The simple pleasure of tea
A reader wrote to me recently with these comments:
I just finished another of your books and I really enjoy them……In your stories the women drink a variety of teas…..I’d like to find a good breakfast tea to replace coffee in the morning, is there one that you would recommend? So many choices on the shelves its confusing……
Although I didn’t realize the characters in my novels drink a lot of tea, it really is not surprising, since I am a serious tea drinker. Always have been. When the Englishman entered my life, that particular habit found a cozy spot and settled in for good. We always drink tea first thing in the morning, and when together mid-afternoon will often indulge another. It’s easy and comforting and reviving. If you, like the reader above, are overwhelmed when it comes to shopping for and preparing a good cup of tea, I am sharing the advice I sent in reply. Perhaps you’ll find it handy.
To replace coffee, the main thing to remember is that you want black tea. Not green or anything else. And most coffee drinkers prefer to start with something not flavored, so go with straight black tea.
My #1 favorite breakfast tea is PG Tips, but you have to get the kind that is imported from England (the “English” tea sold in the US is made with different parts of the tea leaves and is not as flavorful). Unless you’re just insanely in love with tea, that’s a bit expensive. Because Christopher Robin is British and must begin his day with a classic cup (two sugars and milk), we have his mother send boxes of it. I also buy it at the English store (most towns have one). Again, pretty expensive, but fun to try maybe.
Those are the best black teas.
For some other great things to try, here are a few:
Constant Comment, by Bigelow, the classic orange flavored tea. Also try their Lemon Lift and Mint teas.
One of the best teas in the world to me is Good Earth caffeine-free blend. It’s strong and sweet without sugar, and has no caffeine, so I can drink it all morning while I’m writing. It smells wonderful, too!