“… and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” -Revelations 22:2
Anyone who knows me well, knows I am always drinking tea. The employees of my local Starbucks knows my regular drink is an Iced Grande Skim Chai Latte (or Soy depending on my mood.) The employees of Caribou Coffee knows I always order a large Mango Black Iced Tea. When I do my grocery shopping at Whole Foods I always grab a couple cans of Steaz iced tea. They are certified organic green tea, certified vegan, have 120 mg natural antioxidants. Steaz is by far my favorite iced tea, that comes in wonderful flavors such as, mint, peach, or¬†pomegranate lime.
My passion for tea started at a very young age. Even though I was a child, and didn’t actually drink tea, I had a wide range of different Tea sets, that turned into a pretty sweet collection.
So Maybe it was the wide range of beautifully crafted tea pots in the window, that caught my eye and reminded me of my own tea set collection. Maybe it was the employee handing out fresh brewed samples of tea. Whatever it may be, suddenly I was drawn to Teavana, the tea shop in the Mall, and I found myself in the shop browsing the shelves. It was there that I found the book, Healing Teas, written by Marie Nadine Antol. This book fascinates me, because I drink a ton of tea, it made me want to read this book to find out the health value of the tea I drink. In the first few chapters of the book, the author quotes the bible. I grew up attending Catholic school, but never knew the bible had so many references about plants being healing.
Lets talk about the tea I grew up on. My grandma was a tea drinker. She drank Lipton Iced Tea, the powder that you simply add water to. It was easy and tasted good. In high school and college I drank a lot off Arizona Iced Tea and Crystal Lite. But I later found that Arizona Teas are poisoned with High Fructose Corn Syrup as a sweetener, and Crystal Lite has Aspartame, so I now avoid these, what a shame.
As for the Iced skim Chai from Starbucks. This latte is my favorite, but I have to admit it is starting to annoy me. The four pumps of Chai syrup that they put in the latte consists of black tea, cardamom, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise, blended with natural flavors, sugar, honey, ginger juice, vanilla and citric acid.¬†But it is still a syrup, where are the tea leaves?
This syrup stuff really bothers me because as far as I am concerned tea should be leaves not a sugar filled syrup¬†concoction. I also hate consuming too much dairy, and although the soy is organic at Starbucks, I don’t want too much soy in my body either. So although, I love Starbucks, I am going to try to cut back and make my own tea.
The one thing that I learned today at Best Buns, a local bakery near my Salon, that carries Starbucks products but not the Chai Latte syrup, is that the Tazo Chai tea bag is organic. One of the employees there mentioned that it is popular to hand make a Chai Latte by pouring seamed milk over the tea bag and adding vanilla. This could be a healthier more natural alternative to my favorite Starbucks Latte.
So while I was at Teavana I decided to purchase some loose leaf tea. I ended up getting a black tea called Samurai Chai and a white tea called White Ayurvedic Chai. I was in heaven when I tasted this tea. The flavors were strong and you could just tell the quality of these organic Chai teas.
I also purchased the Tumbler. This container is perfect for bringing your tea with you, wherever you are running off too. It is made from stainless steel, which is easy to clean and keeps your fresh brewed tea either hot or cold, up to six hours long. It also has a loose leaf tea filter. And the cover closes tight, to help steam the tea,¬†to obtain the fullest flavor.
There are a couple other things at the Teavana store that I found was interesting. If you have one favorite tea, and you are only going to drink that one tea, then you should purchase a traveling container, or a tea set, made from clay. Clay absorbs the nutrients and flavor of the tea. The more you use it, the better.
I am also obsessed with the Tristan Infuser Pitcher. It will be my next tea purchase. The Tristan has a filter and is used to make iced tea.
Tomorrow I am planning on experimenting with my new loose leaf Chai teas. Maybe I will steam some Almond milk and try to create a delicious Chai Latte.
Here are some questions for you… What is your favorite Tea? Does anyone know of a good tea to use over ice?