What Is Your Tea Story?

MzScarlett – via Flickr CC Attribution License

I can’t remember when I first started drinking tea…

Tea Memories:

Perhaps it started in my teen-age years. My mom would keep a jar of instant, unsweetened tea in the cupboard for warm summer days. Sometimes, when desperate and out of soda, I would screw off the lid on the instant tea jar and make myself a glass of iced-tea. Knowing me, I probably added a ton of sugar to my drink! I had a big sweet-tooth back then, as I do today.

When I went away to college, I found myself drinking instant tea with flavoring like lemon, raspberry and peach. Because I was more weight conscious in college, I went for the artificial sweeteners.

My next memory of tea is when I attended grad school down south—Arkansas to be exact—where sweet tea is a staple beverage on restaurant menus.

When ordering iced tea in a restaurant I learned to always add “unsweetened” to my request; because in the South, simply asking for tea means you want sweet tea. The funny thing is, that once my unsweetened iced-tea was brought to the table, I would add two packets of Sweet-N-Low! Boy, I was a weird-o!

My next clear tea memory is when I was working at a university. My boss, at the time, introduced me to an interesting twist on iced-tea. She would take whatever tea bags she had on hand, mainly a lot of fruit teas, and she would brew them all together. The resulting concoction was quite yummy and no artificial sweeteners required.

My walk down memory lane has made me realize that: Not only have I gone from instant tea to tea bags but, I’ve also given up soda and coffee along the way.

Giving Up Soda and Coffee:

All my life, until the last 6 years, I had been a huge pop drinker. I was literally drinking gallons of diet soda per week. Then one day, I decided to stop. I was concerned about the consequences of continuing to load my body with chemicals.

At this time I decided give up coffee too and only drink tea or water.

I found it pretty easy to give up coffee, because I had never been a big coffee drinker. I didn’t even own a coffee machine. If I was in the mood for coffee, I would drink it at the office or order it at the local coffee shop. Plus, coffee started to make me feel anxious and jittery. It seemed like a no-brainer to just stop drinking the stuff. Not to mention, I had discoverd Tazo Awake tea. This tea was a welcome replacement for coffee.

It was a little harder to give up soda because I had been drinking it for so many years. I would say that it took me a good year to wean myself off of the diet pop.

All this time, I was drinking a limited selection of tea bags but, they did help me kick my soda and coffee habits!

Next Steps:

As I had mentioned above, for the past six years my main source of liquid intake has been water or tea. Yet, I’ve never ventured outside the tea bag.

My Limited Tea Drinking Experience

The picture to your right is an example of my limited range of tea drinking experiences. As you can see by the sad assortment of tea packets, I am no tea connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination!

Now it’s time to take the next step. Get out of my comfort zone of drinking the same off-the-shelf brands of tea and start exploring the wide range of exotic loose teas available.

Just from the little bit of time I’ve spent trolling the internet for anything tea related, I’ve discovered that the world of tea is huge, a bit overwhelming in fact.

Therefore, I plan to take this journey slow and easy. I want to relish each moment and each sip.

If you’ve never tried tea or would like to investigate different types of teas, I hope you’ll join me.

Perhaps we’ll discover something pretty cool together along the way.

This is “a girl with tea” signing off for now. Wishing you peace and happiness

Amy

P.S. Thanks for reading my first blog post! I’m looking forward to reading your comments, and commenting back.

Photo Credit: MzScarlett – via Flickr CC Attribution License and A Girl With Tea (tea packets)

What is your tea story? When did you have your first tea drinking experience? What do you love about tea? What types of teas have you always wanted to try?

12 comments on “What Is Your Tea Story?

  1. Shirley March 26, 2011 3:25 AM

    I’m currently in my teen years, and I used to think that I would never like tea. I was always encouraged to drink it when I was a child by my parents, Chinese heritage, but I could never seem to adapt to it. My parents drink tea without sugar or milk/cream.

    Around when I was eight, my older sister introduced me to sweetened raspberry iced tea. That drink practically became my life after that. I also to introduced to Thai tea thanks to restaurants here and there. By the age of ten, I was drinking tea via tea bags.

    Recently this past winter break, my older sister came to visit from California. While we were shopping in a mall, we discovered a wonderful little place called Teavana. Thanks to that experience, I’m now currently hooked to the youthberry and wild orange blossom blend. Although, the tea is a bit tart- so I sweeten it a little with some German rock sugar.

    I still have a long way to go with tea. I find unsweetened tea pretty satisfying compared to my experience when I was younger. I also find that it’s an excellent stress reliever after a long day of school.

    Do you have any recommendations for tea from Teavana? It would certainly help me in my exploration of the world of tea.

    • a girl with tea March 27, 2011 11:47 AM

      Hi Shirley, Thank you for sharing your lovely tea story! It seems that you especially adore fruity teas (raspberry, berry, orange). I’ve heard from others that they really enjoy Teavana’s Strawberry Lemonade Herbal Tea, but I haven’t tried it myself. If you are able to visit a Teavana store, I would encourage you to sample the teas they’ve brewed for the day to see what else you might like. On Teavana’s website, they do provide reviews for each tea, so this could be helpful in your journey as well. Have fun!

  2. Nina February 6, 2011 8:37 AM

    I started with tea bags, too. My boyfriend and I would drink a cup before bed every night and we’d alternate flavors. Then I quit my job to work at a teahouse and have never looked back. Loose leaf always, beautiful flowers opening up and tea leaves unfurling… it’s a hard experience to say no to in favor of the powder in bags. I still will occasionally enjoy a tea bag when I’m on the run and that’s what I’m offered… but at home it’s me and my ingenuitea teapot so I can see it all happen.

    • a girl with tea February 7, 2011 12:42 AM

      I so agree, there is something mesmerizing and beautiful about watching the leaves unfurl as they steep, something that a tea bag just can’t provide.

  3. Jeanine Byers Hoag August 25, 2010 11:42 PM

    I have always loved sweet tea, southern girl that I am, but other than ordering iced tea at restaurants, hardly ever drank it. Then, I started drinking bagged, grocery store chamomile to help me get sleepy at night.

    Then, I discovered iced apricot tea and fell in love.

    Years later, I began drinking chamomile again to calm down during my stressful mommy days. Now, I am trying to create a tea lifestyle and am experimenting with teas and tisanes.

    Always wanted to try? Fruit teas. I have tried strawberry lemonade and apple strudel, so far.

    Thanks for sharing your own tea story!

    Jeanine

    • a girl with tea August 26, 2010 1:55 PM

      The fruit teas sound so yummylicious! Especially apple strudel. Thanks for sharing Jeanine!

  4. Sue August 24, 2010 9:53 PM

    I have a confession to make…

    I did not get serious about tea until I fell madly in love with Jean-Luc Picard! When he spoke into the food replicator and said, “Tea. Earl Gray. Hot.” I just knew I was missing something other than the hot Captain of the USS Starship Enterprise!

    It has become one of my favorites ever since. I especially enjoy it with milk and sugar and drink it whenever I am feeling under the weather.

    Tea for Two,
    Sue

    • a girl with tea August 26, 2010 1:35 PM

      Ah, yes. Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart), Captain of the USS Enterprise definitely made tea sexy with the simple comment: “Computer: Tea. Earl Gray. Hot.” I wanted to try Earl Grey tea so badly after first hearing those luscious words.

      I found this little gem on YouTube.com where you can see several clips of Picard requesting his favorite Earl Grey tea: http://youtu.be/R2IJdfxWtPM

  5. Alex August 10, 2010 12:13 PM

    I think I should point the female members of my family to this blog.

    My wife creates spooky concoctions with disconcering smells and bits floating in them.

    My eldest daughter has shelves-full of coloured packets in her room at Uni.

    Any now my youngest (13) is getting hyper-discriminating about which herbs/fruits she will accept, and which she will reject as teas.

    What’s going on?

    When I was a lad tea was … well, tea! I now have to call it “breakfast tea” to make sure I get the real stuff.

    I’m perfectly happy with breakfast tea, thank you very much, unless I want be particularly adventurous – in which case I dig out the Earl Grey.

    But I’m obviously stuck in a tea-time warp.

    Alex

    • a girl with tea August 10, 2010 11:31 PM

      I totally get what you’re saying about the “tea-time warp.” I think I’ve been in a bit of one myself for the past few years! Although, I also identify with the female members of your family for I’ve been known to make sun-tea from a strange assortment of flavors…what ever happens to be in the cupboard at the time. The funny thing is that it turns out yummy every time…must be the womanly touch!

  6. Connie August 10, 2010 1:28 AM

    I’m still into bags and my favorite and current addiction is Good Earth original. I must confess, I own the equipment to make tea from the loose leaves, but I have felt quite lazy about exploring different teas. Perhaps your blog will help me expand my horizons.
    Have a tea-riffic day

    • a girl with tea August 10, 2010 7:00 AM

      I haven’t tried Good Earth myself…not yet anyway! I am planning to order some loose leaf tea this week. It’s just a matter of choosing the right tea for my first time. I guess you could say I am a loose leaf tea virgin (oh, that sounded so naughty!). Anyway, awesome to have you here. Got a tea related question? Let me know and I’ll try my darnedest to find the answer!

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