Tea will

My kind of store!  In Bar Harbor, Maine 2012

My kind of store! In Bar Harbor, Maine 2012

“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”

― William Ewart Gladstone

My day would not be complete without tea.  For those of us who grew up in the South, iced tea was part of everyday life, but I did not start drinking hot tea regularly until about 14 years ago.  I got really hooked on it when my British pen pal made me several cups one chilly, wet afternoon in 2001 after we’d been exploring Waltham Abbey and got chilled to the bone.  Since then, my tea consumption has steadily increased, partly because I keep reading how healthy it is, and partly because my aging brain really adores the caffeine, but mostly because I simply love it.

I know green tea is supposedly more nutritious, but I prefer the taste of black tea, in all its magnificent flavors and variations.  So I solve that problem by mixing green tea with black (steeping the black tea in boiling-hot water, as my British friend taught me, and then adding the green tea to steep after the water has cooled slightly).  If I’m in a hurry or lazy, I’ll just mix the two loose teas together or use one teabag of each.  And if I’m going to be home all day, I’ll fix two small pots, one of each, and just pour some of each into my huge tea mug, enjoying it throughout the day.

To tell the truth, tea is almost like a hobby for me, as well as my drink of preference.  My favorite thing is to share a cup (or many cups) of tea with a friend, along with some good conversation.  Wish we could share a cup right now!  But as an alternative, leave me a mailing address in the comments (I’ll edit out your info before posting, and I won’t sell it – I promise!) and I’ll send you a tea bag from my embarrassingly large collection.  Or just take a few minutes to sit down now with a nice cup, while you relax with the paper, a magazine or your favorite blogs.  It’s a great way to make any day a little bit brighter!

p.s. if you request a teabag, let me know what kinds you like — herbal, decaf, fruit-flavored, Earl Gray, etc.

Read more about the health benefits of tea here

57 Comments

  1. singleseatfighterpilot

    herbal

    • Thanks Eric, your tea is on the way! BTW, one of my favorite brands of herbal tea is Celestial Seasonings, but since those bags are not individually wrapped, I’ll send another brand this time.

      • singleseatfighterpilot

        Thank you (in advance) for the tea! Lately, we seem to compare travel notes, after at least a dozen years of silence on these matters. On Ryan’s “college-graduation-congratulatory” trip, we toured the Celestial Seasons factory, in the Gunbarrel neighborhood of Boulder, CO. I was not wearing a beard, then. But all of us had to wear hair nets; and Ryan had to have a separate, specially designed “beard net” (ergo – your tea is clean!)

        • Eric, I wish I could tour Celestial Seasonings! Matt had to wear a “beard net” along with a hair net during the brief time he worked for Northrup-Grumman in their food service kitchen. It’s good to know our food service folks keep things clean.

  2. My mom is from SC so we grew up on iced tea ~ the kind you make yourself not that powdery stuff they sell in the store. I would love to share a cuppa with you although I am a warm coffee drinker and not a warm tea drinker ~ at least not yet!

    • I am gradually learning to appreciate coffee myself, although I still can’t tell much difference between instant and the real thing (my sister says once I drink it awhile I will be able to notice it right away). What I like to do with coffee is mix it with hot chocolate. I just put a packet of some sort of hot chocolate mix in a mug (preferably dark chocolate or gourmet style) and instead of adding hot water, I add freshly brewed coffee, then add some fresh skim mild. So I don’t know if that counts as “real” coffee or not! 🙂 But in any case, I love to share a cup of whatever with someone else, a very nice break anytime. Thanks for visiting, and for your comment.

      • Oh I love your mix ~ sounds delish! Yes, let’s share ~ let me know when you’re free! 🙂

      • Add in a peppermint stick to your hot chocolate/coffee mix. Mmmmmmm

        • I have some fossilized peppermint sticks on the counter with my tea fixings; my intent was to use them as stirring sticks with my coffee treats, but I ALWAYS forget! The peppermint doesn’t seem to be rotting, however. I guess it has a long shelf life. I’ll let you know if I ever remember to use them. You’d think I would see them since they’ve been sitting out for literally YEARS – but I often quit seeing things that are out every day!

  3. john slingerland

    Hey julia
    Enjoy reading your blog, I too love tea, oolong,
    Green, yerba mate, twig tea, and black. I make a cup of
    Oolong & green tea. Drink the oolong while I read your
    Blog & the upper room, then go out feed the horses.
    And then have the green tea with breakfast.

    • Hi John, that sounds like a great morning routine! I have just recently discovered oolong and absolutely love it. I actually found some bulk tea that was labeled “green oolong” (is there such a thing?) and it’s wonderful! Thanks for visiting here. Tea on the way.

  4. Ellis Anderson

    Drinking a cup of Earl Grey while I read this, so nice the share morning tea time with you! My favorites now are wild orange by Tazo and Lady Grey decaf! MISS YOU. Headed for NC today. How I wish we had the time to veer north and come have a REAL cup with you. Much love!

    • Ellis, let’s have “virtual tea time” together more often! Reminds me of our college years and what we referred to as the “hyacinths for the soul” we used to indulge in (which usually took the form of PIZZA in those days). I LOVE Tazo Wild Orange too. Earl Grey was my standard for a year or so, but then I began to explore others as there are so many flavors, so little time! We’ll get together in person sooner or later…let’s hope for sooner! Safe travels!

  5. I ‘abstained from’ tea/coffee since June last year as part of my resolutions. It was going on well until I was forced to drink something hot regularly because of sinus problems. Now I am thinking of keeping the habit – after all it is the only luxury/pleasure I indulge myself with these days.
    I just scrolled down your home page and the pictures made me so happy. Should come back someday and read all the words that go with them, to become happier. Best wishes!

    • Bindu, welcome, I hope you will visit often! Thank you for your kind words about the blog. It is my attempt to stay focused on all that is good, and it makes me so happy when others enjoy what I post here. I highly recommend tea as a wholesome indulgence. I too abstained from all caffeine for many years, but as I got older, I realized I needed something to help me wake up in the morning. Over time, I came to enjoy my tea breaks as a calming practice that was beneficial in ways that went beyond the nourishment it provides. Thanks again for your comments, I wish you all the best.

  6. Lynn

    I am having a cup right now. On this particular tea box it says (organic India tulsi green tea) That it is stress relieving and energizing. Love that combination!

    • Isn’t that the truth? We all need to seek out such combinations. Perhaps that is the best definition of “refreshing;” something that energizes while relieving stress. Thanks for visiting here, and enjoy your tea!

  7. Megan

    I’m forever thankful that you introduced me to the rich world of hot teas! I had no idea there were so many kinds, or that one could be so creative with tea, until you introduced me — I believe the first Thanksgiving I came to visit, as ‘just’ Drew’s girlfriend. Tea has a welcoming affect and I always felt welcome in your home with a cup in my hand. And, over the years, you have so generously aided and abetted the tea addiction that you created for me. Thank you for that too! If you have a tea bag with my name on it to send back with Drew, I’ll surely think of you doing the same when I drink it. 🙂

    • Megan, it is such a joy to me to have someone there to share tea with me! I have never been able to persuade Jeff to sit down and enjoy a cup with me, although I have convinced him to drink green tea each day now that he is fighting cancer — but he drinks it quickly, like medicine. Maybe the relaxation bit that is supposed to go with it will come later :-). I’ll send you some tea with Drew – I’ll go for something decaffeinated if the baby prefers that sort!

  8. Janette Roberts

    I love tea also…have a cup in my hand now. I drank green tea with jasmine and love cold tea at lunch. What is life without tea? I read Upper Room blog each day and have remembered your husband in prayer.

    • Thanks so much Janette. I have experienced the power of prayer many times in my life, but never more than now. I appreciate all the people who are praying for us. We will always be grateful. Glad you like tea! It definitely adds joy to my life. Thanks for visiting.

  9. Carolyn

    I have been enjoying tea for a long time. I love the tea that will calm you. Last year I didn’t care much for it, but after chemo and my taste came back it was so nice to enjoy a cup of tea. Next time I have tea you will be in my thoughts.

    • Thank you, Carolyn! Your note sounds very hopeful. I am looking forward to Jeff getting his taste back too. I’ll meet you for a virtual cup of tea anytime!

  10. suzy snow

    I would love some of your tea (with caffeine please- I started drinking coffee daily since having the second set of twins… lol) Wish my family could come visit you and have tea! We pray for Jeff every night. God Bless, Suzy

    • Suzy, your tea is on the way. Two sets of twins is the best excuse for caffeine that I know of! But they are so precious, their photos always bring a smile. 🙂 Thanks so much for your prayers. Maybe you can all visit us someday.

  11. Wow! How very generous! I love tea, especially black teas (and especially the fruity ones). I started following your blog a few weeks ago when you had a devotion published in The Upper Room. I’ve enjoyed it every day since. Thanks so much for all you do and share with the world. It is a bright spot of joy in every day.
    Jena

    • Jena, thank you for your kind words about the blog, I am always happy when people like it. I am super excited to send some tea to Alaska – what a perfect place to enjoy hot tea! When we were there, I was delighted to find that they sold one of my favorite brands, Metropolitan (from Canada). Many years ago, Jeff had a business trip to Vancouver and brought me back a tin of their Northern Lights tea. That is the first time I can remember REALLY loving hot tea. The rest, as they say, is history. Thanks for visiting here and for your comment – your tea is on the way!

      • I just had to say thank you for the tea (I received it in the mail yesterday after work). I was delighted to discover the bag of Wedgwood tea in there. I had visited their pottery facility in the UK before and somehow managed to miss the fact that they had their own teas! Wherever did you find it?

        • I used to get it at stores such as Home Goods and T. J. Maxx, but I haven’t seen any for awhile. I am afraid they might have quite making it because I think it’s been almost a year since I saw any. I love their strawberry tea – it’s one of my favorites. They also used to make one called “picnic tea” that was fabulous, but I have no idea what kind it was, and I haven’t seen it for years. I hope someday to go to the Wedgwood facility – they have long been my favorite brand of china (and as everyone who read this post knows, I LOVE china!) and I have a small collection of their jasperware that I started buying 40 years ago. I’m glad you enjoyed getting the tea — I had great fun sending it out to everyone who requested it!

  12. While I don’t drink a lot of tea (only when I’m sick), I do just love the smell in these ‘Tea Specialty Stores’. The packaging is always so pretty too. In London, at Harrods I wanted to buy everything just for the packaging. It’s a wonderful thought to share a pot of warm to and conversation with you Julia, I almost feel like we do that most days.

    • Did you happen to go to Fortnum & Mason (in Piccadilly)? It’s fabulous! My neighbor who lived many years in Wales says that the Queen prefers their tea, and they do sell one called Royal Blend which I bought (in loose form) that totally hooked me on loose-leaf tea. That used to be the only place to get that brand, except for a small store at Heathrow, but now it’s online! OHHHHNOOOO as Mr. Bill would say — I wish I didn’t know that! Yes, it does feel like a virtual cuppa almost every day, especially at the Boomdee craft palace!

      • Oh shoot, we missed that. We got really mixed up there and hopped in a handsome cab to get back to our hotel. I wish we had more time there, 3 days wasn’t long enough. We were traveling all over Europe on a guided tour but took extra time to see London.
        It’s so funny how people still ‘quote’ Mr Bill..LOL, I wonder if the creators of the character could have imagined. According to Wiki, his first appearance was February 28, 1976…..is that a weird coincidence?

        • That is just too weird, here I am quoting him 37 years later…MR. BILL is 37 now? Wait till Mr. Hands tells Sluggo! He’s gonna be mean! OOHHHHH NOOOOO. Sorry, I need a little comic relief tonight!

          • LOL, you’re on a roll…..go with it…go Julia, go Julia…HAHA.

            • Just getting silly, I tend to do that at night. By the way, I forgot to add that I TOTALLY get it about 3 days not being enough in London. The first time I went there, in 1972, we had only 3 days there and the rest of the time in Germany, Austria, and France. To make things worse, we arrived jet-lagged and decided to take a “quick nap” and ended up sleeping away our first day in London! I LOVED London and hated to leave. For years afterward I literally had a recurring nightmare that I was on a plane that had landed at Heathrow and nobody would let me get off the plane! I have been back 3 times since then and luckily I never have that nightmare anymore.

              • OH snap hey? That would be completely understandable but I would’ve have been disappointed too. That jet lag thing is really a pain. We arrived at 10:00am and spent the whole day out. Even though we were fading, we went to the theatre after supper, Les Miserables, Jim immediately fell asleep as did a lady on my other side. I was too wired and refused to miss a thing. I’m pretty sure by the end of the night I was a write off. I’m so glad you got to go back. I would love to go again. Dreams are such an interesting look into our subconscious. I dreamt one night that I was on a bus with Obama and he was giving me relationship advice LOL.

                • I love trying to figure out where dreams come from — Obama on a bus giving relationship advice? What a hoot!

  13. Just had a cup of green tea! I drink a cup of coffee in the morning and tea throughout the day – my favorite is peppermint! Love ya!

    • Barb, I’m glad you are drinking your green tea – I read so much about its benefits that it seems almost like modern snake oil :-). On days when I drink coffee, I usually do just what you describe; I drink my coffee in the morning for a great wake-up boost, and then go back to tea for the rest of the day. Believe it or not, I only recently “discovered” peppermint tea and loved it.

  14. DeVonna

    I love Earl Grey but also Constant Comment…but surprise me!

    • Hi DeVonna, I love both those flavors too! Your tea is on the way. Thanks for visiting here!

  15. You mentioned green tea… Japanese green tea or some other specialized tea?

    • I drink various kinds of green tea; the ones I drink most often are Sencha and Mao Feng, which I buy in loose leaf form. Green tea bags often come with various flavors, or in Jasmine. I recently tried some green oolong and loved it. I haven’t experimented as much with green tea because there are not as many varieties available, but I find that’s changing as people are beginning to understand how beneficial it is. I also have a few white tea varieties; all of these are in tea bag form. I’ve never had any loose-leaf white tea.

      • I’m sure with you being a serious drinker, there are some medicinal properties to Japanese green tea as well. Food poisoning from eating sushi in Japan is non-existent as the meal is accompanied by green tea.

        • Yes, I have read a lot about the benefits of green tea, and that’s why I drink it as often as I do. I enjoy it much more than eating most vegetables! 🙂

  16. Sheila

    Julia, my knowledge of tea seems very limited in comparison to your blog and the many comments. Wow! Tea sounds like just the thing I need. The south and sweet iced tea go hand in hand. You are so gracious. I would certainly enjoy any flavor.

    • Sheila, I know people who are tea experts compared to me! I just pick up info here and there and over time it accumulates. YES that southern iced tea is enough to make me look forward to the dog days! I will have fun choosing what to send you.

      • Sheila

        Thank you Julia. I will so look forward to that. Really, at your convenience though. Sheila

        • I love sending things in the mail! So I will look forward to sending you the tea. I like to do my part to keep the old handwritten note from disappearing altogether. There is just something about stamps, note cards, colors of ink etc. that is appealing to me.

  17. Sheila

    Julia, I love to include in my morning ritual, “going somewhere” . This early morning I chose (you guessed it) Bar Harbor Tea Company. They have a lovely website and such a variety of tea selections,etc. Looks like a beautiful seaside getaway! Sheila

    • Good morning Sheila, I’m so glad you enjoyed the tea company’s website. Jeff and I fell in love with Bar Harbor the first time we went there (on a cruise) and returned to spend a few days there 5 years later. It’s a fairly easy drive from Boston, with interesting stops along the way. I don’t usually choose to go back to the same place again and again (the world is just too full of other places I want to see!) but we definitely hope to keep going back to Bar Harbor. Having Acadia National Park right there makes it a perfect place to explore. The Hearthside bed and breakfast is great and very reasonably priced. I have a photo of it on this post and I think if you click on the picture there’s a link to the B&B. Thanks for visiting!

  18. Mary Ng shwu ling

    Hi Julia, I love tea too. I like fruit tea. Recently I had 2 different flavors from M & S for my Christmas presents. Drinking tea makes my day:)

    Hope you have an enjoyable tea drinking week ahead!

    • Mary, I agree completely! Tea drinking really does make my day, and fruit teas are especially delicious. Thanks for visiting and commenting; I hope to see you here again.

  19. Mary Ng shwu ling

    Hi Julia, I discovered that when I added prune juice to my fruit tea, it is fabulous!

    • Wow, I will have to try that. In the summer, I drink a lot of club soda or sparkling water with just a bit of fruit juice in it, but for some reason I rarely think to try it with tea. I do love fruit flavored tea, though, so I will have to try adding fruit juices more often. Thanks for the tip!

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