Monday, February 08, 2010

A Nice Cuppa...

I am, by most accounts, a coffee drinker. But I've always had a weakness for a nice cup of tea (or cuppa, as I see written in British books). To the extent that among my favorite aspects of traveling through Europe and Australia has been to sample the local teas, and bring tins and packages home for family and friends.

About five years ago, a new friend introduced me to the idea of High Tea, complete with yummy little sandwiches and desserts stacked on trays, and--the best part for me--scones with slotted cream and jam.


It turns out there are several tea shops in the Pasadena area, and now each Christmas we make a point of a holiday lunch to sample the wares and catch up.

With the weather turning cool and often wet here on the west coast, I'm turning to a nice cuppa more and more these days. The tea I'm drinking is a lovely Pickwick breakfast tea sent to me as a gift by Australian young adult writer, Vanessa Barneveld (shown as a 2009 Golden Heart finalist).


Vanessa knows I have a weakness for Pickwick teas, although I've only been able to find them in her native country!

But the thing is, I'm running out of that tea...and I'd love suggestions for some of your favorite teas, that I could either find at a Pasadena tea shop or even Trader Joes or a supermarket! What kind of tea do you enjoy?

Tina

Tina Ferraro
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17 comments:

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

Run over to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (which everyone has but Seattle--sniff!) and get the Vanilla Ceylong. Crazy good for a high tea!

TinaFerraro said...

Yes, we have one in my town! Thanks, Dona! And I was hoping to hear from you...know you love tea, as well!

yabooknerd said...

I'm a sucker for English Breakfast, which I'm now craving thanks to your post :)

Tera Lynn Childs said...

I've never been huge on tea (except for after my time in Boston--my friend there is a serious tea drinker) but I went through a Bigelow Vanilla Caramel phase. With a little sugar and milk... yum!

Janie Emaus said...

My favorite is green tea, especially in bulk form, direct from India.

Cara King said...

Ooh, I love a good afternoon tea! And I make a mean tea sandwich. Decent scones, too. (My friend and I use to host afternoon teas with period food and then we'd all watch Jane Austen movies...so I got some practice.)

As to tea itself, that's my drink. My favorite everyday tea is Tetley's British Blend -- it's sold in most large US supermarkets, and tastes like your nice basic English tea -- like PG Tips or something like that. I really like it (I drink it with milk, no sugar, but whatever works for you.)

And recently I've really been liking the Darjeeling and Assam from Taylors of Harrogate, which is available through Whole Foods markets.

And when I want a "real tea" indulgence, I buy a loose tea with lots of letters after the name from the tea shop in the Paseo Colorado in Pasadena (it's called Leaforever, and it's kind of near PF Chang's.)

I've never been into flavored teas myself, barring Earl Grey and other citrus-flavored teas, so I can't comment on them... I do like green tea, but I don't know much about it, so I'm not picky there!

Cara

stephhale said...

I'm not a tea fan but if you ever come to IL, I'll make you a mean cup of hot chocolate! ;)

TinaFerraro said...

Great ideas, and Cara, I know where that store is--thanks for the recommendation!

Steph, I may just hold you to the hot chocolate! YUM.

Marley Gibson said...

Loves me some tea, too. It's much more refined than coffee and there's not that nasty aftertaste that stays with you (at least me) all day. I have to say my favorite is Twinings English Breakfast, but I'm a sucker for Earl Grey with a piece of cheesecake. LOL!

Authorness said...

Hello, lovely Tina! When you next visit our shores, I would love to take you to High Tea in the Queen Victoria Building.

You know, I haven't been able to locate Pickwick here. I had to go all the way to Holland to get you that pressie last year. ;)

I don't know if Farmer Joe's stocks creme brulee tea, but if you find it, grab it! I get it from a shop called T2 in Sydney. It's rich and full of that delicious caramel flavour you'd expect in a good creme brulee. Tastes twice as sinful if you drink it with cream instead of milk. Mmmm!

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Marley, and yes, Twinnings is something I can find here.

Vanessa, I'd forgotten you had to go to Holland to find the Pickwick. Makes me love and appreciate it all the more! Thanks for visiting with us all the way from "down under..."

Wendy Toliver said...

I'm a Celestial Seasonings girl myself, having grown up in CO. My favorite flavor is Tension Tamer.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Tina, what a lovely post. I raise my cup of tea to you (sadly only humble Liptons but still very nice!). And what a lovely photo of the lovely Vanessa! Actually a friend of mine's daughter has just returned from a trip to India and she brought me Darjeeling tea from REAL Darjeeling! It smells heavenly! I haven't breeched it yet but I smile every time I open the tea cupboard!

TinaFerraro said...

Wendy, I could use a nice cuppa Tension Tamer right now (as I sit anxiously on evacuation alert once again).

Anna, what a delight to have you visit us here...and may I point out that you were the first to send me the Pickwick tea???

Heather Davis said...

Can you please air those scones to me? They look soooo delish!

I do love a good cup of green tea, or some English Breakfast with cream. Yum! Maybe we should host a Buzz Girls' Tea?

miss said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TinaFerraro said...

Absolutely, Heather, the next time we're all together, let's go for high tea!