Tea for one (dedicated to tea)

Last week I wrote a blog post dedicated to my love of coffee, showing off some of my favourite coffee mugs. After visiting my local tea shop, Montea Cristo (I love a good pun in a shop name), I thought I should write a post dedicated to tea, as well, considering tea accompanies my reading and writing just as often as coffee.

I only have one main teapot I use, although I plan to get others. I have some photos of that tea set (do you know how hard it is to find a tea set that isn’t overly feminine?), and I also have some close up shots (not necessarily good photos, though) of some of the different teas I bought on the weekend, all with the usual explanations/rambling.

This is my awesome oriental teapot. I love the colour scheme – that mix of orange and black just caught my attention. I have no idea what it says, by the way.

The teacups that came with the teapot. They’re small and designed for green teas – the teapot can probably fill five of these cups, despite only holding about half a litre. I am yet to use all four at once, though I hope to one day. Ambitious of me, I know.

This is called Lychee Magic Green Tea, and the only thing better than the smell of it is the taste. It contains sencha green tea, lychee and apple pieces, rose petals, blue cornflowers and calendula, and tastes of both lychees and green tea in equal measure. If you love the taste of lychees (and if you’ve never tried them, you must), you will probably enjoy this.

These odd looking balls are known as Buddha’s Tears, or Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls. They are hand rolled green and white tea, with a strong jasmine aroma. Rather than measuring these out by spoonfuls, you actually measure them out by pearls – 5 for each cup of water – and they unfurl as they infuse the water (so if you happen to have a clear teapot, you can watch this happen). This tea tastes amazing, but it comes at a price – about $400 (Australian) a kilogram, so something to buy in small amounts.

This is Mountain Top Oolong tea. Don’t be fooled by its odd appearance – this is in fact my favourite kind of tea. With hand rolled dragon pearls, this tea is grown in a cold mountainous climate, and has a superbly smooth and fresh taste, making it one of the most relaxing green teas around. It is about twice the price of many other teas, but is completely worth the extra money. There are other oolong teas, but this one is my favourite out of them all. Try it for yourself and you’ll see why.

One thing I have learned about tea, since I started my little love affair with it over the last few years, is that you should not use boiling water for green and white teas, but rather water at around 80 degrees celcius (or 176 degrees fahrenheit if I just did my maths correctly (I could check this properly, but oh well)). An easy way to achieve this is to pour boiling water into the empty teapot, and leave it covered for 5 minutes before placing the tea into the water. I don’t think this is as important with black teas, though. And I’m not entirely sure with herbal teas.

Anyway, I’m off to make a cup of tea and curl up with a good book, I think.

Are you a tea drinker? What kinds of tea do you like to drink?

32 thoughts on “Tea for one (dedicated to tea)

  1. I love tea! I have a clear tea pot and a heap of old mismatched china. My absolute favourite excursion is to Mrs Oldbucks Tea Shop on the Southern Highlands ( I don’t think Old Buck is a pun!) where I pick up teas and then on to Berkelouws Book Barn. Mmm I love this time of the year- they have the fire going! Cheers

  2. I love the oriental tea pot! It’s very cute. I have a traditional Royal Dalton tea pot – Old Country Roses – which is very large and great for tea parties (I’m a ‘girl’, what can I say?) I just snatched my grandmother’s old green teapot from the cottage, complete with crocheted tea-cozy. It brings back memories. I’ve recently been introduced to a local loose tea shop and have only tried the ‘Three Wishes’ tea (an Arabian blend of rose, jasmine, green tea, black tea & sunflowers). It is very fragrant and has a slightly citrus taste. All this talk of teas has me craving a cup, so off I go! 🙂

    • Oooh that Royal Dalton sounds nice! As does that Three Wishes tea – it sounds really odd but interesting…I’ll have to see if my local tea shop sells it. Once you start buying and drinking loose leaf teas, it becomes very addictive very quickly. But then, if you’re going to be addicted to something, tea is one of the better things to be addicted to haha! 🙂

  3. What a coincidence that you posted this! My husband bought me a red bone china and gold trim tea set for my birthday a few years back that I refuse to use until we get a house (currently we live in a dorm-room looking apartment). Anyway, yesterday while we were cleaning out the attic, I came across the little brochure our tea shop gave him when he purchased the set. I learned about all kinds of tea and flavors and tea tins and the little pearls you showed above. So, naturally, I wanted to run out and buy some tea. My husband says “I understand babe, but can we just see how you feel after a couple of days of not reading the pamphlet that makes you feel like less of a person for not drinking their fancy tea?” I laughed my duff off. But thank you for posting this, because I just informed him that your post is the universe telling me to go to the tea shop. : )

    • Hahaha, I love it when I speak on behalf of the universe like that…I’m sure it hasn’t been the first time this has happened on this blog, either! 😛 And honestly, it is a lot of fun to drink all the teas. The trick is not to buy too much, limit yourself to 2 or three packets at the most, and take your time discovering them all. That way it also won’t be expensive, overall. That tea set you mention sounds amazing, it’d be a shame not to use it! 🙂

      • Yeah I think I’m going to go to the Tea place and buy just an ounce of a few teas with some tea tins. Shouldn’t be more than $25 then, which is acceptable for a novice tea enthusiast such as myself. And the tea set is gorgeous! Cost him a very pretty penny, which is why I won’t use it in this stupid apartment! The apartment is not worthy! Haha.

  4. Tea is also one of my most favourite things in the whole wide wide world. And it is an essential companion for a writer. Currently I’m a little obsessed with Tea Pigs Chocolate Tea and also Rooibos Creme Caramel – Yummo 🙂
    Probably going be breaching all kinds of copyright laws here, but can’t resist proving you with a couple of verses from this little poem:

    Alternative Anthem – John Agard

    Put the kettle on
    Put the kettle on
    It is the British answer
    to Armageddon

    Never mind taxes rise
    Never mind trains are late
    One thing you can be sure of
    and that’s the kettle, mate.

    • Oh yum, both those teas sound really interesting! I’ve had a caramel flavoured black tea before, but not a chocolate one. Intriguing…
      I love those verses! I suddenly feel old British pride washing over me hahaha….I also really feel like a cuppa now.

  5. YUM that lychee green tea looks delicious please get me some 🙂
    I drink Gorgeous Geisha from Tea Too its amazing it will rock your world its green tea with strawberries and cream in it yep its amazing told you so

    • Sure! Hehehe, the lychee green tea is amazing and it’s just at Erina Fair…if you’re up on the weekend you should get some! 🙂 I was thinking of doing a breakfast thingo on Sunday morning ’cause it’s my birthday on Sunday, so I was thinking at Erina or Terrigal (probs Terrigal, but Erina is on the way).
      That Gorgeous Geisha tea sounds nice! 🙂

  6. Ooooh, a tea party! You just reminded me that I have been wanting to visit a local tea house called “Tea Anytime.” Their hours are somewhat limited which belies their name.

    I like your teapot and the Buddha’s tears. That is the first time I have ever seen that. Incredible. Lately, my favorite teas are relaxation teas or teas that purport to make you sink into amazing sleep. I suffer from insomnia from time to time and herbal teas are my friend. 🙂

    • Hahaha, it’s funny the names these shops come up with. Once while roadtripping up the coast of Aus, I drove past a cafe called Sexy Coffee. I’d really like to know what exactly does go on in there hahaha.
      Yeah, those Buddha’s Tears are pretty special. Pretty tasty, too.
      I have a few relaxation teas at home as well, for similar reasons, as I have sleeping problems quite often! 🙂

  7. I was a huge tea drinker for the few months I lived in London — 3 cups a day was the norm — but I don’t drink it as often anymore. A nice cup of tea to wind down in the evening is really nice, though!

    It seems you have excellent taste in tea! Can’t beat jasmine pearls, and the lychee green tea sounds fantastic! I didn’t know about the ideal temperature for green tea until now, but I’m looking forward to seeing the difference it makes; it’s amazing how important the steep time is (only 1 to 2 minutes if I’m correct?), so I’m curious about the importance of temperature.

    • I agree, tea is a great way to wind down! 🙂
      Yeah, it seems to not be well-known. I think it’s mostly because it just burns or cooks green tea if the water is still boiling, which would probably ruin or at least disintegrate the flavour. The steep time also changes…generally I find 2 to 3 minutes is good for black teas, but 5 minutes or more for green teas. But it really depends on personal taste.

  8. The love for tea and coffee must be in the air, I just wrote a poem about tea. Couldn’t concentrate until I got the words out of my system…ha ha ha. I’m a fan of Earl Grey and Irish Breakfast. I’ll drink just about any black tea, though. But I’m mostly a coffee snob. I prefer my Hawaiian Hazelnut home brew.

    Great post! Thanks for honoring the drinks that keep us writers from falling asleep at the keyboard…

    • Hahaha, yeah, it must be in the air! Maybe people need more caffeine at this time of year? 😛
      I love Earl Grey and Irish Breakfast too (I’m about to make an Earl Grey I think…). I do love my coffee too! 🙂
      And thank you, glad you enjoyed the post!

  9. I love your teapot! I’ve recently gotten into drinking more tea. I unfortunately do not have a tea pot. It’s also difficult to find unique teas in my area. I was recently fortunate enough to have someone gift me some tea balls and loose leaf tea and I’m really enjoying what I was gifted, it’s a Twinnings Prince of Wales tea I believe. I’m wanting to see if I can find an online site to buy teas from in the future.

    • Ahhh, you must try and get a tea pot at some point – they seem to add something to the tea experience, slow it down, make it more relaxing I suppose. Though sometimes when I’m in a hurry I’ll just use a mug. Prince of Wales tea is lovely, one I don’t seem to have enough for one reason or another (there’s just so many teas out there to try, and not enough time to try them all).
      I imagine there would be a good website to buy tea from, I had never thought to look until you’ve just mentioned it…hmmm. I will look into it when I get a chance and get back to you on it. 🙂

    • Oh wow, that must be really hard to find tea without caffeine in it? That is an unfortunate allergy, especially if you like tea. Though I suppose a lot of herbal teas probably don’t have any caffeine in? It’s one of those things I haven’t thought about as much as I should, actually…
      Red Bush tea sounds intriguing, I may have to look into it (to be honest I intend to try every tea I possibly can at some point in my life). 🙂

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