Traditional British Tea
Yorkshire Gold $14/160 [Amazon] is Britain’s favorite Black Tea and should be the best for a traditional cuppa, followed closely by Ireland’s favorite Black Tea, Lyons Gold. Yorkshire Gold is more the classic black tea (more of a refreshing smooth flavor with milk), as Lyons Gold has a slight more lemony flavor to it. Other popular brands include PG Tips, Twinings, Sainsbury’s Red Label (good value), and they also range to the more expensive Republic of Tea (flavors ie Spring Cherry) and Bellevue T.
How to Prepare:
[Reddit: How to Drink Tea]
or from Yorkshire Tea’s [How to Make a Proper Brew]
“1. For mugs, add one teabag to each mug. For a four-cup pot, use two teabags (three or four if you like it strong). For loose tea, use one teaspoon per person and one for the pot.
2. Add freshly boiled water, stir and leave to brew for 4-5 minutes depending on how strong you like it.
3. If you take milk and sugar (the British way), recommended is a splash of whole or semi-skimmed milk, and sugar to taste.”
American Southern Iced Sweet Tea
The most delicious Southern Iced Sweet Tea is Luzianne Specially Blended for Iced Tea [Amazon].
How to Prepare:
“1. Boil about a quart of good water (ie filtered from a Brita) and remove from heat (~170 degrees)
2. Steep tea bags for 5 minutes (4 family size bags for 1 gallon)
3. Add steeped tea to gallon jug with 2 cups sugar. Don’t squeeze teabags. Stir til dissolved and fill jug to 1 gallon with filtered water.
4. Serve with ice.” [Source]
Best Medicinal / Slightly Spicy Tea
Verbena is one of the most delicious of teas – famous in Morocco (which itself is famous for tea i.e. Mint). Verbena is a lemony version of green tea, sometimes mixed with Mint to balance it out and make the flavor more complex. A couple brands are: Harney and Sons Mint Verbena Tea [Amazon] or Celestial Organics Herbal Tea, Mint and Lemon Verbena [Amazon]. These brands taste just as good as if you made the tea with fresh Verbena.
Yerba Mate Tea, Gourd, and Bombilla
Whole Foods sells great Yerba Mate, and the main brand is Guayaki. They sell it canned or you can even get loose leaf to make yourself! The traditional way involves a Gourd (made out of wood, squash, or glass) and Bombilla (metal straw with small holes so that you don’t drink the leaves). This world is too deep for Examined Living to delve into! It also is an acquired taste, as it tastes stronger than a regular tea, with both more foliage and burnt flavors.
A tea pot and tea cups (and saucers) are optional, as one could simply use mugs and one tea bag per person. If you’d like the more traditional tea experience, recommended is Corelle as the material is nigh impossible to break! Tea Infusers work well for individual servings (especially one on a rod instead of a loose chain that will slip inside your tea, making you have to go on an undertea fishing expedition! Another option is getting a pitcher with a built-in infuser (these can also be used to spruce up drinking cold water with a few slices of avocado, few blueberries, and a slice of lemon).
If you’re also into coffee, one can use the same kettle to heat up the water as the one recommended on: “Best Value Coffee Maker and Best Espresso Machine“, which is the Bonavita Variable Temperature Electric Gooseneck Kettle $80.
Finum Brewing Basket, large black $14[Amazon]. Make sure you get the large so that it will fit all cups! Some bigger mugs will not fit the medium.
Bites to Go Along with Tea
Tea Biscuit / Cookie
Britain’s Favorite is the McVities Chocolate Hobnobs [Amazon] aka McVities Digestives, which are more crumbly cookie (unless dipped) and come in plain or chocolate. Also Superb are the McVities Jaffacakes [Amazon] or Jacob’s Jaffacakes, which are more of a soft delicate pastry with a delicious gel inside! Walker’s Shortbread is another option (can be had while drinking Ponche de Creme – Trinidadian punch with cream – which is similar to egg nog), as is Tesco Malted Milk Biscuits (aka cow biscuits).
Other British Biscuits: Bourbon Creams, McVities Penguin Biscuits, McVities Ginger Nuts, Boland’s Custard Creams, Mr. Kipling Cherry Bakewells, Fox’s Jam N Creams (actually called Jammie Dodgers), Fox’s Party Ring
The Dutch indulge themselves with Stroopwafels [Amazon] (better than Daelmans). Directions: Place stroopwafel over a glass of favorite hot tea. Leave for a minute or two to let wafel and caramel soften.
Other great foods to go with Tea
Trader Joe’s has both real crumpets (with the holes on top, not just English Muffins) and scones (don’t forget the clotted cream! – only have found to be sold at Whole Foods). Or look up best recipes for scones or crumpets to make your own!