A Lovely Cuppa

I am a lifelong coffee swiller. I started drinking coffee in high school, and never really stopped. The blossoming of premium coffee that started in the 90’s with Starbucks increased my appreciation for a good cup, and reduced my patience with bad brew. The coffee in my office isn’t great, but it’s not terrible; also it is free and always available. Six or more cups a day was not uncommon for me.

But I’m getting older. Time was, I could have a cup of coffee a half-hour before bed, and go right to sleep. Those days are no more. Nowadays, a cup of coffee after dinner and I have trouble falling asleep; two cups and I’m up all night. So I gave up coffee after dinner a while ago. However, the coffee was starting to tear up my stomach. So I quit completely.

I didn’t set out to give up coffee. In early December, I had a mild sore throat. One evening, I decided to treat it with a hot toddy – in this case tea, with honey and bourbon. Now, a few years ago, a co-worker turned me on to loose tea from Adagio Teas. I have their IngenuiTea teapot, which is the most convenient way to make a cup of tea I’ve seen. Since I hadn’t used the teapot in a while, I didn’t have much on hand for tea – just a set of samplers I had received when I ordered an extra teapot for Sherri to use (mine was at work). Wanting something to go with honey (and bourbon), I made a cup of Citron Green. It helped my throat, and I loved having a hot beverage in the evening again. Tea has about half the caffeine of an average cup of coffee (and much less than a strong coffee like Starbucks), and green tea has about half the caffeine of black tea.

In addition to the reduced caffeine, I noticed that the tea wasn’t irritating my stomach either, so I tried some other teas in the sampler. This led to a fresh order from Adagio, and some more sampling. After another week, I found that I was honestly enjoying tea more than coffee, and just stopped drinking the coffee.

So I’m now a tea convert. I’m still trying different samplers occaisionally, but here are my daily teas:

  1. Earl Grey. Captain Picard was right. Now, this is an acquired taste for some people. Earl Grey is a black tea flavored with oil of bergamot, a citrus fruit. It is somewhat floral. I’ve always liked it, but Adagio’s version, “Aristocrat Earl Grey” (also called “Bravo”) is outstanding. This is my first-cup-of-the-morning tea. I enjoy this tea with a splash of milk and a little sugar – about 1 light teaspoon to an 8 oz cup of tea. I don’t want it to be sweet, but I find that a little sugar brings out a lot of the flavors in the tea.

  2. Yunnan Jig. A black tea from the Yunnan region of China. I’ve spent several minutes trying to figure out how to describe it. It reminds me of a classic black tea, like English Breakfast tea, but so much better. I was never a huge fan of regular black teas, but this is now my standard tea. Sublime. I take this the same way as the Earl Grey – milk and sugar.

  3. Citron Green. This is a green tea flavored with citrus. It is excellent with a half-teaspoon or so of honey. It’s a great tea to relax with, and is the tea I always reach for after 8pm, if I’m having tea.

If you’d like to try some tea, I’d certainly recommend trying a sampler of loose teas from Adagio. They offer a number of samplers – black, green, oolong, flavors, herbal, and more. They used to sell samplers along with the IngenuiTea teapot at a discount, but I can’t find that on the site. Customers can send free $5 gift certificates to their friends, so if you’d like a gift certificate, send me an email and I’ll pass one along.

Oh, and I’m not the only fan of loose tea in general or Adagio in particular; what started as a comment to Effika’s post on the subject became this post.

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3 Responses to “A Lovely Cuppa”

  1. effika Says:

    I’ll have to give Yunnan Jig a try sometime. I seem to like the straight black teas better than their flavored counterparts.

    I was a huge coffee drinker until about two years ago, myself. Had a burr grinder and certain local coffee houses I’d get beans roasted at &c. My stomach decided that a hot cup of acid wasn’t it’s cup of tea first thing in the morning, so I switched. I’d been drinking Twinning’s green tea bags until now.

    Citron Green is absolutely delightful. I want an air freshener that smells like that.

  2. Sean Rivinus Says:

    I am sitting here stunned that you have given up drinking coffee.

  3. chornbe Says:

    I’ve become a huge fan of green tea. It’s just about my only cold drink at home any more. I’ve never been a coffee drinker (tho’ I love the smell of coffee – we have coffee candles all over the house), so keeping on with my tea tradition is a no-brainer for me.

    My faves are plain old black tea, green tea and some of that great orange spice black tea. I’ve moved away from the Earl Grey and the Chai I used to love so much.