Whatʻs the Tea?

Did I get your attention? Haha, the only tea youʻll get from me today is this post about my top three favorite teas. I am most definitely a black tea drinker, and absolutely a loose leaf one at that. I distinctly remember wanting to drink tea with no sugar because it’s easier to drink, but then having to teach myself to deal with the strong and sometimes bitter tastes.

Tea, oh what can I say about tea that you don’t already know? It has many benefits and flavors – depending on which tea you’re drinking. So let’s just talk about my top three:

  • Earl Grey
    • My favorite black tea ever. I feel it can be an acquired taste for some because of its strong aroma and flavor. It’s black tea leaves either mixed in with dried bergamot or sprayed with bergamot oil. Bergamot is a citrus fruit and grown in Italy for production of its oil. I like to drink this one hot and with no sugar. I don’t add milk either, but if you have ever heard of a London Fog, that is an Earl Grey with milk and vanilla. When I visit my hometown, Hilo, I get the Earl Grey and London Fog milk tea from Teapresso Bar (and I only like Hilo’s Teapresso, LOL sorry not sorry).
    • I have two canisters of Earl Grey from when my husband was in Singapore for TAD. This was in 2019 and they still smell perfect! I wanted to try different types of Earl Grey, so in these pictures you see both Golden Earl and French Earl from TWG Tea. The French Earl has an addition of French blue cornflowers and the Golden Earl has black tea that is oxidized using the sun and are referred to as “gold tips”. LOL, the more you know!
  • Māmaki
    • This tea is special to me and native to Hawai’i. I first tasted it in the Fall of 2015. I had taken a Plants of Hawai’i botany course/lab. I had my first sip of Māmaki then. It was so good, but a very different kind of taste. It belongs to the Nettle family, but has no stingers. It has a lot of healing properties and most definitely helps with seasonal allergies and the effects of vog (volcanic fog). In Spring of 2016, I had it again in a Geography of Hawai’i (Hawai’i in the Pacific) course. The instructor grew his own Māmaki and the tea was pink! I prefer to drink this tea iced and with no sugar. I had left a bag of it in Hilo when I moved away and when I returned it was no longer good. Recently, I acquired some from a local Patreon subscription. Kehau of Kehaunō’eau received some from a friend in Maui and shared with her subscribers. I still have some left that I wanted to share with my sister, so I’m trying really hard not to steep it for myself, haha.
The only Māmaki leaves I have left
  • Oolong
    • I had a really hard time picking what my third favorite tea was, but here it is – Oolong! A Chinese tea that is neither green or black. It can usually be identified as tea leaves in a rolled-up ball, with a little “tail” at the end. I don’t have any Oolong on hand right now, so I have no personal picture for you to see – but I found one here. I like to drink this one hot too (with no sugar), but Mr. Tea in Ala Moana makes a really good Oolong milk tea.

If you like tea and have not been to a tea shop, you should go in and try some new ones. You could also go and visit your local tea rooms and have a little tasting of different flavors. I have by no means gotten to taste every imaginable tea. Different cultures have their own kinds of teas too, that you would never try unless given some leaves or by visiting the area. I also don’t necessarily brew them the right way: each type of tea usually has a specific amount of minutes that you spend brewing or temperature of the water – I’m not like that at all. I’m picky only about whether or not it is loose-leafed or if its not “plain”.

What’s your favorite kind of tea? Or do you hate tea and would rather have coffee? Does your culture have specific tea as well?

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

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