Sunday 21 May 2023

Top Ten Teas 2023

Top Ten Teas 2023

Back in 2010 I wrote a 13 part series on Tea, back then I was huge into loose-leaf teas and herbal blends. I had a large stash at the office and at home. And I tended to alternate coffee and tea all day long. Often making one of each and drinking the coffee and then the tea. My favourite tea’s back then were mostly from Teaopia a Canadian tea chain found in malls and storefronts across Canada. Within a few years Teaopia was purchased by Teavana in 2012 later that same year Starbuck’s purchased Teavana, and ended their long time partnership with Tazo Tea. When Teavana first purchased Teaopia they committed to carrying the Top 20 teas from Teaopia, once Starbuck’s purchased them those blends disappeared. And not long after Starbuck’s shuttered the stand alone Teavana stores. So I switched to David’s Tea, There were many blends from David’s I enjoyed. I could walk downtown at lunch from work, try a new tea, and pick up a tin if I enjoyed it. Or just stock up on ones that needed refilling. At the beginning of the pandemic almost my entire collection at home and work was David’s Tea’s. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, they closed most of their retail stores. And Without that local presence I used up what I had and never got around to replacing them. 

Also for the first three years of the pandemic I switched from alternating coffee and tea to drink almost exclusively coffee I was having 4-8 quad americanos a day from my home espresso machine. Which brings us to the here and now early in the spring of 2023. My current favourite teas are:

1. Stash Golden Turmeric Chai
Cinnamon, ginger root, turmeric, orange peel, cardamom seed, clove.

I absolutely love the flavours and aroma of this tea. I could easily sip it all day long and not grow tired of it.

2. Twinings Soothing Turmeric
Turmeric root, lemongrass, star anise, licuorice root, orange flavour, naturally fortified, orange peel.

This has a very different taste from the tea above. But Turmeric is still the main ingredient. This one is smoother.

3. Stash Christmas Eve (Seasonal)
Cinnamon, orange peel, spearmint, vanilla extract, orange oil, natural cinnamon flavor, natural clove flavor.

I fell in love with this tea, when the health food store had it on sale after Christmas I bought their whole stock. It won’t last me the year, but currently one of my favorite teas.

4. Twinings Irish Breakfast
Black tea.

I have been drinking this tea as long as I can remember. It was Gram’s favorite and I am not sure she ever drank anything else at home. Every time I sip this it is like sitting at nana’s and having fresh scones from the oven.

5. Stash Meyer Lemon
Rosehips, lemongrass, orange peel, hibiscus, citric acid, meyer lemon oil, safflower.

Subtle, and yet rich, it is a wonderful tea for the mid-morning or early evening. The lemongrass really comes through.

6. Stash Double Spiced Chai
Blended black teas, cinnamon, ginger root, clove bud oil, allspice, natural cinnamon flavor, cardamom oil.

Bold, fierce and in your face. The first sip of this tea is always reviving. Such strong flavors and consistent till the end of the mug.

7. Twinings Honeybush, Mandarin, & Orange
Honeybush, orange and mandarin flavours naturally fortified.

This one is subtle as well. My youngest children love making me a tea and having me guess at the flavour. Sometimes I mix this up by the smell but nevr by the taste.

8. Twinings Pure Peppermint

In the summer and fall I just cut leaves from my plant outside, rise them and steep them. This is great for the late fall and winter, and spring until it has grown enough to start cutting back again.

9. Twinings Lemon Ginger
Ginger root, lemon and ginger flavours naturally fortified, lemongrass, linden, lemon peel, blackberry leaves, citric acid.

It is a pretty close call between the Twinings and Stash Lemon Ginger. But the price point for Twinings is better when on sale or a popup at Costco. It is great with honey, or just by itself. And it is always popular with guests.

10. Stash Sunny Orange Ginger
Orange peel, ginger root, hibiscus, licorice root, safflower, orange oil, citric acid.

Lemon Ginger is always popular this is its kinder gentler little brother. It is softer withmore subtle flavours, less in your face and more by your side. Great in the evening or while lounging with a book.

Bonus Teas:

Stash Moroccan Mint Tea
Green tea, spearmint, lemongrass, peppermint.

This is an excellent blend. I do not drink it as often as the 10 above. But I always have it on hand and it never disappoints. It is a perfect blend of the four ingredients. 

Stash Double Bergamot Earl Gray 
Blended black teas, bergamot oil.

This one has been a long-time favorite, it and the Irish Breakfast are the only two I am still drinking from 10 years ago. It is Earl Grey with extra oomph. 

My taste in teas has changed a lot over the years. But I tend to prefer herbal blends, and teas with a bit of a kick. Once I drank almost all white or African red bush teas (Rooibos). And I love a good Monk’s Blend just have not found one to my taste now. For a little over a decade I drank almost exclusively looseleaf tea. But not I keep between 15-20 types of bagged tea. With the ones listed above in high rotation. I am also at the moment down to one quad americano in the morning and tea the rest of the day and evening. I am currently drinking between 3 and 8 16 ounce mugs a day. 

I also used to drink a lot of tea from Republic of Tea but find tracking it down in Canada is too difficult. And I have heard amazing things about Adagio Tea but have only tried one or two cups at friends. Let me know what you think of my selections above, and drop your favourite teas in the comments below.

"Now we can travel with more books stored in our telephones than the ancient Egyptians kept in their vast library at Alexandria."
           Mike Aquilina

“No tea cup is big enough nor book long enough for me to be satisfied.” 
           C.S. Lewis

"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left over I buy food and clothes!"

My desk pre-pandemic at the office with a collection of teas on the left side of the monitors.

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