...

the snow is falling outside, although not as much as you have! so i am playing catch up while waiting for my medieval history books to arrive. its interesting you mention irish breakfast tea~being part irish i tend to home in on anything linked and yesterday discovered for the first time~irish breakfast tea! i know now to go back and buy some!

Char5 said...

Mmmm, tea, one of my favorite idulgences in life. I tend to drink more herbals than anything else, but I also like an occasional cup of Earl Grey in the afternoon. I love your post on what you do when not storytelling, this is always such a nice blog to visit.

Anonymous said...

I love my tea! Although I split the day between tea and coffee, tea first thing in the morning, then coffee and the must have cup of tea when I come home in the evening (or whenever I come home from being out). Nothing tastes quite like it nor soothes me as much as a cup of tea. I drink good old Tetley (or good English tea if I can find it). I was told by an English cousin once that I could drink him under the table when it came to tea! :)
tm

City Mouse said...

Simply because we didn't have one, we picked up a tea ball when we saw one in the store. We had been given a few tins of loose tea over the holidays. I think it tastes a little brighter too - it's somehow different!

Matthew Burns said...

I love my loose Earl Grey tea. I buy the 1 lb tin at the International Grocery in Kanawha City. (they also have really good spices really cheap there). The tea is $11/pound (or was the last time I bought it, a pound of tea lasts a long time). They also have tons of selection there. If you've never been, you gotta check it out.

Matthew

Anonymous said...

Do you have a good food coop around you? That's another great place to find loose tea, often unusual varieties like Oolong or Lapsong Sou chong. As you can tell, I'm another tea drinker. Batsy

warren said...

I am just learning to drink tea...but I def. like loose tea...mainly because of the little holder thingy I got to keep the leaves together...Anyhow, order more!

Anonymous said...

Irish Breakfast? Absolutely!!!

Sincerely,

Aaron

earth heart said...

I love my tea as well. I buy my tea (and spices)from Mountain Rose in bulk but you can purchase from them in small quantity, too. They have very reasonable prices and it's organic as well Can' beat that. If ever you're interested I have a link to them on my blog page. Aside from a little shameful promo, I'm just really glad you got your tea!! :))

Granny Sue said...

I'm glad to learn of all these sources. For several years I drank very little tea--larry makes coffee so it was easier to drink that in the morning. But my morning stomach really prefers tea with cream and sugar. I'll be looking into some of these other places to buy tea. Thanks!

Susan said...

Here's another source--me! I live in the tea-drinking capital of the world I think, and tea is very reasonable; so is shipping small parcels. When you're stuck, I'll send you something, any time!

Earl Grey's my favourite too; herbal teas second, lemon ginger or peppermint. Yum!

Granny Sue said...

Now that's going straight to the source, Susan. I may do just that, as soon as your back in the land of green.

Carol said...

Those are my favorite teas also. As a matter of fact, I'm having Earl Grey at this moment. I visiting grandchildren in Colorado. It's an unusually warm and beautiful day. The kids are at school leaving me free time to explore the countryside, BUT I'm catching a cold, so it's quiet time with Earl.

Pat Canella said...

Loose leaf is no doubt the way to go, the difference is just so obvious! I enjoy Black tea but I'm afraid Oolong will be my favorite :)

Lucky13 said...

Tea, the one beverage that makes me sleep. I love a cup about an hour before I go to bed, it puts me right out. I drink the Tetley English Blend, it reminds me of the first cup of tea on our first trip to England. Good and strong, we stayed with Aunt Flo and Uncle Ted, and it tastes just like Aunt Flo's tea, she could really make a great pot of tea.
Julie

George said...

Mmmm, Earl Grey. EG and Irish Breakfast are my favorites too. Had Earl Grey this morning (I like it on the weekends for some reason).

I haven't tried loose tea in many years (still remember the old beat up tea ball). I like Irish Breakfast really strong - it has a nice smooth honey-like aftertaste that I like.

Cathy said...

I'd rather have tea than coffee any day but I always make coffee every morning for my man and make tea later for myself. I'm an Earl grey girl from way back and prefer it loose. I have couple of strainers but my favorite is the spoon strainer. My mom always had tea and a snack ready for us when we got home from school at 4. I do my best to have something for my bunch as well. My Mom keeps my habit supplied.I remember when she bought tea at Ray's Deli years ago for us. I miss Ray's.

Granny Sue said...

I had no idea there were so many tea lovers out there! Cathy, my mother had the same practice--we always had tea with her when we came in from school. It was our chance to talk and hers to relax before getting into the cooking of dinner for our big family.

George, the old tea ball died a few years back. I bought one like it but have trouble opening and closing it. A couple weeks ago I found a little screen one that latches shut and I like it a lot.

I would like to find one of those spoon strainers, Cathy. I've seen them, and I think it would be handy for one-cupper mornings.

Julie, tea eases my migraines and helps me sleep too--which is weird since it has caffeine. I think we're connecting it with relaxing times with Mom and Dad and that's why we can sleep after we drink it.

I've got a bunch of tea-loving grandchildren now, and they all insist on using the "pretty" cups--those being the bone china ones. Only one or two have broken, and I broke the last one myself. I figure their pleasure in choosing the right cup and drinking from them is worth the risk of a broken cup or two.

bayouwoman said...

I love it that you let the g-kids use the heirloom stuff. I mean what else are we saving it for? I don't have g-kids yet, but this reminds me when I do to remember such things. I think I might learn how to brew a pot of tea rather than bags. I never could figure out how not to get leaves in the cup, though, they'd come right through the ball, and I don't have a strainer.
BW

Jaime said...

I think your right on the size of the leaf making a difference. I could definitely taste the difference at your house a couple of weekends ago. It is much better.

Mike said...

I reckon I'll just stick to my mess hall coffee (one cup will have you trembling enough to thread a running sewing machine). ;)

Now, I might have to take you up on those scones you talked about in the other post, tho. I found them to be particularly handy one morning last century.

I've only had the real thing once that I recall: in Dover, England at a little seaside inn I stayed at for the night.

Part of the bargain was what the Brits called a "continental breakfast." It didn't take me long to figure that translated to "you're on a diet" in Yankee English; as I stared out across the English Channel toward Europe (where I'm still convinced some Frenchman and his wife were eating my ham and eggs).

But I still managed the last laugh as I realized I was facing the wrong direction to expect grits on the menu. Pierre and Suzette were probably looking out across the salty pond to the West thinking, "Somewhere out there, Larry and Granny Sue are eating my grits this morning...I hope they choke!"

Robbyn said...

I looooooove tea!! And when all is said and done, it usually ends up being Earl Grey or Constant Comment :)

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