Getting into hot water

I have a new obsession. Lately, I have been fixated on Dragonfly Teas, and before that it was about a month long  relationship with Marriage Frères teas from my trip to Paris last month.

What a joy it is to have a soothing, steaming, nose tingling warm cuppa! All winter long I sample and sip, framing up the moments of the day. I hadn’t realized it until just now, but I have a daily tea ritual that I’ve been following for a long time.

It starts early in the morning with a cup of Rooibos Vanilla. This is my pre-coffee “writing” tea. It slowly warms up my body and awakens me with it’s silky vanilla flavours softening over the punchiness of the rooibos.

A few hours later, after my morning cup of decaf joe, I come back to my tea stash for something fruity: rasberry orange, pomegranite apple, or honeybush are some mid morning favorites.

An afternoon wouldn’t be complete without some Earl Grey. My latest love is the French Blue variety from Mariage Freres. The bergamot reaches up through the steam to kick my post-lunch senses back into shape and take me happily to the end of the work day.

And finally, my longest standing love: Sleepytime Tea by Celestial Seasonings. I’ve been drinking this tea for as long as I can remember! Put me asleep as a child.  Used it after late nights of studying in uni to calm down my hyperactive mind before bed, and finally after a long stint without it in England, we have been reunited at the Sainsbury’s near Holborn station. It has an uncanny ability to help me relax in the evening with it’s soothing camomile and spearmint. Just opening the package and breathing it in, makes my heartbeat slow down a little.

Going outside daily favorites, some superstars that have surprised and delighted are often found during trips abroad. From my regular visits to my “hometown” of Vancouver: Jasmine Green Tea from the Granville Island Tea Company – a sophisticated smooth tea – is extra wonderful with chocolate. Lapsong Souchong from Marriage Freres is a smoky black wonder that has a pungent odour, but then reveals a softer inside. And one of my previous interns posted some amazing green teas to me from Japan. Green teas with such fruity, bright elegance, that I can’t really describe it, but it makes me want to get myself there in cherry blossom season.

So let me just say a big thanks to tea – I am incredibly grateful for the beautiful flavours and memories you’ve gifted to me.