One of the main tricks when trying to experience the glory of tea when you aren’t at home is how to brew it properly! Last week, I talked a bit about general guidelines to follow when brewing your tea. So how do you take that information and apply it to making tea when you’re at work?
I’ve taken the liberty of narrowing down this topic into the top options that I’ve found useful myself.
1. Consider using a small teapot when in the office. I’ve found this to not only be an effective way of brewing tea, but it also acts as a nice conversation starter with co-workers with even a vague interest in tea as well. To be honest, it isn’t always convenient to have an actual teapot, though. It can take up more space than you’ve got available, or even cause a little mess with drips and the like.
I Know I Always Wanted a Blind Stalker
Am I the only one who is even a little jealous of Lionel Richie for having such a smoking hot blind stalker in his music video for ‘Hello’? The one thing I’ve never quite understood was how she had such a majestic intuition to be able to sculpt his mulleted head so perfectly without laying eyes or hands on him. All she ever heard was his voice.
Yes, I do understand that it’s supposed to be this whole big thing about how they’re so meant for each other that even though she has never seen him, she is so powerfully drawn to him that she somehow knows what he looks like perfectly and can sculpt a surprisingly accurate bust of him in art class. (Please pardon that extremely long sentence.) But still. I still think she should have just walked on up to him and said,
“Hello. Is it TEA you’re looking for?” Because then he could have said, “Yes, baby. I’ve been stalking you in return. Let’s live together forever – just you, me, and my majestic mustache.”
OR IS HE? Watch the video yourself and see!
On Thursdays, I’d like to give myself a little bit of free-form time to post whatever I feel like. Sometimes it will be a review of a tea, tea vendor, or tea shop. Other times it’ll be some Tea Porn, guest bloggers, or even some general chatter from me! Today will be featuring general chatter from yours truly!
First let me quickly apologize for my failure last week! I left open a few days more than I planned, but it turned out to be one hell of a week!
If you couldn’t tell from the fact that I am writing a blog about one of my passions in my free time… I like to write! I prefer to write about things that are factual in some way, shape, or form. I guess I’m just not really a “creative” writer type with stories, poetry, etc. I actually legitimately like writing essays.
I know! I’m a weirdo. Get over it.
In any case, for the past 3(ish) years, I have been working for the same company trying to get back into our Marketing Department (ideally in Copywriting). The problem was that there just weren’t any openings in the department, nonetheless that specific role. After working my way through and around 4 different roles in the company, I have finally wheedled my way into a position where I just started into full time where I am… [drum roll please] Copywriting! CRAZY AWESOME!
As much as this reality bomb falling on me is a really fantastic one, it still does bring on some stress each time I think about the impending changes. What if I suck at it? What if I think I’m going to be great and I fail miserably? What if all of a sudden everyone realizes that I’m not NEARLY as interesting or good at this as I think I am and they pull me aside and tell me how lame I am?
The number 1 way that I have found to get out of stress mode is to make myself a nice cup of tea. I have a very well-stocked tea drawer here in my office at my current desk. The theanine in tea is what brings on that nice calm associated with drinking tea. But for me, I also just enjoy watching the leaves as they open, the color of the tea, and smelling it. (Wow, do I sound like a stalker or what? I guess it’s a good thing I’m talking about TEA and not another human being!)
The number 2 way I relieve stress is going out dancing! I love to dance like no one’s freaking business. It’s sort of dumb how much I enjoy dancing. I like going out dancing so much that on a regular basis, people who are out with me ask to make sure I’m “sober enough to drive” at the end of the night. Little do they realize, but I had consumed exactly zero drinks that night.
So this past week has been filled with relaxing cups of tea and I went down to San Francisco for the night last Friday to see Feed Me live and dance my freaking brains out. And boy did I!
Here’s a good video of the intro to Feed Me’s show (not from the night I was there, but still a decent video of the intro we saw):
Oh snap, friends… I JUST realized that it is Hallie Torrey‘s birthday today. So I wanted to say a quick word here about that!
For those of you who do not know Hallie, she and I became acquainted through a non-profit organization we both used to work for, the Harry Potter Alliance. Clearly, we’re both nerds. (Incidentally, the HPA is a really amazing organization that is all about what is typically referred to as “Fan Activism”, where the younger generations are inspired by the morals and parallels from stories, such as Harry Potter, to real life to enact social change. You should check it out!)
In any case, when I was getting everything geared up for Fun and FlirTea, I had the plan to do my Friday Photos. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at creating images like that, so I was in sort of a bind. I had put out a call to friends for anyone willing and interested to create one or two, but only got one response out of it. I started trying to make one or two of the images and they just weren’t very good. One day, about 2 weeks before the launch of Fun and FlirTea, I put up a Facebook post and, at the very end, tagged on a call to anyone once more. I am SO GLAD I did it, because Hallie almost immediately emailed me saying she was interested in helping.
All I really asked was for one or two images, but she just kept going and going! She not only has created some amazing images, but has offered to provide some original artwork she made for a giveaway at some point in the future. SO NICE!
And today is her birthday, so I just wanted to say a huge, “Thank you and HAPPY FREAKING BIRTHDAY!”
More than anything else, the number one reason most people I know aren’t “tea fans” is because they haven’t been brewing it correctly. Most notably is my friend who now is writing her own blog about her tea adventures as she makes her way through 175 different teas in 365 days. This time last year, if I offered tea to her, she would have wrinkled her nose in disgust and turned it down solidly.
Around 6 months ago, she decided to try tea again, but this time she paid more attention to how it was made. Instead of putting a tea bag in a cup of scalding hot water and leaving it for, oh… 10 minutes… she used water that was hot, but not boiling, and she removed the tea from the water after the recommended time frame. And lo and behold… it tasted good!
Shocking, I know.
Now, before I really get into this, I just want to note that there are a number of different methods for brewing tea. Today, we’ll keep it simple and about as basic as possible – with a typical Western-style brewing in a teapot (or infuser in mug) that most of you are likely to use.
The main thing to remember when brewing tea is that the temperature of the water and the time the leaf is left in the water can be extremely important. In fact, let’s start there… with the water. (more…)
Things the Tea Party Could Really Stand to Have Around
First and foremost, I have to say “common sense”. I mean, seriously… I can’t claim to follow politics all that closely, but the Tea Party has made it pretty damn clear that they’re a bunch of closed-minded douche bags. I suppose it’s important to say that, with every generalization, there are exceptions to the rule.
Another thing they could stand to have is a real cup of tea. Maybe it would help them relax enough to really think about the kind of shit they’re proclaiming and fighting for (or against, I should say… like basic rights).
Finally, am I the only one who recalls how, at the beginning of the Tea Party movement, many of the members were referring to themselves as Tea Baggers?
Because personally, I thought that was hilarious. In my opinion, ManTeas really hit the nail on the head with this T-Baggin Tea Bag! And best of all, it’s all natural and hand-made right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A!
There is something of an ongoing debate in the tea world over Loose Tea vs. Bagged Tea (see what I did there with the title?). While a good portion of tea aficionados will rage against the concept of the tea bag (I’ve even seen tea bags burned in a video on “how to make tea”), I think it’s important to note that not all tea bags are bad!
Before I proceed, I’ll state something that I will probably repeat frequently on this blog – the only way to tell if a tea is “good” or not is to taste it. If you like it, then it must be good!
This holds true for any tea you may drink! Needless to say, just because a tea tastes good doesn’t necessarily mean it’s of high quality. I find the same to be true of beer and wine. For example, I know people who legitimately enjoy the taste of Coors Light (eugh!). Just because they like the taste of it does not suddenly make it a quality craft beer. Also, I have a penchant for cheap wines from Trader Joe’s. While their cheap wine is better than other cheap wine, well… it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a cheap wine! So keep that in mind when you are enjoying that cup of tea brewed from a teabag. (more…)