Finding Balance in a Cup of Phoenix Oolong from DAVIDsTEA

Somehow, 2021 has been a more challenging year than 2020. I feel guilty for saying that for obvious reasons, but 2021 has left me feeling languished and stretched too thin (“like butter scraped over too much bread” as Bilbo Baggins might say). However, amid Oliver’s recent recess from school, I finally found relief. Granted, I cried mercy two days into the workweek and finally gave myself permission to take time off instead of trying to work with a toddler at home. But, now here I am, finding peace in a cup of Phoenix Oolong from DAVIDsTEA.

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Blooming Tea on an Almost-Spring Day

One of my unofficial New Year’s Resolutions was to enjoy at least one cup of tea outdoors each day. So far, I’ve neglected this practice, but in my defense, I always forget how bitter cold February can be in Michigan. I’m not sure any amount of cabin fever can drive me outdoors in ten-degree weather just for a ten-minute cup of tea. But, March is here now. The sun is shining, the snow is melting, the ground is thawing, and warmer temperatures are finally luring me outdoors again. As springtime creeps in again, I find myself reaching for blooming teas, and most recently I enjoyed the Black Gold Blooming Tea from California Tea House.

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Sampling Sweet Treats from Dessert by Deb

Dessert by Deb blends have been on my wishlist since the beginning of 2020, but steep shipping costs to the US have usually deterred me from placing an order. The temptation is becoming harder to resist though, especially after Deb recently released her Winter Brunch collection featuring blends like Banana French Toast, Cereal Milk, Orange Cinnamon Rolls, and Salted Caramel Pancake. Plus, she added a few pieces of teaware to her site, including the most charming Lemon Yellow Teacup that I cannot stop looking at with heart-eyes. In the meantime, I’ve been sipping some samples so graciously sent to me from tea friend, @briannadrinkstea.

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This is Not a Glamorous Post About Tea or Motherhood

I may have romanticized my gongfucha sessions– written about how it’s a meditative practice that lets me decompress while exploring tea more intimately. And some days, my gongfucha sessions are exactly that. But, most days it is just a tea brewing method no different than brewing tea western-style with a cup infuser. Most days, it just keeps my hands busy and my mind focused on work when I would rather be lounging on the couch, playing video games. Some days, it is a fleeting refuge between my toddler’s tantrums. On days like that, I like to steep familiar teas, like the Yunnan Golden Buds (Dian Hong) from California Tea House, which was most recently sipped while hiding beside the refrigerator and out of my toddler’s line of vision. (Surely I’m not the only mother that does this? On second thought…don’t answer that).

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Finding Elegance in a Cup of Assam

Assam tea is a staple in my stash. No specific vendor, no specific estate— just something labeled “Assam” that produces a consistent, stick-to-your-ribs malty tea, which I dress up with milk and sugar. It’s never been anything special, but it always offers a certain kind of comfort— especially on cold winter mornings. Enter the Harmutty Estate Assam STGFOP (which is just a fancy way of saying “the good stuff”) from Chado Tea. It has challenged every experience I’ve had with Assam tea.

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Five Earl Grey Teas to Keep You Cozy

When I first started my tea journey a decade ago, I was most excited about tasting Earl Grey. I thought this simple blend of black tea and bergamot oil was the kind of thing tea connoisseurs and true tea heads sipped. I was ecstatic when I found a box of Twinings at a World Market! I thought I had found loot, though I would soon discover Twinings lined the tea aisle in every grocery store. My initial perception of Earl Grey is laughable now, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart and room in my tea cabinet for this blend. I find a special sort of comfort in the tea, especially as the temperatures start to drop, so here are five Earl Grey blends I’m keeping cozy with this Autumn.

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Butterscotch Chai from DAVIDSTEA

Following my Celebration of Autumn with DAVIDsTEA YouTube series, I couldn’t resist placing another order with the company to buy more of their Pumpkin Chai and Salted Caramel Oolong. Then, I found myself tempted by several new and re-released chai blends because who doesn’t like warming up with a spicy chai latte when the temperatures start to drop? Butterscotch Chai. Baked Apple Chai. Maple Chai. Cinnamon Bun Chai. How is a lady to choose?

The answer: She doesn’t. She lets her husband choose, and when he selects Butterscotch Chai, she’s quietly disappointed he didn’t choose Cinnamon Bun Chai.

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Armchair Travel And Rooibos Cinnamon Apple from Adagio Teas

Love it or hate it, 2020 has been a year of armchair travel. When everyone was stuck at home due to shelter-in-place orders, many turned to sharing old vacation photos as a way to feel a little less cooped up. I have managed to avoid that trend until now, thanks to the Rooibos Cinnamon Apple blend from Adagio Teas, which transports me to an afternoon spent picking apples in Ohio.

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Oh My Darjeeling

I am unkempt hair and peanut butter jeans. Crayon scribbles on the walls and desk and couch. Teetering piles of work and dishes that still need to be put away. Oversteeped breakfast blends tamed with honey and milk are much better suited for me. But, once in a while, I make time to indulge in a cup of Darjeeling tea– a tea that feels so elegant I pull down the fine china from the cupboards and sip from dainty tea cups instead of tea stained novelty mugs.

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Alone Time and Yan Shan Mu Dan

Alone time is fleeting these days. I have been trying to find the time to write about a tea I tasted last Sunday morning, and I finally found it on a Thursday night after everyone else went to bed. I penned this post by cellphone light– the candlelight of 2020. Oliver snored beside me, raindrops pattered on windows, thunder rumbled across the sky, and lightning flashes brightened a dark room. It was a different atmosphere compared to last Sunday morning.

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