In case somebody is not yet tired of the tea-theme, I have promised before to make a post on my favourite teas. To be honest, it is a hard one. I have a certain tea routine, but there are so many other teas that I love but cannot have at the moment because of breastfeeding. And there is simply not enough time in the day to squeeze all the teas in.
I originally planned to do a Top 5 post, but later realised that 5 is not enough to list even the most cherished flavours. So here goes Top 6 + all the rest that I have in the house and drink occasionally.
- Mao Feng Green Tea
- Darjeeling Black Tea
- Slim Máte
- Pu-erh with Blackcurrant
- White Tea with Pomegranate or Cranberry
My daily routine consists of caffeinated teas in the first half of the day and non-caffeinated in the evening. I try to not have a caffeinated tea later than 4 pm, although I might have one if I have to stay awake and full of energy till late.
I choose to drink 2 to 3 cups of caffeinated tea per day, which is cut back to 1 if I have coffee that day (I have to stay below 200-300 mg caffeine per day as a nursing mom). I don’t limit herbal teas but try not to drink more than 2 cups of the same tea in one day.
The caffeinated teas that I drink most often are Mao Feng and Darjeeling. I especially love the Mao Feng variety of green tea because it is so fresh and almost green in taste if not brewed too strong. I can almost taste the leaves, or at least I imagine to. But if Mao Feng is brewed strong, then it tends to be very bitter and very astringent. I do not like my teas strong and astringent. I like them to be refreshing. Darjeeling is the new addition to my tea routine. I saw it in the supermarket and it provoked a desire to learn more about teas, to understand why it is different from any other black tea. That is what has driven me to do the research and write my trilogy on teas. After learning more about Darjeeling I was even more tempted to try it, and I did not regret it once I tried. It is just the way it is described: floral aroma, light and mild muscatel taste and a tiny hint of astringency if brewed a bit longer.
Chamomile is calming and very flavourful if you find the right blend. I do not always want to hassle myself with steeping the flowers in a pot, so I use tea bags. The brand I love the most is Diplomat from Aldi. It is surprising, but it is the most flavourful chamomile of all the regular packaged teas that I have tried.
I love the Slim Máte from Heather & Heather. Of all the teas that boost energy, this one is my most favourite. It has guarana seed and orange peels in it among the other goodness, and you can actually feel a hint of orange there.
Pu-erh is something that I can’t even describe, but it was love at first sight. White tea with fruit infusions is simply light and fruity and delicious! It is somewhat similar to green tea but milder and more flowery. I’m not sure if flowery is the right word to describe it, but that is what it feels like to me.
The other teas in my collection are Sencha Green tea with Lemon, Black tea with Mango, Rooibos tea, Organic Herbal Infusion from Lidl (another surprising find) and Organic Fennel tea. I used to have Red Raspberry Leaf tea and it is one of my favourite to use during pregnancy and early post-partum period, to tone the uterus and help with milk supply. I used it in both pregnancies and cannot say anything bad about it. Except that there are circumstances under which it is not to be used and I also know some people who didn’t like the taste.
Another tea I used to drink before was not really a tea in the way we know it, but the seeds steeped into tea. I have a friend who is big on herbal teas and herbs for healing. We used to be neighbours and often got together for tea while our girls, just 1 year apart in age, played together. She introduced me to a tea steeped from Caraway seeds. It is very mild and nice in taste, very aromatic, reminding of aniseed just a little. I often reminisce our afternoon conversations over the caraway tea and, boy, do I want to go back in time to have them again! But many things changed in our lives since then and we don’t get together as much anymore.
And to conclude my probably (but I hope not!) useless post, I want to name one other tea that I was once served by another very friendly neighbour who loved to grow her own herbs in the garden. If you have a herbal garden, you have to try this one (if you haven’t already). It is a Lemon Balm and Mint tea. For this tea, simply gather fresh leaves of Peppermint and Lemon Balm from your garden, wash them and cover with boiled water. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes and enjoy it. In time you will work out the ratio you like the most, but I suggest you begin with 1:1 ratio.
This is about it. Enjoy your tea!