food

Tea Time

It has been a long, looooong time since I did a post about my tea stash (2013, maybe?), but as the weather has finally cooled off properly and it’s writing season, I thought now would be a good time to tour the stash.

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I’ve moved twice since that last post, and the tea stash has expanded and contracted accordingly. Ahmad is still our go-to black tea; Ash prefers English Tea no. 1, while I prefer their English Breakfast (which is basically the same thing, but with less bergamot). This is the tea I reach for at work when I need a shot of caffeine or something to keep me warm. I get both of these from a local Mediterranean grocery store. English tea comes in a box of 100 tea bags for between $4-$7 (way better than the $17-25 I’ve seen online), or a 100g tin of loose leaf for about the same price.

When we’re sick, Ash and I each have our favorites. She really likes Ahmed Lemon and Lime Twist, which is about $3.50 for a package of 20 tea bags, but lately we haven’t been able to find it. It is available online, however, and usually more readily than English Tea no.1.

My preference is for Twinnings Peppermint herbal tea. I usually brew a pot of this, with one bag of peppermint and one bag of English Tea no. 1, or sometimes I drink it on its own. With a little sugar, it’s very soothing for sore throats and congested sinuses. It’s really great in the summer, too:

Peppermint Iced Tea

In a pot, bring a quart of water to a boil. Add 3 bags Ahmed English Tea no. 1 or black tea of choice, and 2 bags peppermint herbal tea. Let steep for 10-15 minutes.

Remove tea bags, and on low heat add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup honey. Stir until sugar and honey are completely dissolved. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Fill a 1 gallon pitcher halfway with ice. Pour tea over ice. Fill remainder of pitcher with cold water. Chill before serving.

If it’s my stomach bothering me, I usually reach for green tea, usually a jasmine green tea. The one I have in my stash right now doesn’t have a label, but I don’t really have a brand preference–usually whatever I can find in the grocery store.

Of course, my favorite tea flavor is still ginger peach. The Republic of Tea has a great one, but last year I found a lovely little tea shop in Urbana (Teabaggers), and they have a house blend that’s fantastic. I also really like their chai. I have some of their matcha tea bags, too, but I’ve been hoarding them away. Not sure what I’m saving them for, but I haven’t tried it yet.

20171019_100318In green tea, I have two preferences. For just drinking, I really like Stash’s green and white blend, which I can get for about $3 at our local discount grocery. It’s good for just drinking plain, and doesn’t have the bitterness American green tea usually does (by that I mean the bags of green tea you find in the grocery store, from Twinnings or Celestial Seasons).

I love matcha, but it’s horribly expensive. I’m also a big fan of the green tea lattes at Starbucks, but $4 a serving is a bit steep (see what I did there?). My attempts to make them myself never really came out satisfactory, however, so I’ve shifted my attention to my other drink of choice–smoothies. This is my standard breakfast smoothie on the days I work.

Matcha Latte Smoothie

In a blender combine 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt of choice (about 1 single serve cup), 1 banana, 2 tablespoons Trader Joe’s green tea latte powder. Fill the rest of the blender with ice and milk.

Blend thoroughly.

The green tea latte powder is a mixture of condensed milk, some sugar, and matcha powder, which makes it a lot cheaper than buying pure matcha powder ($25 an ounce, versus $5-7 for 8oz).


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