how I like my tea

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Tea has always been a part of my life, and I’ve gotten pretty particular about how I like it. I like all kinds of black tea and happen to know a bit of trivia about other kinds of tea as well, such as caffeine content, origin of leaves etc. I particularly like Earl Grey Tea and so this is a short post on how I like to make it.
I find the bagged teas to be generally bland, milder, more washed out flavours and really just not quite the same experience as loose leaf tea. They’re still tea, but it always feels like a compromise for the convenience of bagged tea, which at home I do not need. When I am out, I am certainly not as fussy about how it’s prepared.
What do I use to make tea then?
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For loose leaf tea I use a brewing basket. We recently picked this one up from Victorian Epicure, but you can get them almost anywhere. Basically this thing sits on top of your mug or tea pot and you throw the tea leaves in it. The handles do a great job of not letting the basket fall in past the rim. When you’re done, it takes 10 seconds to turn this thing over and wash it out.
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This has to be my favorite earl grey tea from any shop, anywhere. As you can see, it is from the cleverly named SpecialTeas on Fort & Blanshard, in downtown Victoria. The “creamy” really means that there is some vanilla in the mix, smoothing the taste and adding some complexity to balance the bergamot oil which makes earl grey not just another black tea. As the bag suggests, brewing around 3 minutes at the right proportions leaves you with a brilliant tasting creamy earl grey tea that I find more satisfying every day. Overbrew a couple minutes for some more flavour, but be aware that you’ll also be getting more caffeine.
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I usually have milk in the tea, but sometimes – like this morning – I will drink it without. I don’t always have sugar in my tea, but every now and then I do like it. I have been listening to my friends talk about the superiority of raw, unprocessed cane sugar lately, and I found these raw cane sugar cubes at the local corner store. Per gram, they happen to be cheaper than the bags of raw sugar – which is weird, considering they need more attention to finish the product.
Anyway, that is how I like my tea. How do you like your tea?

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15 Comments

  1. Your favorite tea is my favorite tea.
    Big fan of some milk in there too to add a little “body” to the flavour of the tea. Earl grey is especially nice with this.
    On rainy evenings, creamy Earl Grey tea with a spot of Bailey’s is unbelievably comforting.

  2. I’m a tea simpleton. I like me my Earl Grey, two by four, and I love me some sugar in the raw.
    (psst! which corner store has the cubes?)
    But creamy Earl Grey? Who even knew such a beast existed??!? Surely not me.
    I’m off to get me some! Yum! Until then, though, I’m off to plip some vanilla in my non-creamy Earl Grey . . .

  3. specialteas is a great place. a perfect spot to sit down and chill with a friend.
    my favourite tea is also from that shop. it’s called Lemon Rooibis. and i like this one straight up.
    so yummy.

  4. Nice Davin. Earl Grey is a nice cup for sure – usually for me in the mornings, particularly when I’m staying at hotels. A bit of milk, a half a sugar and presto. Thing about steeping Earl Grey for too long is how strong and unfavorably tannic it can become.
    My favorite tea is definitely peppermint, and I like it straight. I usually have peppermint in the evenings and it’s my drink of choice after dinners when others have coffee. Peppermint tea apparently helps with digestion.
    My favorite teas come from Silk Road, and West Coast Peppermint and Angelwater are my two faves right now. Those and Vanilla Plantation (black tea with vanilla), Chamomile (pure dried chamomile blossoms), Sencha (Chinese green tea) and a couple others are all in my tea cupboard at the moment enjoying various turns.

  5. for me:
    tea, then stir in some sugar (so the tea is hot enough to dissolve the sugar), and here’s the kicker – because I’ve stirred the sugar in, the tea is spinning around, I pour in some milk and don’t need to stir the milk in!
    Magic!

  6. Wow, great post. Thanks for the store recommendation!
    I love Earl Grey tea as well and the thought of vanilla added sounds great. These days I’m drinking my tea and coffee with soy milk, it’s so good – adds a bit of nutty flavour.
    There is a tea shop in Vancouver called Steeps. They have a Madagascar Vanilla that is really great. Also a coconut tea that is wonderful with milk.

  7. Great post on tea Davin! Those who love tea, LOVE it!
    And you’re right, Victoria is one of the best places to buy tea in the whole world 🙂
    I love the first photo of the tea pot too.
    I saw this chrome stainless steel kettle the other day with a gorgeous wood handle (natural, with knots and all!)… I want it!
    One of my favourite teas is Rooibos Vanilla… mmmmm!

  8. Longer Sunshine

    This weekend the days will start staying brighter for longer. I like daylight saving time in the fall because we get that extra hour of sleep, but I’m no fan of losing that hour in the spring. The upside…

  9. I am not fussy with tea. I currently drink Stash brand tea, as I enjoy their herbal and peach flavored blabk teas. Hot, of course. Otherwise, coffee for me. Thanks for the sugar info, with the recession I try to cut costs.

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