Let’s Talk Tea

Hi everyone, Winnie Griggs here.

In my books, when company comes to visit, they are more  likely going to be offered a cup of tea rather than a cup of coffee. I suppose this is because I’m a tea lover myself and am not much on coffee (which makes me pretty much an outlier among my south Louisiana family ? )

I enjoy experimenting with tea flavors – green, black rooibos, herbal, chais. Some of my favorites are Hartney’s Hot Spicy Cinnamon and Bigelow’s Vanilla Chai.  I also have a small collection of tea cups that I’ve collected – I’ve sprinkled images of some of them throughout this post.

* * * * * I’m a big fan of dragonflys – here are some cups that reflect that

Now for some trivia and fun facts related to tea:

  • Not only is tea delicious but it is actually good for you. One of the things contained in tea are polyphenols which are antioxidants that repair cells. Because of this, consuming tea might help our bodies fend off cardiovascular diseases, cancers, osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus and other maladies.
  • It is estimated that there a 1,500 different types of tea.
  • On a per capita basis, Ireland is the largest nation of tea drinkers. Great Britain comes in second
  • Approximately 85% of tea consumed in the United States is in the form of iced tea.
* * * These cups are some of the ones I received as gifts – my friends know me well 🙂
  • The United States imports over 519 million pounds of tea annually.
  • Tea is second only to water as the most widely consumed beverage worldwide.
  • The annual worldwide production of tea comes in at over 3 million tons.
  • Tieguanyin, an oolong tea, is the most expensive tea in the world at a cost of about  $1,500 a pound.

    * * * * * These belonged to my grandmother – I cherish them dearly
  • The United States invented both the tea bag and iced tea. Not everyone thinks the tea bag is a good thing as connoisseurs consider tea brewed from loose leaves to be richer in flavor.
  • A cup of brewed tea on average contains less than half the caffeine of the same amount of coffee.
  • The Twining family opened their teashop, the Golden Lyon, in 1717. That shop is still open today.

    * * * * *I like to collect mugs from places I’ve visited – here are some of my faves
  • If a scene calls for an actor to drink whisky, they usually substitute watered-down tea, which has the same look as whisky.
  • The action of tea leaves uncurling as hot water is poured over them is called “the agony of the leaves”.
  • Loose tea stays good for about two years if you keep it away from moisture and light. Tea bags, however, are only good for about six months before they begin losing their flavor.

    * * * * * And of course, as a Winnie The Pooh fan, I couldn’t pass these up
  • Black, oolong, green, and white tea all come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The difference comes in how the leaves are treated after they are harvested.
    For black tea, the leaves are left to ferment until they turn black, then dried and packaged.
    Oolong tea follows a similar process to black tea, but each individual stage in the process is not as long.
    Green tea isn’t put through a fermentation process, rather it is either steamed or pan fried.
    White tea is the least processed of the four. It is made from younger leaves that are usually only left to sun dry briefly before being prepared for packaging.

    * * * * * And finally, here are two of my favorite writer-related mugs
  • Herbal “teas” are technically not teas at all, but rather, something called a tisane.
  • Guinness World Records associated with tea (as of 2016)
    Largest Tea Bag – 551 pounds, 9.8 feet wide by 13 feet high.
    Largest Tea Cup – 10 feet tall by 8 feet wide
    Most Cups of Tea Made in One Hour – 1848 (made by a team of 12 individuals)

And finally, my favorite tea quote:
You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” C.S.Lewis

So, are you a tea drinker? Do you have a favorite flavor? And did any of the above bits of trivia surprise you?


Website | + posts

Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author or email her at winnie@winniegriggs.com.

23 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Tea”

  1. I only drink tea. I really do not like coffee. I do prefer black teas. I like the Highland teas.

  2. Winnie, nice to see you in another venue.
    I drink ONE cup of coffee to get going in the morning, then it’s tea. Lots of it. I like Earl Grey or English Breakfast, bagged or brewed. Another strong favorite is Lapsang Souchong, but it’s hard to find in small-town New Hampshire. I drive an hour from my house to a small tearoom to buy loose Lapsang Souchong, but I make a day of it and have a pot of tea while I’m there. Tea is amazing stuff. The Lapsang Souchong has a smoky flavor, not at all delicate, and it’s really good with little tea sandwiches or birthday cake. The smokiness balances out the sweetness of the cake.
    My characters drink both coffee and tea. I do Oregon Trail so there’s a lot of STRONG coffee brewed in tin pots over an open fire. But there’s also tea, in more relaxed settings. And a lot of my characters are Irish, so there’s that.
    I am also a list maker, but rarely accomplish everything on a list.
    Kathy Bailey

    • Hi Kathy, thanks for popping over to visit.I’ve never tried Lapsang Souchong tea, but you make it sound so yummy that I’m going to have to rectify that soon. It’s going on my list right now!

  3. This is an interesting post this morning. Lots of good facts. I am a tea drinker. In fact, I just finished my cup. I had Bigalow Plantation Mint. Vanilla Chai is also another of my favorites.

      • I really need to expand my tea selection. That one sounds really interesting. The spicy cinnamon one you mentioned in the post sounds yummy too.

  4. I drink a lot of tea–generally three cups a day. Mostly black, bagged or loose, whichever I feel like at the time.

    I recently discovered a marvelous online tea company called NovelTea Tins, which blends teas and makes tins for them based on classic literature, like Pride and Peppermint, Matcha Do About Nothing, Pekoe Pan, The Picture of Earl Grey, and other literary/tea puns. They’re a lot of fun.

  5. I, too, am a tea, not a coffee, drinker, and always have been. I drink only Red Rose Tea, both hot and cold (more hot in the winter, cold in the summer). It originally came from the UK, then from Canada, now from New York State. Canadian Red Rose is orange pekoe, while in the US we get a blended black pekoe. To me, it tastes the most like what I drank regularly with my Scots friends when I lived in that country. So, obviously I’m not an experimenter since I just drink what I like.

    I enjoyed looking at your cups. I use clear but deep cobalt blue coffee mugs for my tea drinking. They hang on hooks beneath a kitchen cabinet for easiest access. (That probably tells you something about my ubiquitous tea drinking, right?)

    Oh, I forgot…as a bonus from Red Rose, each box has a little figurine (just for fun) and the most recent one I got was a Conestoga wagon! I was delighted, of course.

    Thank you, Winnie for a great post, and I hope you have a lovely day.

  6. What a fun collection of mugs you have. I am also a tea drinker, no coffee. I’m drinking cranberry spice tea, iced, while I read this blog. I make 2 quarts at a time and keep it in the ‘frig. In the winter I drink it hot. I also have an assortment of teas in my cupboard, Stash orange spice, Twinings Darjeeling and a few herbal teas. After reading your information I’m sure some of them are not fresh.

    • Hello Alice. Thanks for the kind ward about my mugs. I too like cranberry spice tea, but I’ve never had it cold – I may have to try it on one of these hot summer days.

  7. I used to drink Oregon Chai in the carton from the store. I looooved that but tried to get away from drinking tea really. Soda/carbonation is my fave LOL

    • Hi Sabrina. I love Oregon Chai as well, but it’s rich enough to serve as a dessert 🙂
      I haven’t had a cup in a looooong time – I may need to look into getting some

  8. Hey Winnie! I love sipping a cuppa while reading. When I go out to eat I drink sweet iced tea.

  9. I love tea! I knew a lot of what you shared I remember shocking my mom when I revealed black, green, and white tea were all from the same plant.

  10. I love the teacups. My mother-in-law had a collection of them and I gave them to our oldest daughter. I have a few, but many more mugs. I used to drink only tea because coffee upset my stomach. After our son was born, tea didn’t settle and I liked coffee. I drink both now. I like orange spice tea, Earl Grey & Lady Grey teas, and a good strong breakfast tea. Teas are made to relax and linger with, perfect to enjoy while reading.

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