Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday High Tea

Admittedly, I have no idea what "high tea" means, but I know it's super-fancy. And when I drink tea, I feel pretty darn sophisticated. I'm not typically a tea drinker. I'm a coffee girl, and I'll have my double-tall cup of dark roast, fair trade java with soy creamer and agave every morning, thank you very much. But each winter, I try to make myself like tea. And every year, I learn more and more about what sorts of tea I like.

Here's what I've learned so far: I like my teas like I like my coffee — strong and full of caffeine. So black teas rule my world, particularly chai tea with soy milk and agave. If I must go with a green tea, I prefer it to be made with matcha powder. And I hate most herbal teas, unless they have a hint of vanilla (like Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Vanilla) or licorice (like Aveda Comfort Tea).

Kungaloosh, a gourmet global tea company, generously sent me two samples of their loose-leaf holiday teas. Thankfully, both fell into my tea "likes". My fave was this Cozy Christmas Tea:

It's a black tea (yea!) with orange peel, cloves, and cinnamon. Sort of like a citrusy chai. I drank it at work with no access to soy milk, but it would have been slightly improved with a splash. Nothing wrong with the tea. That's just how I like my chai. Anyway, this tea smelled and tasted like Christmas in a cup.

They also sent along some Jack Frost Tea:

This is a naturally-flavored vanilla and peppermint ceylon tea. As a fan of vanilla, I fell in love with this one. I also loved the ceylon tea base. It seems like most minty teas fall into the herbal category, and I'm just not down with that. Although ceylon does contain caffeine, I think Jack Frost would be best enjoyed at night in front of a toasty fireplace. A little caffeine at night doesn't affect my sleep at all.

What are your favorite teas?

17 comments:

mybrandnewlife said...

You should try a nice English Breakfast blend, a lovely all day tea.

Twinings make some great teas (suppliers to the Queen y'know) and Brew Pigs are making some excellent stuff too. You should check them out.

Rick said...

my health-nerdishness keeps me only buying teas for cleansing. i have a bulk "kidney tea" and a bulk "liver tea" and they both work wonderfully. the taste isn't so great, especially because you can't use sweeteners with cleansing herbs, but it seriously works...

Christina said...

I love a strong cup of black tea with milk (of choice) and stevia, but I also LOVE fruit teas. My favorite is Advent fruit tea, but I also have a blood orange tea that is divine.

I get all of my loose leaf teas from Tea Gschwender and they're very good (Banana Walnut, anyone??). But, like you, I'm not a fan of green or herbal teas. The black, oolong, and fruit teas are where it's at!

moonsword said...

Traditional Medicinals "Breathe Easy" tea is soothingly aromatic and sweet, whether or not I have a cough. Yogi "Egyptian Licorice" is super delicious, my favorite treat-to-me tea!

dreaminitvegan said...

Those teas look and sound so nice!

Ricki said...

Mmm! I've really come to love tea, too, over the past few years (though I'm not allowed black teas right now. . . sniff, boo hoo). I love Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread Spice tea with some almond milk (sort of chai-like) and a big cup of matcha green is always welcome.

Oh, and I actually went to high tea when I visited my best friend in England--it was an amazing array of little sandwiches, sweets, etc. and, of course, tea! ;)

Leslie R. said...

Mmm I drink tea every single day. I love green tea and herbal tea, but chai is the only black variety I can take. I love tea!

Ainslie Greig said...

I've been trying to make myself like tea lately too. I was raised on coffee and will ALWAYS be a coffee girl, but I'm learning tea has it's place and that place is more welcome if I don't think of it as a "replacement" for coffee. I'm in love with strong peppermint teas (Yogi & Tazo), and this white tea with coconut & pomegranate by www.teainthesahara.ca which is basically the most delicious smell ever.

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

I'm more of a coffee girl, but I do enjoy a cup of organic green tea or a cup of black chai tea with a splash of almond milk. I also sometimes enjoy a cup o' Earl Grey with some agave every once in awhile.

I tend to drink my coffee in the morning and my tea at night, since tea doesn't seem to keep me awake. I'm also not a fan of herbal teas (unless I blended it myself), since I think most taste kind of funky. My only exception is Good Earth Original Sweet and Spicy tea. It's kind of cinnamon-y and needs no sugar. I like it if I'm feeling a little under the weather. It's great on a sore throat!

thedalyn said...

LOVE Sleepytime Vanilla. Doing the Celestial Seasonings tour is all the rage here, but I've never been because I'm not a tea lover either. That said, I hear you haven't lived until you've experienced the "mint room."

Amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler said...

Chai is my favorite, but it's gotta be iced! Yum, yum, yum.

My friend has sent me so many random kinds of tea. It's fun to randomly choose one and see how it goes. I like dark teas, I like fruity herbal teas, I like "Throat Coat" when needed, I like Yogi "Relaxing" tea... I'm not very knowledgeable with tea - I just know what I like. (And I like to try it all!)

foodfeud said...

Mm, I'm with you - mostly coffee but I do love Irish Breakfast (so much better than English Breakfast) Chai and Earl Grey for caffeinated teas and I've recently rekindled my love (after 2 1/2 years of not being able to find it!) of Celestial Seasonings Rooibos: Madagascar Vanilla Red tea. It's not caffeinated but it is SO GOOD and in the summer months makes an amazingly flavorful iced tea.
I drink a lot more tea in the winter both to keep warm but not overly jumpy and to keep my mouth occupied but not by food - I tend to overeat to feed my body too much in the winter.

Tender Branson said...

I'm not much of a tea drinker but I do like some of the stuff that a local tea lounge here does (especially their holiday blends).

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Yum! Christmas in a cup sounds perfect. I like really strong Darjeeling tea lately.

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

I love love tea, but not as a sub for coffee..

I am really into Roobios right now. Super hot with nothing in it. And peppermint... and sleepytime.

I even like funkier medicinal teas like dandelion and nettle, again super hot with nothing in it.

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

... and in the summer.. iced peppermint with a touch of stevia.. and ginger rasbperry iced with stevia.. mmmmm! .. and of course, iced black tea with lemon and stevia.

I also LOVE using tea mixed with powdered sugar as a glaze for baked goods or infused soymilk in baking

Alex said...

I looove Zhena's Gyspy Teas (http://www.gypsytea.com/). There are all sorts of out-of-the-ordinary flavors, black and otherwise. My favorites are a rose-scented black tea (delicate but still full of caffeine, yay!) and a lavender rooibos tea (just try it). Bonus: they're organic and fair trade!