Thursday, December 11, 2014

Weird Tea Moods

I am a chronic tea drinker. I would no longer call it an obsession, it's more of a debilitating habit--without the debilitating part. I can actually survive without it. I just prefer not to.

My favorite teas are unflavored black teas. Occasionally I drink some herbal tisanes, but not as a habit. White teas are okay, and green teas are something I have yet to acquire a taste for after 10+ years of habitual tea drinking.

But my cupboards are filled with more than just my morning, afternoon, and evening unflavored black teas. Yes, I have different kinds for different times of the day. That's very important. I have some flavored teas as well. Now, I know you're thinking that these are reserved for guests, and you are partially right. I do serve my guests the flavored teas if that is what they desire, but they're also for me.

I drink flavored teas when I am in weird moods. Cinnamon is for when I'm sick. Chocolate mint is for when I'm feeling romantic...don't ask. Earl Grey is for when I'm feeling a bit down and weird at the same time.

Then there's Darjeeling. I know, it's not technically a flavored tea. It's just so different. I can't say that I actually like it, but there are times when I want it for some inexplicable reason. When I get the reason figured out, I'll tell you. I suspect it has something to do with being simultaneously tired and hyperactive.

Just keep the green teas away from me. I have yet to be in a weird enough mood to actually want one of those.


  1. I also think unflavored black teas are my favorites. I've tried some fantastic ones recently. Today I had a black tea from Kenya, sold by TeaGschwendner, that my mom brought back from Germany. Recently I've had fantastic pure black teas from a variety of companies, including Joseph Wesley Black Tea, Simply Good Tea, and Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea.

    I also find Darjeeling to be very different from most black teas. In researching the articles for RateTea, I discovered why--the high altitude and small size of the leaf makes the tea dry out quickly during processing. This is especially true of the first flush harvests in spring, when the conditions are still drier (before the monsoons). When it dries out, it stops oxidizing, a lot like how green tea is heated to stop the oxidation. So Darjeeling tea tends to be less oxidized than most black tea, a little more like green tea. The fruity qualities in it though are different. I've read something interesting about that, that the grape-like quality often results from the plant producing a chemical defense from this leaf-hopper insect that eats the leaves. I found that fascinating, because it's an example of how allowing some insects to eat the leaf (as with organic agriculture) actually makes the tea taste better.

    Now I want to brew another cup of tea myself!

    1. That's interesting. It's fascinating how plants react to their environment, insects included. It has been so long since I did much research on teas, I wasn't sure what set Darjeelings apart. Thanks for the information! Enjoy your tea!