First Tea Time

Let’s get cozy, shall we?  Tea is all about relaxation whereas coffee is all about get up and go. Now don’t get me wrong. I started my early adult years as a coffee drinker working as a barista.  I still begin my morning with my Starbucks’s espresso blend but I don’t brew up a 12 cup pot of coffee just for myself anymore.  I’m barely brewing half that and not finishing it anymore.

Now I’m overwhelmed with tea mania! The variety is awesome to say the least. That’s why I now have two huge plastic totes full of tea in my room! One for caffeinated and the other for caffeine free. My nine year old son also loves tea and this separation helps him in picking out flavors safe for him to drink. Because a little caffeine goes a long way in him!

I’m getting my teas from the grocery store and internet. I have full leaf tea and I finally got my finum brewing basket off of Amazon this week. I was using other cheaper metal infusers but the amount of tea leaves swimming around in the cup was just criminal. I’m about to get myself on the tea kettle bandwagon too. Right now I’m microwaving my water. At one point I had a great little tea kettle that I think I used for making ramen noodles in college but it’s been lost through the craziness of life.

So I just got 14 new teas from the Internet for my birthday this last week but this didn’t stop me from picking up 4 new ones when I was in Kroger grocery store today. FYI. I live in a small town in mid-Michigan. So if any of the store names throw you for a loop that’s the reason!  Kroger has an excellent tea section.  Lots to choose from and usually many on sale.  Today I picked up Lipton Peach and Mango, Lipton Cinnamon Apple, Celestial Seasonings Honey Sleepytime, and Zhenas Gypsy Tea Coconut Green Chai Tea.

Now the Lipton I was a bit wary off but I really like the Honey Peach Mango Green Tea mix that comes in little packets that you put in a water bottle and shake up in the summer time.  I’m thinking this is going to taste similar. But we’ll find out.  My son likes apple tea and I just got him that other one for when the one that came from Stash tea runs out. I’ll tell you more about the Stash tea flavor later on another tea time. It’s called Maple Apple Cider and its delicious.  I’m not going to drink the Lipton Cinnamon Apple tonight. It just got put directly into the tote.

We are big fans of the Sleepytime line around here and we enjoy the regular version as well as the vanilla. So when I saw the honey flavored Sleepytime and it was on sale, I just had to grab it up.

I just got my first taste of Zhenas Gypsy Tea last week when I got the birthday tea bonanza with Ambrosia Plum. The Coconut Green Chai intrigued me. I’ve always had premixed Chai tea and it’s been with black tea.  Plus I’ve never had coconut in Chai. Now I’m a huge coconut tea fan. I have several coconut teas. I can’t get enough of them. Another great thing was Kroger had this tea for less than half the price of the Internet sellers…ring me up please!

So I usually start my night with the highest caffeine drink and move my way through to caffeine free. Tonight that makes Zhenas first. Even though it’s not very highly caffeinated because it’s made with green tea. Plus it’s the most exciting of the day!

It infuses to a medium green color and has a kind of a spicy smell. I think it’s the ginger. I’m not sure I like ginger in tea yet. I like it in Asian food and cookies but I don’t know if I like to drink it. I’ll find out. Also you should know I take my tea very sweet. Lots of sugar.

Halfway through the cup I like the flavor but it doesn’t taste like the Chai tea I’m used to at all. But it’s still pleasant. The coconut gives it a mildness that would lend this tea to go well with milk or even better my favorite Italian cream coffee creamer.  That would make the clove, ginger, and cardamom mellow out.  The spice flavor isn’t off the charts but the cloves are standing out a little more than I’d like.  I’m still going to recommend it if you can find it for a good price and don’t expect a traditional Chai tea flavor.  It’s a keeper.  Next time I’ll put some creamer in it I think.

Now for the Lipton Peach Mango Herbal Tea.  First off the teabag smells very peachy with a hint of mango.  The box says that it also has rosehips and hibiscus in it.  I absolutely love hibiscus.  All of this points towards the positive for this cup.

It infuses to a gorgeous dark ruby red color thanks to the hibiscus and smells strongly of peaches.  Kinda like peach candy… It doesn’t taste as strong as the smell.  And the mango flavor is stronger than the peach flavor in my opinion.  It’s fruity and very tropical.  It’s very reminiscent of the iced tea packets that Lipton makes that I like.  I can see myself drinking this again. It’s nice.

If you have never had a Sleepytime tea, they’re all a mint blend that’s caffeine free.  My son’s favorite tea used to be Sleepytime Vanilla.  Which is really yummy.  I find that the Sleepytime teas make you really relaxed and I save them for the end of the night.

The teabag smells sweetly of mint and lemon. According to the box it’s got spearmint and lemongrass as well as chamomile in it with other natural flavoring and the honey flavoring of course.

It infuses to a medium brown and smells lightly minty.  So Sleepytime Honey tastes exactly like sweetened regular Sleepytime….lol  Now I guess if I hadn’t put my sugar in it then it would be slightly sweet from the honey flavoring.  But I don’t drink slightly sweet tea.  I drink very sweet tea!  So it’s still the same smooth, relaxing and comforting blend.  Good tea just not exciting like I thought I was getting.  Since Kroger had it on sale for $2 I am not upset about it.  Between the three Sleepytime tea blends, Vanilla Sleepytime is still the king.  Which explains why I have 3 boxes of it in my tea vault.

So that is the end of the first Tea Time with Michelle!  Tomorrow I will have some cups of fancier teas from more high end brands that I got recently for my birthday.  I hope you enjoyed this and come back for more!  Remember, pinkies up when you drink your tea!  🍵

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