Teas the Season: a Tea Lover’s Story
Those that like to drink hot tea often speak a language unbeknownst to most non tea-drinking folk. Ian, who works in Valley Natural Foods’ deli, rattled off the words Gunpowder green, oolong, China pu-erh, Darjeeling and Earl Gray as his favorites, making the diversity and plethora of the teas available immediately apparent. Perhaps one needs a tea connoisseur degree to keep up!
Ian has a leg up on most as his knowledge of tea goes back to his childhood. His Mom loved to have “tea time” every day, at what she referred to as “11zies.” In fact, Ian drank so much tea as a child and teen that he thought it was a normal thing that every kid did.
As an adult Ian feels that tea actually plays an even more important role in his diet because of its health benefits. He points to how black tea varieties, such as the China pu-erh are good for your teeth, because they have fluoride in them and they also help with digestion. Ian and his wife drink a lot of tea, often six or seven days a week, as they find it to be a very soothing, comforting and therapeutic activity.
Frontier Gunpowder green loose tea, found in Valley Natural Foods’ bulk department, is his ultimate favorite because it is inexpensive, has a nice mellow flavor, and it doesn’t get as bitter as some of the others he’s tried. Ian loves loose tea over tea bags because it is cheaper and possesses a more robust flavor. Ian also found tea to be a good way to transition out of drinking too much coffee because it doesn’t have nearly as much caffeine and is much less acidic.
Overall, Ian feels that drinking tea is a nice change of pace and a way to cleanse oneself overall. He didn’t realize how much coffee drinking affected his palette as an adult until he moved to mostly drinking tea. In addition, he encourages those coffee drinking skeptics to try tea because even though it may not have as pungent of a smell, it still tastes really good.
Ian also reminds people that if they ever visit England, they will have to learn to like tea. With many English tea-drinking friends, he has learned how seriously they take it over there to the point that coffee isn’t even on their radar.
Hopefully Valley Natural Foods’ Teas the Season event from January 20 – 26, 2014 will encourage many people to make tea drinking a serious part of their lives. Similar to Ian, the words oolong, pu-erh, Darjeeling and Earl Gray will hopefully linger and become a part of everyday conversations. Cheers to tea time!