While in Big Town for classes yesterday, I hunted, and searched, and looked, and searched, and hunted.... for a kettle.
Finally found one, and was very happy as mine is packed, if I remember correctly, in the third or fourth box on the bottom row of a stack of four, in the trailer.
I like tea, more and more all the time. I've always enjoyed a nice cup of hot tea on a winter's afternoon, and while I'm a huge proponent of coffee for morning wake-up, I'm coming to realize that while I'm quitting smoking, perhaps I need to break that habit as well. Mostly because it was always coffee and a cigarette, and it's been taking twice as much coffee to beat the morning growlys into submission. More, if I didn't get much sleep the night before.
I swear to whatever deity you care to name, if I ever get off of these damn patches (I'm on step three, now, because, well, I'm butch like that, and pushing it) I'm going to burn the boxes and dance around them. After shooting them. And stabbing them.
Seriously, I hate these things.
Anyway, tea. I like tea, and while it's possible to make tea by putting a cup of water in the microwave and heating it and then putting the tea bag in the cup, I can taste a difference between that method, and putting water in a kettle, heating it on the stove, and pouring the was-boiling-just-a-second-ago water over the bag.
I am nowhere near schooled enough in tea-fu to make tea with loose leaves, although the Safeway in Big Town offers tins of Twinnings loose tea leaves in a couple of varieties. Not to mention I don't have a proper tea pot, which seems to me to be a necessity if you're going to make tea the "proper" way.
Anyway, there's something about the sound of the water beginning to bubble in the kettle, as I putter around the kitchen, and the sound of the low groan from the whistle just before it actually whistles, that's soothing to me. And, soothing has been a rare and precious commodity around me for a couple of weeks now.
So, I found a kettle, and I bought some tea. Store brand Earl Gray because otherwise I'm going to drink all of Mamaw's fancy Earl Grayer tea, from The Republic Of Tea. That stuff is gooood. Also, a store brand orange spice tea, because it smelled good through the cellophane... which is the same reason I first tried Earl Gray. And, a Twinnings variety pack, with their Earl Gray, Lady Gray, English Breakfast, and Irish Breakfast teas.
The Twinnings Irish Breakfast blend is quite good, if you're wondering. I haven't tried the others, yet.
But, I have tea. The ritual of making the tea, and sitting staring at the wall thinking about things, cradling a cup of tea and idly swirling a spoon through it.... it's relaxing. Slouching down in a comfy chair with the cup cradled in my hands, the warmth begins to radiate up my arms... and as I sip the warmth starts radiating through my chest, relaxing muscles and cleansing stress.
It's a hot, luxurious bath, in a cup, in some ways. I'm still exploring the different varieties, and figuring out my favorites.
So, what are your favorite teas? And, is there really a difference between loose-leaf and bag brewing?