It’s Tea Time
I’ve been on a bit of a journey with my health lately. In October I was diagnosed with acid reflux and the doctor put me on medicine. But with that visit to the doctor came a laundry list of things NOT to eat and drink, possible trigger foods like chocolate, garlic and tomatoes. And on the top of the list was coffee. COFFEE. Even decaf isn’t good for someone who has chronic acid reflux. The caffeine and the acid are bad for the stomach! So I launched out into the deep dark world of self deprivation. NO MORE COFFEE! This was the most horrible thought to me, I’ll be honest. The smell, the taste, and the ritual! There’s nothing like it. I knew I had to make a change in the way I eat, how much I eat (I have not been successful on this front), and cut out certain foods. Well I’ll spare you the drama that ensued. . . the wailing and gnashing of teeth when I went through my first week of withdrawals from coffee. And week two, well heck let’s just call it all the way to week 3ish on into week 4, I was a bit of an emotional wreck. I felt like an alcoholic or drug addict. I’m serious, I’m not kidding! My husband and son would drink coffee and I’d smell it and feel terrible! Weak and weepy, like I needed to get out of the bar (so to speak)! But I was determined. I headed to Target and bought a nice organic camomile tea (good for the throat and stomach), which I love, and a lemongrass tea that I tried once and threw out. It was terrible. Then I bought some decaf black tea in tea bag form and that was really nice. So I started drinking tea. Do you know what’s ironic about all this? I have about 3 different tea sets not to mention a whole collection of teas that I’ve collected over the years because in the winter, I would enjoy a cup of hot tea in the evenings or when I was sick. The word tea can be a bit confusing so let me clarify something with my own definition of what tea is; TEA; any dried, eatable, and legal plant that can be steeped in hot water and drunk. There are actual tea leaves which come from the plant that start out green (green tea) and then are dried and now we have black tea. There is Darjeeling tea which comes from Darjeeling India and so on and so forth. But then there are herbal teas which are herbs or herb and flower blends, which actually have no tea in them, hence being caffeine free. That’s where I started. Now, enter the tea pot. . . Well I was given a darling little tea pot by my mother in law, for Christmas and I thought, “hmmm, I don’t even drink tea.” Ha! It was a prophetic gift I know this know. So as I launched in this major change in my life, after all I drank coffee for over 20 years, every single day of my life, two big mugs a day, plus an occasional Starbucks and a coffee at church at meetings, social gathers, etc. It was my booze. My drug, if you will. I was addicted! And I didn’t even realize it.
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
God spoke to me one day through this verse as I was feeling sorry for myself and hopeless (can you believe it? Hopeless? I’m saved by the blood of Christ, assured a future and a hope in Heaven with my Savior, and I was hopeless?) that I had indeed been brought under the power of a drink. Not to mention the ritual of it. Well, by week three I was going to embrace this new thing God was doing in my life (took me long enough!) and I headed down to The Temecula Spice Merchant on the hunt for some nice teas to satisfy my palate.
One thing I realized in my Perfect Tea Hunt is that it’s important to try different teas and find the one or ones that just really do it for you. Here are some new ones I’m trying, all decaf. The Sweet Biscotti brews up to be a pretty pink tea but honestly after one cup I’m done. TheEvening in Missoula is lovely and the African Autumn is wonderful!
After trying several teas I’m finding that one of my favs is Rooibos (pronounced roo-i-bus). Rooibos is a bush native to South Africa, so it’s actually not tea at all, but it was a really nice warm flavor. I love it!
Here are two caffeinated teas I bought. Now I should tell you that I didn’t do this in the beginning. It took about a month before I let myself have any caffeine again and even now I only drink it maybe every other day so as to not become addicted again. Anyway, the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie is excellent! But my favorite is called Hazelnut Cream and it is a rooibos tea (herbal-no caffeine). Now don’t be afraid of loose tea. It’s more flavorful and higher quality than tea bag tea (usually) and there are all different ways to strain it.
So with the tea search, came the accessories to go along with it, which just really excited me! Enter. . . tea containers. Tea should be stored in a container that is dark so as to preserve the tea. I found these little beauties at World Market for $2.99 each.
One of the nifty (I love that word) things about these little containers is that they have two lids. One that creates a nice seal, to keep the tea fresh and one that is decorative.