{A Little Tea Love} Because a Good Book Needs a Good Cup of Tea

Yesterday, I had a tea party.

High tea anyone? Nice collection of homemade scones, cupcakes, tea sandwiches, fruit, and a cheeseball. Plus some super delicious Earl Grey cookies -- made with tea!

High tea, anyone? I made a nice collection of homemade scones, cupcakes, tea sandwiches, fruit, and a cheeseball. Plus some super delicious Earl Grey cookies — made with tea!

I’ve been drinking tea for a LONG time but never ever thought to host a party at my house, so when I met Christa, a rep for Steeped Tea, at the Kinderland market — a kind of garage sale with used children items, as well as various vendors — over in Sherwood Park a few months ago, I thought, “Why not?” and signed up for a show!

Tea in the morning, tea in the evening, tea at supper time,
You get tea when it’s raining, tea when it’s snowing,
Tea when the weather’s fine.
You get tea as a mid-day stimulant
You get tea with your afternoon tea
For any old ailment or disease
For Christ sake have a cuppa tea.

I wouldn’t say that I’m super familiar with tea, but I’m no stranger, either. It didn’t really start until I was out of university, since prior to that it was always sugary drinks and beverages that aren’t that good for you (vodka, anyone?). When I started playing gigs out at tea houses, I started to really enjoy a nice cup of tea. When you’re a musician, tea is WONDERFUL. Especially on those days where you have a bit of a sore throat and need to get through a show!

One of my favourite places to play was Steeps, the urban tea house in Edmonton over on 124th Street. While the crowd and the staff were always nice, it was the time before the show that I loved — going through all of the tins of tea, smelling each one, wondering which ones I would choose to buy after the show. Back in those days, I based my selection solely on the smell of a tea. I never paid attention to what kind of tea it was.

Yours truly playing a show at my favourite teahouse, Steeps.

Yours truly playing a show at my favourite teahouse, Steeps.

While I did use a bit of loose tea back in those days, I would also buy plenty of tea from the grocery store — well, what I thought was tea. To anyone who knows tea, the stuff in the teabags at the grocery store, for the most part, is quite literally the bottom of the barrel stuff, the “dust” that remains after the fantastic loose tea leaves are removed. Not that great in flavour, but easy.

In the past few months I realized that that’s what I kept grabbing for — the easy teas. I had placed an order at David’s Tea not too long ago and had a great collection of loose teas, but it was always the Earl Grey, the boring old teabags, that I would put in my cup because they required no effort. I barely even steeped the tea bags in them for that long — or else I left them in too long — so it was kind of obvious that I had never had a proper cup of tea.

If you feel a bit under the weather,
If you feel a little bit peeved,
Take granny’s stand-by potion
For any old cough or wheeze.
It’s a cure for hepatitis, it’s a cure for chronic insomnia,
It’s a cure for tonsillitis and for water on the knee.

During the show yesterday, I realized that I was doing it all wrong! I rarely paid attention, like I said, to the kinds of teas I was drinking, so I never knew what they were good for. I had no idea that rooibus and fruit teas were wonderful iced, or that you could ice tea cold, or do it warm then ice. I didn’t know that you could mix teas, or that you had to steep certain teas for a certain amount of time — too less and they wouldn’t have the right flavour, too much and they’d go bitter. I didn’t know that some teas were naturally sweet and that others could quell cravings for sweets, or that certain teas could help alleviate stomach aches, headaches, or stress, or even aid in weight loss, as well as keep you healthy.

Heck, you can even steep tea directly in beer or vodka!

Lazy Mutt beer + a tea bag steeped in it = Happy Mutt!

Lazy Mutt beer + a tea bag steeped in it = Happy Mutt!

Needless to say, there was a lot I could learn by paying more attention to the teas I was drinking! I decided yesterday that I would stop taking the easy way out with my beverage of choice during the day and start brewing it how its supposed to be brewed, as well as try new things — like icing my teas or mixing a few together!

As I sit here now, sipping my overnight-iced Organic Cinnamon Rooibos Chai tea from David’s Tea (a nice blend with a smooth chai flavour that doesn’t even need any sweetener!), I can honestly say that I’m no tea connoiseur, but I hope to get there one day. It really is a lot of fun trying new teas!

A note on the post title & lyrics: Not thinking I’d find anything, I decided to do a search on songs about tea. I knew the obvious one, “Tea For Two,” but had no idea that this one, “Have a Cuppa Tea” by The Kinks existed. I clicked on the YouTube video and fell in love with it. Big thanks to the British for always making me want to have a cuppa (really, whenever I watch ANY British TV show I want to drink tea) and for writing music about it.

P.S. – Stay tuned for a post showing my cupboard transformation from a haphazardly put-together baking stuff cupboard to a tea/beverage station! It’s pretty awesome. 🙂 

Are you a tea drinker? What are your favourite kinds of tea? 

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13 thoughts on “{A Little Tea Love} Because a Good Book Needs a Good Cup of Tea

    • I used to have English Breakfast all the time … At work I would love to just drink something warm, but I never had the time to actually appreciate the tea. At least with the loose stuff at home, I can sit down and relax with it, really paying attention to the flavours.

  1. This was so wonderful to read, Kristilyn!
    I am thrilled that you learned so much about tea, tisanes and proper steeping from my Tea Party Presentation! I love sharing my passion and knowledge about tea with people and this post helped me realize why… Tea is not just about the drink itself, it is about the experience! How it makes us feel, how it brings people together, and even how great it is for our health! Thank you for hosting a Steeped Tea ParTEA and allowing me to come into your home and share all about tea with your friends and family! I had a wonderful time, and your baking was absolutely delicious! I am excited for you to get all of the teas that you earned for free by hosting your ParTEA! You are going to love them all!
    Happy sipping!

    http://Www.facebook.com/christajones

  2. Haha I’m totally one of those lazy tea drinkers! I’ve bought lots of loose teas over the years and they go bad before I ever drink them, sigh. I’m so sad I missed your tea party – I would have loved to have learned all about tea too. I go thru fazes of tea drinking, but I always like to have a stocked drawer of tea! 😉

    Can’t wait to see your finished, organized tea drawer! (I love me a good before and after 😉 )

    • I’m mostly a winter-weather tea drinker, but I’m trying to change my ways. I like that certain teas don’t even need sweeteners, whereas I NEED cream and sugar in my coffee!

  3. Awesome post, Kristilyn! And thank you again for hosting and inviting me to your Steeped Tea ParTEA, it was a lot of fun, and I definitely learned a lot about tea, too! I didn’t even realize that I could be reusing some of my loose teas…not all though, I do drink a lot of black tea. 😉

    I loved the food you provided, too! It was all super delicious! I’ll also definitely have to attempt baking with tea thanks to the link you shared on Facebook. 😀 And I’m eager to see your tea cupboard transformation, too!! 😀

    • Hopefully next week I’ll get that post up!

      Yeah, I’m glad I learned I could reuse some of my loose tea … I had no clue! To think I’ve wasted some of my favourites!

  4. Pingback: {Tea in the Morning} Tea Cabinet Transformation | Reading In Winter

  5. Pingback: {A Little Tea Love} Earl Grey Tea Cookies | Reading In Winter

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My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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