12 January 2009

Drink a Cup and Call Me in the Morning

Did you know that January is National Hot Tea Month? Neither did I, and even though the "official" observation is more geared towards tea retailers, I was reading Chan's blog shortly after New Year's, and she mentioned Knit One, Tea Too.


Now, I realize that I missed the first week, and it's only a four-week thing, but that's OK, I'll just combine the first two topics into one post. (Yep, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to get past me ...)

Anyway, here they are:

January 1 - 7 Please share your favorite hot tea memories with me. Who introduced you to hot tea?

January 8 – 14 Describe your perfect cuppa' hot tea. If you're like me and it depends, share as many different scenarios as you care to.

I have to be honest, and say that I do not remember anyone "introducing" me to hot tea - it has always been there. I guess the answer would be my parents, since tea was always something we had to drink. At a minimum, we had it every morning when we got up, and then again in the evening, after we put on our pajamas. (Now before you start thinking about what terrible parents mine were, not giving us juice, milk, and other things more suited to children, let me tell you that we had those as well.)

The other thing is, in my family there were three kinds of tea - iced tea, tea (which is what most people would call hot tea), and "hot" tea. "Hot" tea was a cup containing tea with whiskey, and was used for medicinal purposes. Seriously - have a cough and/or a cold? Have a cup of hot tea. Sore throat? Hot tea. Can't get warm, no matter what? Hot tea. Got soaked through in the rain? Yep, you guessed it - hot tea!

As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time as a child wondering why so many adults would have "a cup of hot tea" when they weren't sick ... then of course, I realized that "hot" tea as it was in our family, and hot tea as it was to the rest of the world, were two different things. (And, to be honest, by that time there were so many things that were, shall we say - unique - to my family, it wasn't a big deal. )

Now as far as my favorite cuppa, well, if I'm sick or not feeling well, "hot" tea is definitely the answer! But in the normal everyday universe, my most basic, favorite cup of tea is black tea (particularly Irish Breakfast, or something of that type), extremely hot water, and a nice slice of lemon or lime.

I enjoy most teas - Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Jasmine, and a lot of the holiday blends. I have even been known to enjoy Constant Comment tea, brewed from a bag right into my mug - the horror!! And I have tried some herbal teas that I think are pretty good.

The only cup of tea I've ever met that I didn't like was Lapsong Souchong - we bought some once, and we couldn't go beyond one sip. (Mostly because to us, it smelled like wet cigars! And the first sip did nothing to make either of us want to go any further.)

It almost made me sick. And you know what I would have had to drink then ...

16 comments:

sprite said...

The worst tea I had was at the coffeehouse in college. I decided to be adventurous and try a mug of maple vanilla. Undrinkable.

Knitterary said...

I'm not a big fan of that red tea. If you think lapsang souchong is vile, you probably wouldn't like the red tea. They taste and smell much the same to me.

I'm kind of a tea whore. Except the red, I pretty much like them all. Current faves are Barry's Irish tea in the red box and this wonderful tinned loose jasmine tea that I found in Chinatown. Oh, and Nutratea black currant tea -- a Slovenian tea that I found at an area grocery importer. Good stuff.

And anyway, how can anyone not love tea? There are so many varieties, and they're almost all calorie free.

dalmadore said...

I so agree with you about the "hot" (with the whiskey) tea. I use that as my any and all cure all. In fact, I'm having a cuppa as I type (thought I felt a sniffle coming on...)

Lisa said...

Knitterary, do you mean that jasmine in the gold tin? Man, that stuff is amazing.

Knitterary said...

The one I have is in a gold and purple tin. I can't tell you a brand because I can't read Chinese! There's sort of a gold medallion on the front, surrounded by a purple and gold swirly design. But it's loaded with tiny jasmine flowers and, oh, it smells like heaven! That's my "emergency use only" tea, saved for special occasions!

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

How funny. I keep being told that Lapsong Souchong is THE best tea. I've actually never tried it.

Scrabblequeen said...

Love your version of "hot tea". I detest Lapsong Souchong as well. It has a very smokey scent, much like Russian Caravan, which I call "old sock". Guess how I reacted to a sip of that!?

Brigitte said...

Mmmm, tea. I drink at least 2 cups of green tea a day, and black tea whenever I can.

Love any combination of the above, especially Earl Grey.

Now I need tea...

craftivore said...

Yay, a tea drinker like me. I drink at least two cups a day and since I've gone whole leaf I will never go back to tea bags. My current faves are Sencha Green and White Jasmine. The weirdest tea I've drunk is Yunnan Puerh Leaf, it's like yak sweat. I'm half Turkish and tea is just a part of life there, everyone drinks it. It is rich black tea from the Black Sea region, brewed in a double teapot and served in small glasses. Here's a picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftivore/3048536578/

Carrie K said...

You needed some hot tea? Guessing! lol.

I like green or black tea. My mother comes from a tea drinking family and has a cup or two daily.

Brenda said...

Great post! I used to drink black tea all the time, and then I found coffee and espresso. Gotta say, I'll take the java over the tea. But I do like iced tea (NOT sweetened) very much--just don't tell anyone British, apparently that's a big no-no.

Lorraine said...

Bridget- Lapsang Souchong is smoked, and that's probably why you didn't like it- it's an acquired taste.

I used to drink coffee in the morning, but now I drink at least a pot in the morning and the afternoon. Irish Breakfast is one of my favorites.

I think the world could use more "hot" tea.

Kim said...

I drink buckets of hot tea, but not your family's "hot" tea. We call "hot" tea, a hot toddy and add honey and lemon in addition to the whisky. Herbal, lback, green whatever, I love most of it. Don't like fruit lfavored tea because it reminds me of hot jello. Worst tea: puh erh. Tastes like dirt.

Channon said...

You know, I just fell in love with Jasmine teas this summer. Oh my!

Kee Kee said...

I find that your "hot tea", is the best cure for all coughs as a child and adult!

Amanda said...

Ug, I feel the same way about Lapsang Souchong. My dad was WAY into it for a while and I remember the first time I smelled it I thought he'd been cooking bacon!