The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah

Tea Journal

    June 6, 2010

I recently spotted something interesting: tea candy. These are hard candies in various flavors made with real tea, from the Fusion Gourmet company under their Bali’s Best label. They come in flavors liked iced tea, citrus green tea, and green tea latte. The candies are made with tea extract from Indonesia. (They also sell coffee candies made from Sumatran coffee.)

Buy from their website or at specialty stores like Whole Foods.

      June 7, 2010

    As the weather becomes warmer, it’s the perfect time to share my favorite herbal iced tea recipe. (Or, as Eva called it when she was younger, “herbalized tea.”) I discovered this recipe while trying to recreate the delicious tea served at Native Foods in Palm Desert.

    I found an Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa) recipe and modified it until I finally settled on these proportions. Because the tea is 100% caffeine-free, it is a great drink for kids. It’s less sugary than straight apple juice and a more flavorful option than cutting the apple juice 50-50 with water. The Barefoot Contessa’s original recipe calls for a lot more apple juice, but I find that this version is lighter and plenty sweet, especially garnished with the mint.

    Pour 2 c boiling water over 4 Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger & 4 Lemon Zinger tea bags. Steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add 2 c apple juice. Stir. Refrigerate to chill. Serve over ice garnished with mint.

    June 4, 2010

At Camp Ramah they serve Israel’s famous Wissotzky tea, in all its myriad varieties. I am partial to their English Breakfast, and their rosehip and hibiscus blend is a good caffeine-free variety. They also sell “nana tea” which is mint (often served in the Middle East blended with black tea and sugar.)

The downfall of trying to drink tea at camp is the water, though. I’m not a water snob (I drink tap run through a PUR refrigerator pitcher), but it does have to be very hot. Ramah’s coffee lounge was open all the time for campers to run in and grab a quick nosh (though I seriously doubt they keep it open when the kids overrun the place during regular summer session; tough-as-nails Israeli cook Miryam would not stand for that.) Water stands in an oversized plastic warming jug.

We ran out twice for supplies during our stay at Ramah and both times, I bought tea at Full of Beans, a Ventura institution that now also has an adorable little branch in Ojai. They specialize in coffee so their Ambiance-brand teabags (sold at Smart & Final) are an afterthought but just having hot-enough water was a good start.

    April 17, 2010

I am struggling to find a replacement thermos as great as my Thermos-brand thermos that I lost a couple of months ago.

It didn’t leak. It kept my tea steaming hot for hours. And most importantly, it did not retain odor or taste from previous teas (and chocolates; I sometimes like a thermos of hot cocoa.)

I’m on my third one and it’s just not the same. RIP, silver bullet shaped thermos:-(

    March 26, 2010

I have been trying to drink more water and other good liquids like herbal tea. Here is one of my favorite recipes. My daughters love it too. Some days when the weather is hot I surprise my third grader with this drink in her school water bottle.

Barefoot Contessa’s Herbal Iced Tea

  • Pour 4 c. boiling water over 4 Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger and 4 Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger teabags and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove bags. Add 2 c. apple juice. Stir and chill before serving. Garnish with mint.
    • March 18, 2010

    Last month Tiffany of SITS invited me to an event to support Help a Mother Out at San Diego bra boutique Intimacy (home of Oprah’s own “bra whisperer.”)

    I bought three bras and had them professionally altered (which Intimacy provides for free.) Today was the day to return to Fashion Valley to pick them up.

    I also lost an earring backing so I popped into Tiffany & Co. to get a replacement. (So it was one of those days where I was incredibly busy running from place to place but on paper it looks like I’m the most pampered princess on the planet; brow threading was the other appointment I had to squeeze into the day.)

    I was very excited to see something new as I sprinted through Fashion Valley: Teavana. (“Nirvana for tea” is what they are going for with the weird name.) It’s a beautiful store with plenty of free samples. I met an interesting woman visiting the store with her three home-schooled kids as part of an ongoing unit on the Silk Road and the spice trade. (Her seven year old liked yerba mate, a South American brew with as much caffeine as coffee.)

    While at Teavana, I sampled several teas, including a Phoenix pearls oolong and a very rare and fancy white tea. My favorite was a citrus-fragranced rooibos.

    I regretted having to run out of the store but I will be back soon!

      March 16, 2010

    I am finally following up with integrative/holistic physician Dr Tranchitella (find her on my “Healers” page), so I had to get some bloodwork done first thing in the morning. Fasting. I hate fasting. There’s a psychological component to it for me. Many days I don’t eat until 8 a.m. but if you tell me I can’t, suddenly not eating breakfast becomes a major hardship.

    We stumbled out of the house so I could get the blood draw before dropping both kids at school and heading off to Hebrew tutoring. My secret for great results with blood tests is to drink a lot of water beforehand. It really makes the blood flow! I drank 16 oz of water on the way to the lab and felt energized and refreshed.

    Maybe I should drink 16 oz of water every day. I never drink plain water. I go through phases of trying to keep a pitcher with cucumber water in the fridge, or garnishing my glass with a lemon wedge, but it’s always short lived. Maybe it’s because I’d rather be drinking tea.

    • mid-morning rebalancer: Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea with demerara sugar. If I go Irish, I usually choose Barry’s of Ireland, which is as close as you can come to drinking coffee while still drinking tea. Twinings in tea bags pales by comparison. But it’s a decent cup of tea when you’re on the go. (Mine was in a thermos that I toted around since I was on the run today.)
    • afternoon om: Spice Merchants Summer Bouquet – “a beautiful blend of chamomile flowers, rosebuds, cornflowers and orange peel, infusing a citrus flavor. A surprisingly refreshing caffeine-free cup.” Anything that brews pink is all right with me.

      March 12, 2010

    What a busy day. I always make time for tea.

    • morning eye-opener: Ahmad Tea English Breakfast tea – a loose-leaf tea I found at Baron’s. The can says “A classical blend of fine teas which characterises the traditional English cup of tea.” It’s just okay.
    • tea with a friend: I brewed us a small pot of Wild Blossoms & Berries from Old Town Spice Merchants. The loose tea looks mostly green but the final brew (liquor in tea lingo) comes out a beautiful, fragrant pink. This is a naturally caffeine-free blend of blackberry, blackcurrant, lemongrass, hibiscus, chamomile, mint, licorice root, and spices.

      March 11, 2010

    Now that I’m back on caffeine, I’m rockin’ the caffeine. I told myself all month that I’d ease back into it, maybe enjoy being decaffeinated, maybe go a few days each week without any caffeine to make sure I never became addicted again, but the moment I knew I could have my beloved tea (and the boost of brainpower that comes with it), that all flew out the window.

    • morning eye-opener:  P.G. Tips (“England’s #1 Tea”) pyramid bag brewed 2 minutes with turbinado raw cane sugar – this is a very strong, full-bodied tea.  It is the coffee of teas.
    • mid-morning refresher:  I had time to kill at the mall while having a front-end alignment at Sears Auto Center (ah, the glamorous life) so I picked up a Tazo Awake full-leaf tea at Starbucks.  Starbucks made the switch from regular Tazo bags to their full-leaf bags, and the difference is huge.  This tea is smooth and aromatic:  a lovely cup of tea.  I drink it with Sugar in the Raw.

    2 Responses

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    1. Daily Cuppa « My Way to Tea said, on June 29, 2010 at 11:12 AM

      […] Cuppa June 29, 2010 // 0 Make sure to check out Juliet’s Tea Journal (part of Beautiful Things I Love) on my other blog, The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah. Categories […]

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