Tea.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

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You could say I'm a bit of a tea fanatic. Tea connoisseur, tea snob, teaholic... call it what you will. I love tea.

I remember wanting to like tea sometime during middle school, when my friend Ashley and I set out to sample every kind of tea in our pantry - green tea, black tea, herbal tea. We steeped a bag of each kind - and probably let it sit way too long - and tasted a bit of each. As we sipped each cup one by one, our faces twisted in disgust as we echoed, "How could anyone drink this stuff?!" It tasted like dishwater. Or worse.

Fast forward to senior year in high school. I didn't really drink tea or coffee (which is hard to imagine at this point) and I happened to get a $100 gift card to Starbucks as a graduation gift. Amazing! Except I didn't like tea. Or coffee. Or even the flavor of coffee. So I wasted the gift card buying mugs that never got used, pink lemonade, and muffins. I'm still feeling remorse over this.

Fast forward again, this time to my first year in Chicago. While strolling in Water Tower Place one day, exploring my new surroundings, I was offered a sample at Teavana. I thought, "I don't really like tea, but whatever" and let me tell you... it was heavenly. The sample ploy worked that time and I bought "whatever that was" along with a plug-in tea pot for my room. I was hooked.

Today, I'm a 5- or 6-cup a day kind of girl. I try not to be snobby about it, but I will say that bags of tea from the grocery store do not even compare to loose leaf tea. If you don't like tea, it's probably because you've never had real tea in the first place.

I'm thankful to have a truly wonderful tea shop here in Franklin.


Franklin Tea is charming and packed with delicious teas. It's located in downtown Franklin - which is charming and delicious in and of itself - and the staff is so friendly and knowledgeable and the tea is excellent. These are my favorites - the pantry staples, if you will:

Rooibos Orange Cream
Rooibos Provence
Strawberry Green Tea
Earl White

Do you have a favorite coffee or tea shop in your neighborhood? 

8 comments:

  1. My best friend's mom used to make us red zinger every time we would go over to spend the night at her house. Even through college, we always drank red zinger. It brought us through many nights of giggles and girl drama and new marriages and now babies. I always keep a box (I know, I know...do they even make it loose leaf?!?) in my pantry for those days when only a cup of tea will do.

    Sadly, no neighborhood tea shop. I can only wish!

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  2. There is a favorite coffee shop back home in Ohio where I'm from. It is called Arabica's and they have the best mochas. I don't order plain mochas anywhere else, but when I visit there, I have to get one, or two. The place is long and narrow, all light colored wood, and homey. It's not like the bustling coffee shops of Chicago. It has warmth, and familiarity. I remember sitting outside of it once talking politics with my dad. Then it started to rain. Arabica's mochas - a delight!!!

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  3. My current gave coffee place is Noble Tree. I'm glad I was able to share my experience there with you, friend!!!

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  4. I love hearing about these tea places and tea memories. :)

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  5. Ever since we came to your adorable little yellow house for Memphis's picture day, I'm sold on Teavana and their chia blend with the rock sugar...YUM...thanks for sharing such a wonderful treat that has become a daily staple in my kitchen! I even bought the little tea maker/strainer...coolest thing ever! :) Thanks!!

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  6. I took a break from grading papers this morning to make some tea and catch up on your blog, and I'm so glad that someone asked you on Formspring about tea :) I feel like I just sat in on a conversation in a tea house!

    I love tea, too. It's always been something that my mom and I have shared. I used to wake up before anyone else just so that I could go downstairs and have a cup with my mom first thing in the morning. Now, when my husband finds me buried beneath a pile of student essays, he asks me what he can brew for me. To me, tea is a love thing.

    The senior pastor at our new church (where Jesse works as youth minister) is from China and shares my love for green tea. Apparently, he receives way too much of it as gifts from home, so he's always sneaking a container of loose leaf green to me. I love it! It's always exciting to get a new one from him, and fun to partake in a different culture. Pastor Wu gave me a Chinese green tea with jasmine that I especially love. The jasmine isn't as overpowering as it is in a lot of the teas here.

    I've never spent a penny at Teavana, but I have a friend who used to work there. He used to give me some of the teas he was able to take home, and also gave me that awesome strainer. It worked out nicely for me :)

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  7. Hi! just followed my way over from the formspring question about tea :)
    I have just started getting into tea after my Dr recommended I lay off the caffeine (blood pressure). I work in a coffee shop so the next best thing was herbal tea!
    I am really enjoying trying out all the flavours but I haven't made it to loose leaf yet, I may have to invest in a decent tea pot. What is this plug in tea pot you speak of? I'm in New Zealand, it probably doesn't exist over here.

    I have to take my own tea bags over to friends places which they find hilarious.

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    1. Amy, A plug-in tea pot similar to this one was what I used in college: http://www.amazon.com/Presto-02703-Electric-Tea-Kettle/dp/B0000Z6JJ6 but these days, I like boiling it on the stove in a "real" tea kettle. :) Good luck to you!

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