I am a tea lover although I grew up with coffee and can still remember the smell & sound of the percolator in our kitchen. Coffee has become much more sophisticated since then. But coffee gives me a caffeine jolt & keeps me awake at night whereas tea gently nudges my energy up a level & never keeps me up. Coffee leaves a bitter aftertaste in my mouth, whereas tea freshens my palate.
All tea is processed from the same bush called Camellia Sinensis. White tea is made from young leaves & buds that are steamed/fried to inactivate oxidation then dried. Green Tea is processed by steaming/scalding the leaves then rolled & dried. Black Tea leaves are not steamed, but fermented then dried. Some teas are really herb and/or spice infusions offering infinite flavorings & benefits.
My grocery store favorites are: Bigelow Lemon Lift, Constant Comment & Vanilla Chai. Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice, Coconut Thai Chai & Sleepytime. Twinnings has the Grey's. Most everyone has tried Earl Grey, but Lady Grey? what a treat it is! Green teas? not my favorites.
Some restaurants and coffee shops now offer premium teas. I recently had a cup of Earl Grey tea that made my socks roll up and down, it was SO GOOD!
Several years ago I received a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker as a gift. My husband has taken it over and he makes iced tea every weekend up at the cottage with Lipton Orange Pekoe. He adds a bit of lemon. I add a bit of liquid stevia. When I try to sneak in a few herbal tea bags I am chastised. He is a purist.
When I discovered my love of tea, I spent one Saturday going through antique shops looking for the perfect ceramic tea pot. This is important! Find one, new or used, that you absolutely love. Porcelain, ceramic and glass teapots are preferred by the English.
How to brew the perfect pot of tea: Start with fresh, cold water. While it may seem more efficient to begin with hot water, Fill an empty kettle with cold running water and bring to a rolling boil. Pre-heat the teapot by filling it with hot water. Pre-heating the teapot will keep the water hot longer and yield a better brew. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com
I am using a cup of tea in place of my after noon and after dinner snacks. After dinner is definitely Sleepy Time tea by Celestial Seasonings. Afternoon slump tea? I am currently loving Vanilla Chai Black Tea by Bigelow, adding a dollop of milk and a few drops of liquid stevia, I can savor the flavor, get an energy boost and not feel deprived. What's your favorite?