Back From Sabbatical!



Hi all!

So, here I am, back from a mini Sabbatical. Turns out, August was a bit of a slow month in the tea world, so I sat back, relaxed a little, and waited for things to speed up again.

First, I want everyone to mark their calendars! On Thursday, October 8th, I will be up at Pequannock Township Public Library, 477 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Pompton Plains, for a Tea Love talk! The talk starts at 7 PM and will take you through a brief introduction on tea, as well as a tea tasting. Bring your own mugs to this, and make sure to get their nice and early to get a good spot! For any questions, contact Debbie Maynard, library director, at (973) 835-7460.

Now, onto the next topic. I have to brag, that when you are sitting down reading this blog, I am sitting at a quaint café overlooking the Seine with my sister-in-law Amanda and our friend Pam, sipping our own cuppa in Paris, France! It’s a trip I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl stealing my brother’s French books in order to learn more about the language and culture, and I am so excited to be going with some great people.

But when we hear about Paris, we often think about coffee. After all, aren’t they more popular for their café du lait than they are for their thè? Non, non, monsieurs et madams! They also have a nice tea culture!

One can stroll along the cafés and find exclusive tea places as well. Blogger Annelies Zjderveld of Mighty Leaf explains that she would often see announcements of salon de thè (tea salons) along with beer and food printed on the store fronts. Stores such as Asian-style tea houses that had long lists of teas, as well as others that were quite literally walled with canisters of tea.

Herbal teas are quite popular in France. Why? Not only are they seen as being good for digestion after a meal, they also do not have the caffeine that can be found in traditional tea. You might see Verbena and tileul teas, as they are native to the South of France. I must admit, I have not tried either of these, though I am excited to now!

Verbena, writes Zjderveld, has a buttery citrus profile. This sounds like it would be nice to sip after having a heavy chocolate dessert, like an éclair or a slice of chocolate cake.

The other, tileul, is made with the dried leaves of the Linden tree and has a woody profile to it.

The Parisians also seem to like their mint tea. Since I like chocolate, I am going to think of a mint tea with some chocolate mousse.

In terms of true teas, Paris seems to enjoy their black teas. You can find the common English Breakfast and Earl Greys there, though sometimes, you can also find the fruited blends, which are also becoming more popular with the youth.

So for now, I am going to say au revoir, relax, and enjoy my time in Paris. Enjoy your Sunday, and happy sippings!


Demand A Free Refill!

Coffee drinkers don’t know how fortunate they are.   Go into a restaurant and order a cup of joe, you get free refills.   Sometimes you also get to have various flavors and new concoctions, complete with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle.

Tea, however, seems to have made some enemies somewhere along the line.   A $1.25 cup of tea usually comes with a single Lipton bag and a cup of lukewarm water.   When you decide to have more than one cup, start digging through your wallet again.   Either you get a cup of water sans new tea bag or you get to buy another cup of $1.25 tea.

The Coffee Matron Dolling Out Her Caffeine

The Coffee Matron Dolling Out Her Caffeine

Anyone see an issue here?

You can get a box of 100 tea bags for $18.   That averages out to 18 cents per bag.   Boiling water, I am not going to even try to calculate.   Why not have everyone pay $1.75 for a cup of tea and unlimited refills with a new tea bag!   Why is this such a revolutionary thought?

This is not a new issue.   Traveling around the internet, you can find blogs and even editorials regarding the topic (though I must disagree with “Dear Abby” on this one; restaurants that I’ve been to typically do not give free refills on hot tea).   And yet, it seems like as much as people moan and groan about the topic, nothing has changed.

I can understand if tea were a popular beverage in the States (though I couldn’t understand by much).   After all, that can cause quite the strain on the pocketbook depending on the size of the restaurant.

However, when I go into Chili’s or Applebees and have to pay $3 because I had two cups of tea?   And usually small cups, at that!   That is frustrating.

When I go into cafes, I tend to gravitate towards the tea because usually, cafes serve higher-end brands like Mighty Leaf.   However, going into a restaurant, I tend to get coffee.   Free refills instead of paying $3 for two small cups of Lipton’s tea.

If you go into a restaurant and have to wrestle a new tea bag out of your server, first, do not take it out on the server.   However, don’t be afraid to motion the manager over and ask why you have to pay for a new tea bag.   Mention the cost of tea and, if you want, even bring a receipt for a box of tea as reference.   Ask what would happen if you brought in your own tea bag.   Talk to the manager.   Quiz them on their business choice.   Be understanding of the chains, though.   Sometimes, the manager’s hands are tied by corporate.   Then, just move your arguments up a notch.

Maybe one day, we’ll have the luxury of ordering two cups of tea for $1.25, just like those coffee drinkers.