Monday, September 26, 2016

Top 5 Favorite Teas

When I was growing up, we weren't a tea house. My dad drank coffee in the morning & my mom drank coffee all day, but we only ever had Lipton iced sun tea in the summer. When I moved to Greeley for college, my brother discovered an excellent English style tea house called the Canterbury Tea Room. It was one of our favorite places to go for lunch, dessert & drinks. I remember dressing up for Halloween & going there to eat & take old timey pictures! They had a little dessert cart that the server would push around to each table & everything was delish!  But the whole time that the Canterbury Tea Room was open, I never ordered hot tea. They had a wall of loose leaf teas behind the register to choose from & would bring out a little pot on a doily for each person. While I loved the presentation & idea of a piping hot cuppa out of beautiful china, I would always just order an iced tea or hot chocolate.

I quite honestly couldn't stomach the thought (or smell) of drinking hot tea & because of that, I missed out on the full majesty that was The Canterbury Tea Room. I still kick myself for that! But when the smell of tea makes you physically ill, you steer clear, know what I mean?

It wasn't until my sophomore year that my lovely roommate, LaRaine, asked if I'd ever tried green tea. While I explained that I probably wouldn't like it, she made me a cup & for the first time, I liked hot tea! I remember very distinctly that what I liked about green tea was, and I know this is weird, that it tasted like dirt. It was light, earthy & oddly comforting. For years, I exclusively drank green tea in all it's different forms & when I read that it was good for your skin, I was extra pleased.

After years of working in coffee shops & trying different brands & blends of tea, I'm a full-fledged tea drinker & oddly enough, green tea is no longer my favorite! When it comes to buying tea, I tend to stick to the types that I know I like. I can't stomach chamomile (No Sleepy Time for me!), and a lot of herbal tea has chamomile in it's blend. I also don't like any tea that has hibiscus in it.

I have compiled my top 5 all-time favorite teas for your perusing pleasure! What are your favorite brands or types of tea? I would love to add a few new options to my tea tray this fall!

5. Two Leaves & a Bud Organic Tropical Green-

This is great, hot or cold, but it is especially good iced! 


4. Celestial Seasoning's Antioxidant Green Tea-

If you're looking for a solid plain Jane green tea, this is your guy! Especially if you like tea that tastes like dirt! ;) AND if you live in Northern Colorado, you can drive down to Boulder & take a free tour of the Celestial Seasonings headquarters. I highly recommend the Mint Room & the tea shop! 


3. Bigelow's I Love Lemon- 

I don't have many herbal teas that I like, but this one is so good! When I start to feel sick, I load up on I Love Lemon to stay hydrated & get my extra vitamin C! 


2. Twining's Irish Breakfast-

Now, this bad boy is a staple in my house! I buy the decaf version in bulk on Amazon because I go through it so quickly during the winter months. I also buy Constant Comment in bulk for my husband (even though I think it smells like the ham my mom used to make for Christmas dinner. The things you do for love #hamtea). I also keep a box of the caffeinated version on hand for mornings when I don't want coffee or when my asthma is giving me fits. Caffeine is similar to the drug theophylline, which is a bronchodilator & can temporarily relieve wheezing, coughing & breathlessness that my asthma brings on. 

Though this particular brand is my go-to, any black tea is my default. I don't add anything to it; no milk or sugar. I leave the tea bag in while I drink it (I like it really strong). I also like English Breakfast & most Earl Grey. Black tea is where it's at, kids! 


1. The Republic of Tea's Tea of Good Tidings-

This tea is amazing & magical. Plain & simple.

It's like Christmas in a cup.

I used to work at a coffee shop that stocked Republic of Tea products exclusively. While working my way through the stock, tasting each type, I found the Tea of Good Tidings & my life has never been the same. This is the only tea I have ever purchased in a 5lb bag (totally worth it, by the way). While it's especially nice during the holiday season, I could drink this delicious elixir any time of year. It's that good!


Runners Up:

-Republic of Tea's Earl Greyer 
-Celestial Seasonings True Blueberry (Contains hibiscus, but when mixed with the blueberry, it isn't too bad.) 
-Republic of Tea's Ginger Peach Black (Great hot or iced) 
-Cranford Cove's Coconut Vanilla (If you live in Greeley & haven't been to Cranford Cove yet, you need to check it out the next time you're in downtown!) 
-Tea Pigs Popcorn Tea
-Republic of Tea's Temple of Health (I can't find this for sale anywhere, but if you can get your hands on it, it works miracles when you're sick!) 

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