Most of you are probably aware that I'm currently out of town for a work conference. Well, I decided that rather than take an actual break, I'd just go ahead and write my Wednesday and Friday posts ahead of time, since Wednesday is just a picture and the only writing I do is a single period, and I was planning to talk about tea today anyway.
This week, I'm going to talk about my favorite teas, or rather, five of my favorite teas that I sort of arbirtrarily picked because I have the same problem with teas as I have with books. Now, if Jason was writing this post it'd just be five kinds of black tea. Earl Gray, Irish Breakfast, Assam, English Breakfast, and... I don't know. Earl Grayer. Something else along that vein. I like black teas, but I just really do tend to prefer the kind of random flavors.
I do, however, have a favorite kind of tea above all, and I'll start with that.
I like Bigelow Vanilla Chai; where we lived back in Illinois, it was a seasonal tea that we only saw around the winter and so I would stock up on it like a madwoman to get myself through the summer. I've made it iced, too. This tea is made for honey and a little milk. It's very mild; some chais really lay the spice on thick, but this is more about the vanilla and cinnamon flavors.
I also own this rooibos chai from Yogi, for when I want chai but the caffeine seems like a bad plan (usually if I've had something around my body weight in coffee that day). It's a brighter chai; the flavors are more distinct, and it's also super affordable.
Amanzitea and Teavana also have neat tea blends based on chai, if you're into the higher-end looseleaf stuff. Which I totally am. Teavana's White Ayurvedic Chai (linked to Teavana name over there) is probably the best thing I ever got from Teavana.
I just have a greater fondness for this awesome, basic, tea in a bag chai.
2. Traditional Medicinal's Seasonal Herb Tea Sampler.
Because I believe in witchcraft.
Or, you know, herbalism. Or something. I'm pretty clearly a giant hippie. I'm okay with that.
I picked this up on a whim back in Illinois when I had a cold, figuring I'd give it a try. Traditional Medicinals are widely available all over the place, and I'd seen a lot of their teas, in Wal-mart, the local co-op grocery, just everywhere. I now swear by it.
Look, I'm not going to sit here and describe how it has worked miracles on me. But my colds definitely don't last as long as they used to. I cycle through them in a few days now, instead of nearly two weeks. And that's probably psychomatic? But I don't see why anyone should discount a placebo effect if it does what you need it to do. I don't like taking your average over-the-counter medicine, at least not for anything like the common cold. I'd rather drown myself in tea.
The only one in the pack I don't care for is the Echinacea Plus; I just don't particularly like the way echinacea tastes. The rest of them are more pepperminty than anything else. Again, add a little honey and milk and watch your sore throat melt away.
Their Ginger Aid is also awesome if you need something to settle your stomach.But, uh. The name is not in any way misleading. Be prepared for some spicy ginger goodness.
3. Amanzitea's Chocolate Mint mate tea.
Okay, so mate's are probably my second-favorite kind of tea after chai. Traditionally, you get yerba mate, which is the caffeine drink of choice in some South American countries. This is another milk-and-honey-equals-perfect kind of tea, too. In fact, I used to stop by Earth Fare on grocery day back when I lived on that side of town just to get their Mate Latte, a yerba mate and milk concoction that was probably made by angels? But I can't prove that.
This is chocolate and mint and Girl Scout thin mints and life is good.
It's a great dessert tea, but again, it does have caffeine in it, so... time accordingly. Or sometimes I make this tea first thing in the morning, if I want to wake up to something sweet.
I also like Republic of Tea's Yerba Mate Latte. It has a much milder tea taste and a stronger taste of almonds. Teavana's Mate Vana is also awesome (strong taste of chocolate and almonds here).
4. Teavana's Tiramisu Trevino.
I won't even pretend this tea is redeeming in some way. It is pure and perfect dessert. It's meant to taste like the dessert it's named after, and there is definitely a hint of espresso and vanilla and cream in the taste.
The best part about this is that it's a caffeine-free tea, so it's great for late-night sweetness.
I'm almost out, which is somewhat depressing, but I'll learn to live, I suppose.
For other dessert teas, Amanzitea's Pumpkin Cream is delicious, Republic of Tea's Vanilla Almond is a good, mild black tea, and Bigelow's Vanilla Caramel is great, too; I don't even add milk to it.
5. Amanzi tea's Candy Cane.
Yep, Amanzi tea gets two mentions. That's mostly because I'm in "try everything" mode right now, so I have quite a few of their teas. Their Thai Green is my favorite green tea right now; it's a good, grassy green tea with strong coconut flavors. Really, I should have done a section on green tea, too, since I am loving this green tea with acai berry and blueberries.
Wait, I got distracted.
The Candy Cane is a seasonal tea blend (hence no link for this one, it's not available right now), and yes those are little shards of peppermint candies in there. I'm not defending this tea for its health benefits, let me tell you that. I just add a little milk to this one and call it delightful, no sugar beyond what's already in there.
Plus, it's rooibos, so it's caffeine free.
I'm trying to ration, but I'm almost out of this, too.
Because maybe I drink too much tea.
But I'm pretty sure you can't have too much of that, either.