I’ve been a bit sick lately, so I’ve been drinking tea even more than usual. Tea may just be my favorite beverage, and I have an entire drawer in my kitchen dedicated to my collection–right underneath the electric kettle that I love so dearly. Although I have a designated tea drawer, that’s not the only spot for tea. I don’t stick to just one kind, and I like to surround myself with a different tea for a different occasion! And… most of my “traveling teas” are bagged teas (and some aren’t very fancy, either)~
I keep tea at my desk to supplement the varieties that are stocked in our kitchens. I’m very lucky that my office has tea at all, and even luckier that it isn’t simply something another worker brought in and forgot about. A set supply of bagged teas is restocked on a regular basis: Bigelow’s “Constant Comment,” “Orange & Spice,” “Apple Cinnamon,” “Earl Grey,” “Cranberry Apple,” and “Green Tea,” as well as Tazo’s “Chai” and “Awake.”
I’m not terribly fond of bagged tea, as the quality of the tea leaves is usually lower and the tag-shaped paper pouches don’t circulate water very well, but I’m definitely not above drinking it! I find that if the tea is stronger–like a black tea–it can be easier to taste that the leaves are not as flavorful or select as those in loose-leaf tea. Thus I usually drink herbal teas if bagged tea is an option. I lean towards the two apple flavors at work; they’re even better with honey. ♥
I also keep my own tea in my desk. I don’t want to bring my tea accoutrement to work me with (at least not yet) so I like to select a box of tea bags to try. If they’re at work it forces me to drink it even if I don’t really-really like it! At home it could languish in my drawer forever~ Right now I have a box of Tazo’s “Cucumber White.” It’s an interesting flavor–a white tea with cucumber, lime, and peppermint. At first I wasn’t very keen on the taste, but it’s started to grow on me. It’s very refreshing, and it soothes an upset stomach.
~Away from Home~
My other hidden-tea-stash is at my mother’s house. She doesn’t live terribly far away and is centrally located to the rest of my family, so my person and I travel out to see her…or sleep at her house when visiting other relatives. My tea used to live in my mother’s kitchen cabinet, but now there are only a few remnants. My stepfather enjoys tea as well, but he has been working abroad for a while, so there isn’t much in the cabinet.
There are a few golden pouches from a local tea shop that is no longer around. They had a very wide selection and some interesting blends–different from what I notice at most shops, which always made me wonder if they had a different supplier. Most of the teas are green teas, which I am rarely in the mood for. Instead, my mother’s house has my two guilty pleasures–Bigelow’s “English Teatime” and Celestial Seasoning’s “Sleepytime.”
Out of all the black teas produced by mass-marketed tea bag companies, I really prefer the blend that’s in “English Teatime.” It’s strong without much bitterness, having mild undertones instead. I find that it goes well with mostly anything I plan to drink it with, and it stands well on its own. “Sleepytime” is my favorite night-time tea–a chamomile with spearmint and lemongrass. It also brings back very happy childhood memories.
~Make it Quick!~
Quick isn’t even the best word, really–it’s convenience. I do have to admit that bagged tea is awfully convenient. I do keep some of it at home, although it is vastly outnumbered by the rest of my teas. If I’m only choosing bagged tea on a whim when I’m at home, it has to be more than just quick–it has to taste delicious! After all, why else would it ever be consumed?
Personally, I really like teas by ®evolution. I find their flavor combinations quite tasty, and I’m partial to their larger-sized cloth bags–I think it lets the flavors get through and gives the leaves more room to open. (I also like that I can see that the tea isn’t pulverized!) My current favorite is their “Pear White Tea.” I love pears. I love flavored white teas. What else could I ask for? Even opening the box smells wonderful.
However, that’s not my “standard” bagged tea. That spot is reserved for PG Tips; it’s my favorite bagged black tea. I can’t stand generic Lipton, but I drink a lot of PG. It’s strong, has nice color, good flavor, and pyramid-shaped bags for good water flow. Also, it’s really, really quick to steep. I usually only leave it in the water until the color darkens, and remove it immediately. It can become too bitter if left unattended, so keeping an eye on it is recommended.
After thinking about and writing all this, now it’s definitely time for some tea! ♥