Friday, January 25, 2013

The Tea Trolley: A Day of Tea

We recently read a magazine that included an article following one person's tea drinking throughout the day. It was so much fun to read that my mom, my sister and I decided to post a tea diary ourselves. Here are my pictures, and my notes, from this past Monday:

My first cup of tea for the day is made just after breakfast, somewhere around 8:30 or 9 a.m. A very tiny trial in my life, but one which I still struggle over, is the fact that caffeine adversely affects my muscles and blood sugar levels. Therefore I have to avoid it almost completely, especially in the dark teas that I enjoy so much like Irish Breakfast. Sadly, this means the tea I drink is decaffeinated (read devoid of much of the delicious tea flavor). Since the tea is already below par, I take no more care in my brewing methods than to make it in a mug with a teabag and later pour in milk. 

Michael usually makes his second pot of the day at the same time. He is fortunate enough not to be affected by caffeine and I love to sometime take a sip of his tea and remember what tea is really like!

Incidentally, the best tea I have found locally for decaf is Trader Joe's decaf Irish Breakfast. I use two teabags per mug for that. At the moment I am spoiled to have some Decaf Tetley brought to me from the UK by friends. It is far superior.

On this particular day I was in need of a second cup of tea half way through the morning. The cold weather we have had this week makes drinking tea a necessity. This time I chose to use one bag of decaf Irish Breakfast and one bag of decaf Earl Grey.

My 1 p.m. cup of tea is also an everyday standard for me. Once again it is usually decaf Tetley or decaf Irish Breakfast. I retreat to my cozy book corner in my bathroom for my quiet time. Check out my virtual candle!!! Isn't it cool! And child-safe too! Oh, and do notice the barely visible square of dark chocolate. That is my ritual accompaniment to the 1 p.m. cup of tea.

On Monday, I had the extravagance of having a few hours to sit down and rest, trying to help my body fight off a threatening cold. I decided to make my own little pot of tea. I opted for one bag of a Rose Chocolate Tea (not decaf) and one bag of decaf Irish Breakfast. Sometimes I can take a little bit of caffeine as long as it is not too close together with another bit, but it can never be a regular habit. And I did not end up drinking the whole pot. Taking this time out for tea was good medicine!

While making dinner my hands were stiff from cold and I felt so frozen that I decided to stoop very low and heat up the remainder of the teapot tea in the microwave. But, I kept forgetting it was in the microwave and having to reheat it. And then when I did take a few sips of the now-stewed tea, I remembered that it had some caffeine in it and that put me off finishing it because of the late hour. Oh well. It was a nice thought!

More evenings than not I go down to get a cup of herbal tea before bed, mostly for the relaxing nature of the ritual. This night I chose to make honey lemon tea, once again to help ward off the cold. I used the juice of 1/2 of a lemon and 1 Tbsp of honey in my hot water. 

And so ended my day with tea. I am grateful for tea and the amount of comfort it adds to my life in many small ways.

You can check out Christina's Day in Tea here and my Mom's Day With Tea here.


Jessica said...

What a nice tea diary. I am able to have caffeine in small amounts (ie 2-3 cups of tea spread out). Coffee puts me over the edge. I usually start out with Earl Grey or Awake by Tazo. Both are really tasty. They beat Twinings in my opinion. Jasmine blossom green and Coconut chai have been on rotation, too after lunch. Mmm..I think I'll go make a cup right now!

Margaret said...

How is The Forgotten Garden? It's on my "to read" stack.

Anonymous said...

Loved your tea diary. :) Like you, I can't have caffeine. I've tried so many brands over the years, they mostly taste like tin. :) I still drink it though, as I get fed up drinking fruit teas all the time. I like to pinch a sip from hubby's lovely brew sometimes too. xx

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I loved this, you should do it more often.

I'm allowed coffee first thing in the morning but my doctor says no more after than.

So far the caffeine in green tea hasn't bothered me, it may be because I only steep it two minutes. One of the reasons I love Candy Cane Lane green tea is that it is already decaf.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

We recently learned that one can brew a pot of loose leaf tea, and all the caffeine will steep out in the first brew. The second pot will be caffeine free!
A high quality loose leaf tea may be steeped several times without flavor loss.
My husband enjoys oolong and green teas; I like black tea with floral additions like jasamin and cherry blossom. I also love a spicy chai!

Unknown said...

Definitely an enjoyable read. When my Granny was alive, she would mail us 440 Nambarie tea bags over from Northern Ireland at least 2-3 times/year. She HATED American tea and did not want her American grandchildren growing up improperly.

I drink Tetley British Blend. I enjoy Trader Joe's Peppermint tea and Tazo's Chai tea. I have 60 tea bags of Trader Joe's decaffeinated Irish Breakfast tea, but am not a big fan of it. I might try putting two tea bags in a cup.

Everydaythings said...

enjoyable post - and I just LOVE that pillow in the last photo, what a lovely print

Mrs. Yellow Ribbon said...

Sounds like quite the enjoyable day! I very much look forward to my after-dinner cup of tea. On the weekends, I love to make a pot, use my cute tea cozy and my tea tray and make an experience of it!

willow said...

Hello Heather,
Thought of you this morning when I was making my first cup of tea. I drink one or two caffeinated drinks each day, most of my other drinks are Rooibos (Redbush) tea and I wondered if you had tried/liked it. Although it doesn't have the same full flavour as "proper" tea I really like it and adding milk makes it feel more like tea than a fruit tea.

I was also going to bring up the 30 second rule for tea. If you brew one mug of tea for 30 seconds and then use the tea bag again, apparently the caffeine in the second mug is negligible and the tea flavour not too bad - Michael can have the first cup!