As a child, I was an avid collector of glass animal figurines. I searched for them everywhere. And I found them often. I grew up in a family that went to plenty of antique shows, and my mission was always to find a new cutie to add to my collection. If it was a dog, even better.
Red Rose Tea was also a staple in our home. This is likely where my glass animal obsession began. Each tea box came with a glass animal figurine. It was my absolute joy to open a new box and find the glass animal, covered in tea dust. Sometimes I'd get a repeat of one I already had. If I was lucky, it would be a new one to add to the collection. Occasionally, I'd find a truly unique one and parade it around my home with a fierce amount of pride.
Tea drinking has been in my bones since the beginning. The smell of a new box of Red Rose is one that I can't explain. To me, it is my Grammy. These days, I buy PG Tips, but I still open the box and take a big whiff. It's a visit from her every single time and I relish it with the greatest and most profound love.
Today, I'd like to share with you my favorite teas. And if you, like me, enjoy drinking tea and remembering someone special, maybe you'll find a new one to add to your collection.
1 || Steven Smith (Brahmin): This is my favorite, higher end black tea. I drink a black tea every morning and in cold weather, it's not uncommon for me to have a second cup when I get home from work. This is what's typically described as a breakfast tea. It has a distinctive black tea flavor with a very floral undertone. It is incredibly delicious.
2 || PG Tips: This is classic, quintessential black tea. Entirely unfussy. Smooth and rich. Delectable. I usually have Steven Smith for my morning cup of tea and PG Tips in the afternoon.
3 || Red Rose Tea: I'll admit that I no longer buy this tea, but I think it's is an excellent place to start if you're new to tea drinking!
4 || Steven Smith (Masala Chai): I've actually been writing this post over the span of a few weeks and when I sat down initially, I didn't have a Chai pick. I recently found one on a random trip to the grocery store, and I am so, so pleased to share it with you. This particular strain is incredibly delicious; sweet, flavorful, and beautifully mellow.
(As a note, I drink all black teas with half and half and sugar. I also enjoy a
strong black tea, so I always steep for 10 minutes, regardless of
5 || Steven Smith (White Petal): In November, Jeffrey and I did a three-week cleanse that meant we needed to stop consuming daily coffee and black tea. However, green and white teas were totally fine. That cleanse led me to this tea, which I absolutely love. If you're more of an herbal tea drinker, I think you'll love this one! I enjoy this with a little bit of honey.
6 || Traditional Medicinals (Seasonal Sampler): I drink A LOT of tea when I get a cold or flu. This sampler pack is so delightful. There's a tea for a sore throat. One for congestion. One for immune support — to drink before you get sick. And there's one that just makes you feel cozy in the midst of your cold. I enjoy all of these with a little bit of honey.
7 || Yogi (Kava Stress Relief): I LIVED on this tea my first year teaching. I don't even know how many boxes I went through. I do really think this tea has a lovely calming ability, not necessarily because this is specifically for stress relief, but because I think all herbal teas can be quite calming. I enjoy this with a little bit of honey.
8 || Yogi (Honey Lavender Stress Relief): I switched to this version after discovering its Non-GMO certification. If you dislike lavender, this tea isn't for you. I wouldn't say it's strong, but it's certainly detectable. I enjoy this with a little bit of honey.
9 || Yogi (Comforting Chamomile): Chamomile is just honestly incredible. It's great for relaxation and bringing on sleepiness, it calms and eases stomach pain, and it's also really great for anxiety! I like to keep this in the pantry at all times. I enjoy this with a little bit of honey.
Note: The glass animal figurines are mostly gone now. But I still look for
the perfect one every time I enter an antique shop. While I typically
don't purchase them anymore, I still hope that an excited little kid
will come around and add my find to his or her own collection. And every
once in awhile, if I find one that really speaks to me, I'll still pick
it up and feel the same rush of joy I felt when I was a little kid.