22 January 2014

Tea Adventure


After reading the post about different teas over at Catch 88, I was inspired to write about my thorough obsession with tea. Although I just recently started drinking coffee again, I've always been much more of a tea girl. In-between drinking my vast amounts of water and the several cups of tea I drink every day, it's almost hard to fit any other liquids in. Which is good, actually. It seems like whenever I want to reach for a soft drink now, I find myself full from that cup of tea. Boo-yah. 

This is a picture of the teas I currently have displayed out on the kitchen counter (not like this, ha!) in their boxes. The box labeled "Six Assorted Teas" has actually become a box full of single, random teas that I'm trying to use up. 

The Tension Tamer is my favorite right now. It's regularly been in the top, but now that I've been drinking it every day, I've actually been noticing how my muscles are able to relax--if even just a smidge--and a mild difference in my demeanor. I'm making it sound like it's Ativan or something! Trust me, it's not, but it still works wonders. Even Coco Peru, the famous drag queen, describes it as "crack." And if you haven't seen Miss Coco's video of her parading around various stores trying desperately to find the Tension Tamer tea she's almost out of, then you MUST watch it! 

I shared the video with a few friends a while back, we kept making inside jokes about it because we all love Tension Tamer tea, and then I made a tweet about the tea. Guess who ended up favoriting it? That's right. Miss Coco Peru herself. Hilarious.

Now, don't get me wrong. Tension Tamer is great. Obviously it's a huge hit among my friends and many other folks too (I can't get over the "crack" mention). But that doesn't mean I let my other teas go to waste! 

As you can seen in the picture below, I store most of my teas in a plastic container. The idea was that it didn't take up much space and it was mobile. That way, I could transport it back and forth from college to home, or I could take it with me when my family and I would go camping. It's fairly large and it's not really a hassle to find the specific tea I'm looking for. 

In fact...some of the teas are actually in plastic bags and labeled. It was an idea my mother came up with to prevent so many boxes from being left out on the counter. 
Like you can see with the "Sleepytime" tea, we simply cut the title off of the box, placed it in the bag with the teabags, and voila! I'm sure you could construct a much prettier version of this, but this was simple and easy at the time, and it still works for us now. 

Now, let's take a step back and get a peek at what's inside of my precious storage container:
There is such a variety here it's not even funny. From your classic earl grey and green teas to some smoky black tea and soothing chamomile. Tea to help an upset stomach, tea to help you unwind, and a tea to actually help break down kidney stones (umm...talk about a miracle worker!). 

I enjoy all of these, but it seems like they all have their certain place at roughly the same time of day. For example, earl grey is obviously something I would normally drink for breakfast or brunch. Chamomile? More of a wind-down, afternoon drink. The stomach ease also helps aid in digestion, and it's FULL of ginger, so sometimes I'll drink it after a larger meal. You get the picture. They have their place. 

I also like to have my own personal tea cups. Although, I prefer the term "mug." 
This is a horrible picture, but at least you can see them all together. Each is special to me in their own way. The one that says "Wonder" has followed me through college since I was a freshman, and sometimes I pretend the "W" just stands for my last name ;) The mug on the right, plastered with owls, was given to me by my lovely sister-in-law (and I suppose my brother) and I adore it. It brightens my day whenever I use it. Lastly, the smallest mug in the center is perhaps my favorite. It is absolutely beautiful and the handle is, of course, an owl. It was a present from my friend, Maisie, who also suffers from Lyme disease.

What's not pictured in all of this is the one tea my doctor "prescribed" which is matcha tea. It is a powder, so you normally use a bamboo whisk and add it to hot water or, like me, hot water with some milk. What's so crazy about matcha is that, while it's a green tea, matcha is basically made from the whole tea plant. It's actually so potent, one cup of matcha tea equals about ten cups of regular green tea! Like I wrote in a comment on Catch 88's post about teas, matcha is great for energy, concentration, and, dropping those extra pounds. Something interesting is the caffeine in it; unlike that huge wave of energy you experience with other caffeinated drinks like coffee, matcha slowly releases the caffeine into your body so that you're able to experience more of a lasting effect, rather than just an incredible Hulk-like hour or so. If you know anything about pharmaceuticals, think about it like an extended release medication. 
My absolute favorite thing about matcha tea, though? Mixing it completely with milk, adding some froth to the top, and you have a bangin' latte. Starbucks, watch out. 

What's your favorite type of tea? Is there a special time you decide to drink it?

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