Hello! If you are able to read this, apparently I have hit all of the correct buttons. Kate Stiffler here and I'll be blogging each and every Monday. I'm excitedly nervous about participating in Steeped in Tradition, and my first blog is to tell you my history and traditions with tea.
My love of tea goes back over forty years, but I do not see myself as a tea expert as evidenced by my comfort with bagged teas. I do enjoy loose leaf teas but drink them rarely...as a treat rather than a must have. 99 percent of the time I am satisfied with a hot cup of Red Rose Original Black Tea with a bit of milk. I prefer King Cole tea, but it is more challenging to find in the United States. Both of these teas being Canadian, my preferences apparently lie north of the border. In viewing the websites for these teas, Red Rose Tea and King Cole Tea, I discovered that they both have many more teas to experience. And the history of the collectible Wade Figures on the Red Rose site frightened me into realizing how long I have collected them, how many I must have,while still having the knowledge of the hundreds I have given away over the years. I enjoy some flavored teas but again...as a treat not a must have.
While my preference is tea, I also love coffee. I started drinking coffee when I discovered how difficult it is to get a decent cup of tea when dining out. Rarely do restaurants actually boil water for tea, at best, a tea drinker will receive heated water from a separate tap on the coffee maker. However, I know I have received water that was heated through the coffee maker and tastes of coffee. And please do not expect me to use the same bag with more hot water. I have separate travel mugs for tea and coffee. Tea must not be served in Styrofoam cups and paper only when necessary. I rarely make a pot of tea because it will be cold before I finish it. I prefer my hot tea hot, and although I will finish drinking a cup of tea when it is cold, I do not want to pour cold or lukewarm tea from a pot. Thus, I see myself as an eclectically stubborn tea drinker. I actually worked as a barista in an independent coffee cafe for two years. Flavored coffees are not of real interest to me; I enjoy tasting coffees from different countries but give the Jamaican Me Crazy to someone else.
What will you find each Monday here at Steeped in Tradition? My plan is to explore some of the tea providers I have discovered over the past few years, report on particular brands regarding taste and accessibility, perhaps compare different brands of the same flavor (ex: Jasmine tea), share recipes for traditional scones - not just sweet scones with a sugar glaze, and whatever other tea-related ideas float across my brain. I hope you will decide that visiting Steeped in Traditions on Monday becomes a required stop.