Sep 2, 2017

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Finding Your Tea Joy!

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Please enjoy another lovely piece from Sandy Lane! We were thrilled to learn more about her tea journey and tea joy!

Okay, I admit it . . . I love tea! My love affair with tea started when I was an adolescent, and my one and only tea choice at that time was Lipton teabag tea. I knew nothing of the joy of loose-leaf tea, the history of tea, or the pleasure of steeping a delicious pot of tea involved in finding your tea joy. As I moved through college and graduate school, those Lipton teabags, and graham crackers, helped me through long hours of nighttime studying. In the early years of our new century, I became intrigued by loose-leaf tea and wanted to learn much more about it. However, like so many people, when I entered a teashop, I felt overwhelmed by the many types of tea, which to select, and how to prepare it.

Fortunately, I discovered a teashop in the Kansas City area whose owner helped me learn about loose-leaf tea and how to enjoy it. While shopping there, I met a lovely group of women who were also on a tea journey, and over time our eyes and hearts were opened to the world of tea. We found our tea joy together! A few years ago, my tea friends and I became acquainted with Anna Marie’s Teas located in Liberty, Missouri. This was a serendipitous find for me, as I live north of the river. Anna Marie’s family tea business includes a quaint, well-stocked teashop selling loose-leaf tea, teapots, and all manner of “tea things” (as Jane Austen referred to them). Owner Brenda Hedrick offers several types of classes, and provides delightful monthly themed tea parties in her grand, historic home. My love affair with tea continues!

I find my tea joy throughout every day, mostly hot, sometimes cold, and in a variety of types and flavors. Being a loose-leaf tea gal, I always use a teapot, a tea infuser, a tea measuring spoon, an electric water kettle with a temperature gauge, and a steeping timer. Making tea is never a chore. The preparation involved brings to mind the long and fascinating history of tea, the faraway places where tea is grown and processed, and the many hands along the way that make it possible for me to enjoy a calming pot of tea. I find it so interesting to watch the steeping tea leaves unfurl to release their hidden fragrance and flavor.

Certainly, the health benefits of tea also come to mind, as do the friendships I’ve made over countless cups of tea. These include the kindly teashop owners and staff I have met, as well as my “tea lady” friends, a group of women with families, jobs, and common interests. We enjoy sharing tea news and events, discussing life and to-do projects, and supporting each other through good times and stressful times. My Tea Peeps . . . our love of tea truly brought us together!

As for my “tea schedule,” I start my day with two scoops of Matcha, the finely powdered Japanese green tea, in 5-6 oz. of almond milk, “shaken not stirred,” in a very effective shaker bottle available at Anna Marie’s. I brew some flavor of black tea in the morning, such as Cinnamon Almond or Pineapple Upside Down Cake. In the afternoon, I usually switch to a green tea (Dragon Well, or Strawberry Cream Green), an oolong (Pouchong), or a white tea (Melon Pear White). I’ve found that a Rooibos herbal, such as Provence or Cappuccino Cream, is a good choice for evening as herbals are caffeine-free. All of these delicious teas, and many others, are available at Anna Marie’s teashop, or on their website.

The thing to know about tea is that there are so many types and flavors to try, and so many interesting things to learn about it. The mindful preparation of loose-leaf tea is satisfying and not at all difficult. I have my favorites, and I know you can find yours. Seeking and finding your tea joy will change your life!