Teatime

I have too much tea. I’m a little afraid to count how many different kinds of tea I have for fear of embarrassing myself. There was a time when I’d proudly announce to guests that they had 13 different kinds of tea to choose from.. This never got the impressed reaction I was hoping for — more of a blank stare than a delighted smile.

I started drinking tea when I was a young teenager — probably much later than some of you — but early for my kind. My folks drank coffee, which I refused to drink, but I loved my tea. I remember my Uncle Bud stopping by my parent’s house one Saturday morning and commenting on my tea drinking, suggesting I was too young.

I almost certainly took up drinking tea because of my Anglophilia. I devoured books about Britain, watched nothing but Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Masterpiece Theatre on telelvision, and dreamed of someday going to the United Kingdom and falling in love with a British man.

When I did visit the UK, tea was a fact of life. Every morning I drank my cup of PG Tips and every evening before bed I drank another with my host family. It was a time to talk and get to know each other a little more.

The year Dean and I moved to Pittsburgh is when I began to hoard tea. I’d always have a box of Lipton in the house as well as Sleepytime tea. I’d also have several different other varieties for a change of pace. After we moved to the DC area I bought more tea and felt that I always needed to have a dozen or so kinds of tea to offer people: Lipton, Assam, Constant Comment, Earl Grey, Jasmine (a favorite of Frances Lide), Sleepytime, Red Zinger, and so on.

Today I cleaned out part of the pantry and I uncovered my tea stash. Some should be tossed — they are a few years old, but some were bought just last week. I’ve decided to fill my wooden tea chest with a variety of teabags and have one type of looseleaf tea always available. I’d say I’ll get through this tea in no time — perhaps by the time Clare’s out of college. I also need to resolve to not buy any more tea until what I have is used up (or at least throw away a box for each new box I purchase).

Remind me to tell you about my teapot collection sometime…

10 thoughts on “Teatime

    1. Coffee makes my heart pound. Tea soothes my mind. I think you have to find the right tea, but compared to coffee, it can be considered bland. I drink coffee in the morning, but like tea in the afternoon or evening.

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  1. I drink my PG Tips every day! (Though mid-morning, as I have to start the day with coffee or a homemade latte).

    I started drinking it the moment I arrived in England. I’ve been back in the States for (eeks), about 7 years now – but the tea habit can’t be broken. 🙂

    Thank goodness for ‘World Market’, as I used to have to order my tea online, or have friends send it to me.

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    1. We have a great store near us that sells the major brands of English tea. I prefer Yorkshire now over PG Tips. Angie — have you ever had Mariage Fréres brand teas? My husband gave me Marco Polo and Noel one year for my birthday, but their best, in my opinion is Sultane. The best cup of tea in the world. I just found them in a Balducci’s near me.

      http://www.lasplash.com/publish/FoodAndBeverage/cat_index_paris_food/Mariage_Fr_res_-_The_Best_Tea_in_the_World.php

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      1. I drank Yorkshire Gold during my first summer in England, when I went over to work as an Au Pair in Leicestershire. But after that, and from then on, it’s PG Tips for me. Nothing else will do when I want a good cup of ‘English tea’ with milk and sugar. It’s a sentimental thing, I’m certain.

        I like Harney & Sons and Fortnum & Mason brands when I have the time to make loose leaf tea (I just never seem to have the time anymore!).
        For ‘grocery store’ tea bags, I prefer the Stash brand. (Though there is one particular Tazo brand tea that I love as well, ‘Passion’. That is really the only herbal tea I’ll do). I’m definitely a black tea girl. I don’t care for Lipton, Celestial Seasonings, etc.

        I have not tried Mariage Fréres, but I will look for it when I travel. Aside from Williams Sonoma, we don’t have any of the stores it is sold at, here in Charlotte. I’ve never seen it at WS, but then again, I’ve never known to look!

        It’s funny… I collect teapots as well! The last one I purchased is a beautiful Belleek pot during our Ireland trip last year.

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  2. I definitely have clutter tea. Because although I really like it, I hardly ever make it.

    Tell me about your teapot collection sometime…

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  3. I love that you resolved “to not buy any more tea until what I have is used up” and then immediately qualified that with ” (or at least throw away a box for each new box I purchase).” You’re a wise woman.

    I definitely want to hear about your teapot collection.

    I started to tell you about my tea-drinking … but there’s enough for a whole post. You’re my inspiration lately, Dona.

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  4. OK, here’s more. I had lunch at the Aji Nippon resto across from Strosniders and ended up buying green tea with roasted barley. I’d complained to the server that when I made green tea at home, it was always bitter. Aahhh- she had the solution, and sold me a large package. Delish hot or iced. Coming to your house soon…

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