Saturday, February 16, 2013

Today's Post is Brought to You By the Letter Tea

It seems like every time Lee is gone for more than a week, I get the itch to reorganize and go through stuff while he's gone.  I don't know why, it's just a thing.  Not necessarily huge upheavals in where things go, but kind of streamlining things...last time it was the shoe closet and some things in the kitchen.  This last week, I'm happy to say I went through my closet and I've got a rather large stack of old clothes to donate next time we get a request (the charities here often leave a bag at your house for old clothes and other items, and then they come back to pick it up a day or two later so I'm just waiting for the next one).  Having just bought a bunch of new clothes on my trip to the States, it seemed like a good time to get rid of some old ones I don't (or can't...BLAH!) wear anymore.

I spent some time today kind of picking up the house (mostly downstairs) and vacuuming up incredible amounts of dog hair.  Think I'll leave off straightening up things upstairs until tomorrow because it'll probably be more work ;)  Seems like my craft room is in constant need of tidying up.  But while I was making blueberry muffins today, I decided to empty out my tea cabinet and see what all kinds of tea I have, because I have a bad habit of always reaching for what's on top.

So I wonder if anyone is planning on staging a tea intervention yet.  How many types do you think I have?  Ok, I had to count.  It's between 50 and 55.  I've got a few boxes that are variety packs, and still in the cabinet I have three types of loose-leaf tea (two of which I bought in Salzburg and the labels are all in German so I'm not 100% sure what they are but they smelled awesome).  Mostly I do tea bags.

These are all the caffeine-free teas I have.  After a year of trial and error, I can say with authority that I prefer black teas, which DO generally have caffeine in them, but every once in a while I run across a caffeine-free herbal type that I really like.  My favorite one of these is some Twinings blueberry and apple.  Most of the caffeine-free types I usually drink with honey in them, whereas the caffeinated ones I prefer with milk and sugar.  I discovered last week when I was out of milk that I really don't like Ceylon tea without milk, and Ceylon is one of my favorite black teas.

Ok, so I may have given up Cokes, but I still like my caffeine.  Though honestly, I don't drink tea every day, just when I'm cold (but if it's a really cold day, I might drink multiple cups in a day).  I think my very favorite type of caffeinated tea is Ceylon orange pekoe, but I also really like Assam, wild berry, and the breakfast tea varieties (English, Irish, Scottish).  I like 'em strong too, I usually let them steep at least five minutes.  I still have several boxes I haven't even cracked open yet, so I'm planning on leaving them out on the counter for at least a little bit so I remember to try some new teas.  Of course, I just made myself a cuppa and what did I get?  Ceylon.  So my try-new-teas plan hasn't quite taken off yet.

It's no secret that I'm a sci-fi geek and I love both Star Wars and Star Trek, but no matter how cool Captain Picard is, I can't get on board with his signature tea--Earl Grey.  I've tried it several times, trying a couple different ways to sweeten it, with and without milk, and BLEH every time.  Lucky for me, Earl Grey is my friend Karen's favorite tea, so I gave her all that I had left (except for one variety pack, in case she wants tea next time she's at my house).  I do still have quite a bit of Lady Grey though, which has a more citrusy flavor to it.  Need to try Lady Grey again and see if I like her better than her husband.

Well, my ridiculous tea collection shall be put to good use next month:  I'm hosting a Mad Hatter tea party.  Think I should do any more tea shopping beforehand?  I only have Russian Caravan in loose-leaf...and I don't have any Gunpowder tea....

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