Teatime! 7.26.08

Admittedly, I’m a complete tea junkie.

My mommy gave me a cast iron teapot with a steeper in it, and because of it, I’ve been drinking all the tea I’ve ever wanted to.

Through my e-mails, I know that lots of you drink tea, too. . . So why not introduce a column about the best teas ever – on a budget, of course!

[PS – I LOVE it when readers send me e-mails about things they love… It gives me inspiration! Even if it’s “Hey, Miss Elle. I ate an ice cream cone with crushed up oreos on it, and it was awesome. It made me want a black & white graphic print shirt – where do I find this ish?” – I don’t care. I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!]

The first place I ever really, really learned that I wasn’t alone in my tea-obsession was Teavana. They have amazing teas (loose and bagged) and beautiful pots and accessories.

I walked in to their shop in Bellevue Square Mall in Bellevue, WA and was just… speechless. They had gigantic 5 gallon drums of loose teas… Probably 60 of them, in all! The walls were lined with ornate teapots made from porcelain, glass, cast iron, clay… Mugs were stacked neatly with the most beautiful graphics and etchings and paintings on them – Teavana is the perfect name for this place.

Genmaicha Flavored Green Tea

The first tea I bought was Genmaicha Flavored Green Tea. It’s classified as a “flavored green tea” because it’s been roasted with popped rice (not like rice krispies, yo… MUCH better). The flavor is rejuvinating and clear like green tea, but with a little bit of smokiness from the roasted rice. It was originally used to extend the tea supplies during a bad harvest in Japan… COOL, HUH? $4.50/2 oz.

If green isn’t really your bag, or if you want something a little more intense and exciting, I suggest this:

Ginger Peach Apricot Flavored & Scented Black Tea

Ginger Peach Apricot Flavored & Scented Black Tea. The sweetness isn’t overwhelming, thanks to the rich, dark black tea background. This has bits of apricot & peach, citrus peels and cloves which warm up this tea. It’s just like a big, comfy… wet blanket? You know what I mean.

Not enough to convince you how amazing this tea is? Check out the health benefits:

Ginger helps with some nausea, acts as a mild anti-inflammatory, and stimulates digestion. Black tea assists in lowering cholesterol and regulating blood sugar levels. Also helps the heart and circulation by gently stimulating the body. Black tea helps to prevent cavities and reduce fine lines and wrinkles to keep your skin looking younger and healthier. – Teavana

Dude! Come on! $6.00/2 oz.

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If you look at “2 oz.” and think to yourself… “Rip off!”, well let me help you gain some perspective on this whole “loose leaf tea” thing.

Typically, you use 1-2 teaspoons of tea per serving. 2 oz. = 25-30 teaspoons. That’s 30 cups of tea! Not so bad now, is it? =)

THE VESSEL

Sounds important, doesn’t it? Well, it totally is! Personally, I’m a complete fangirl when it comes to tea, so I like to match my teapot to not only my mood or what’s clean, but to the type of tea I’m drinking. (I know. Get a life, Miss Elle.)

These two teas are… nurturing and clarifying. Smokey and sweet… Comforting. So we need a comforting teapot.

Mint Side Handle Teapot Set with Two Cups

Mint Side Handle Teapot Set with Two Cups
$32.99

This is the perfect set for a quite day at home with a stack of magazines, a good book, a Good Eats marathon, or just sitting outside enjoying the sun. It’s ceramic, so it’ll keep the tea warm for a good while, and also has that homemade feel that makes it feel really special. It’s called a kyusu pot, and it’s said that when you pour the tea using the side handle, the spout, lid top and handle should all align, if it’s made well. Inside the teapot is a stainless steel infuser (where you put the loose tea, then pour water over the dry leaves). It comes with these two little cups, too, which both have bamboo designs on them (a symbol of nobility and growth).

Ahhhhh, that’s good.

xoxo.

  • Chelsea Rae

    I Love tea! Green tea, Black tea, White tea, flavored tea. I love it all!

    I had this orange and vanilla flavored green tea at this place called Alice’s Tea House in NYC. It was so delicious!

    Chelsea Raes last blog post: Making Mr. Rogers Proud on http://pinkrockcandy.net

  • TREE

    My husband has a start-up online tea company: drink the leaf. Its all loose leaf. Premium teas but a great prices, too. I found your blog while researching tea. Its interesting. And multiple infusions is definitely key for stretching your wallet, and tea inventory!

  • I work for the equivalent of Teavana in the UK and i’m so glad that some Americans are kicking coffee in favour of tea! Its so good for your health and the varieties of flavours are amazing! I notice you have all blends or flavoured teas…have you tried oolong tea? Its quite different but has an amazing taste – we just got a new Big Red Robe Oolong and it BLEW my mind! You can infuse it up to 8 times and it tastes slightly different each time! http://jingtea.com/tea/oolong-tea-wu-long/wuyi-big-red-robe-oolong-tea-da-hong-paogreat-red-cloak-wu-long. Teavana must have an equivalent…try it! Spread the tea word!