When I set up this blog I decided to call it Tea and Stitches for obvious reasons I enjoy stitching and I really enjoy tea. Until today I have never addressed my love of tea, all previous posts have been dedicated to my cross stitch, but now it is time to talk tea.
As a child I recall not liking tea in any form hot, cold or room temperature. I drank coffee and then I only drank coffee in France when visiting my grandparents. The coffee was brewed strong with chicory, poured into a large bowl, the bowl was then filled with milk and cubes of sugar were added. I usually had three sugars--it was a very large bowl. Then I would proceed to have my croissant and coffee, very nice, very delicious and very French. So why coffee in France? Well, that is another story.
After graduating High School in a small Delaware town I joined the Air Force, completed my training and was subsequently posted in the UK at a small base called RAF Croughton. This is where I developed a love for tea, hot tea. People in the UK love tea and it is readily available. I believe in trying to do as the natives do when in their country so I tried hot tea with milk and sugar. Almost immediately I was hooked. Over time I became addicted to black tea a good dollop of milk and a teaspoon of sugar--it must be the really thing, no artificial sweetener for this chick.
Later in my AF career--yes, it was a career 24.5 years to be exact--I had the opportunity to visit Japan. Actually it was more like an 8 year visit, went for one year and stayed for eight. In Asia, green tea is the thing. Back in the 80's we Americans (at least this American) did not know much about Japanese cuisine so this was a great adventure for me. Green tea is the big deal in Japan, you drink it hot and straight no milk, no sugar. It took me a long time to develop a taste for green tea. I would usually have green tea as part of a meal at a restaurant, most times I could not get past the pungent aroma (another term for smell). It was the aroma of green tea that at times reminded me so much of stinky socks that I was unable to drink it. As time passed I developed a respect and liking for green tea, although not my favorite, occasionally I will have cup for a pick me up in the afternoon. But I like it plain, so extra flavor like peach or whatever is popular today is just not my thing when it comes to green tea.
On the three occasions that I visited China, I had tea that was delicious and very delicate. The Chinese drink hot tea in a glass with the tea leaves floating happily around. At first it was a challenge for me not to swallow the leaves, the key is to sip the tea. Since I was in China for such a short time I really did not bother with learning more about their tea, I had other thinks occupying me and tea was not a priority.
Now days when I get up in the morning the first thing I do is fill the hot pot with water, turn it on and select my tea. It is always a black tea, sometimes in a teabag, sometimes loose tea, with milk and sugar. In winter I love to add fresh ginger to my tea. I just slice off a portion, put in the garlic press and squeeze it into the tea after I have added my milk and sugar, it is very good. I had heard about this tea recipe while listening to the BBC during my last assignment in the UK. It sounded pretty good and I love ginger to I gave it a try and I was hooked. There have been times when I have tea with only milk which is just as good but I usually prefer a little sweetness.
Currently, I am drinking Yunan Gold from Archer Farms (Target organic food line) it is a Chinese black tea that is very flavorful and smooth. I recently ordered English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Yunan Jig, Dragonwell, and Sencha Sampler from Adiago Teas. I found this tea company on a fellow stitcher's blog so I have added it to my blog as well. If you are like tea and want to give their brand a try click on the banner for a $5 coupon. This should be enough about tea as a matter of fact I need to fix my second cup. Remember the water needs to be boiling hot (that is why I never drink hot tea in a restaurant), steep for 3-4 minutes and then add milk and sugar if you desire. Enjoy!!