Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Tea Diaries: Cupboard tales

Greetings my lovely foodlovers!  Now here's when foodfortina becomes foodforTEAna :)  As the bittersweet caffeinated beverage by the name of coffee has pretty much secured its own entire category in the human food pyramid, I think it's time that we honour the value of its predecessor, tea.  

Brewed in multiple ways and loved by multiple cultures, tea has been the preferred beverage in my household throughout my life.  And that tea stack in my cupboard has been growing constantly over the past two years - so here's a sneak peak at the tea pantry @ foodfortina HQ:

My parents drink tea daily - jasmine tea, Lipton black tea, Chinese green tea, and jiaogulan tea.  They also drink this funky tea called fenugreek tea, which has a truckload of health benefits - from lowering high blood sugar levels and high cholesterol levels to increasing milk flow in women who are breastfeeding.  
Where would one start with getting to know more about tea at the easiest and cheapest places possible? The supermarket aisle of course!  Twinings, Lipton, Dilmah, Bushells.  Every household's go-to brands - and gotta love getting tea samples in the mail!  
But then the tea passion can only go up from there - so the next obvious store to venture to would inevitably be T2. 

I got a few of these boxes as birthday presents, and have started to drink them more throughout this year - I like it since it's a great light drink at night times, and in the mornings and afternoons to give you that light lift and not always have to resort to the heavy kick from coffee.
Being the pho lover that I am, chai quickly became a favourite of mine - did you know that chai spices and pho spices share the three spices of cinnamon, cloves and star anise?  Such an aromatic beverage that warms the body, and T2 loves it so much, they even held The Chai Project on their site.

I'm also a sucker for peppermint tea, as at times, black tea is too strong for me.  I like my tea with a tiny bit of honey, or stevia sweetener (the sweetener that hasn't had too much negative criticism upon it linking to cancers and other dreadful health conditions, as opposed to the ones used in Equal).
At the uni I'm attending, we have a newly made Tea Society, and its president introduced me to The Tea Centre - and so far I've tried the Jaffa black tea (see the first pic) - this tea is probably my first enjoyable multi-sensory tea experience - getting the aromas of the orange and chocolate while tasting a sweet citrus-y and slightly creamy black tea.

Also, when I applied to get a barista licence at the Australian Coffee School, my instructor used this Chai Latte powder which I still use and love til this day - told you I was a sucker for chai!
From the days in my childhood when I first came across tea as an important beverage accompanying Yum Cha to act as a palate cleanser and to digest after every small dish, tea has now become that go-to beverage when I want some warmth and some nice flavours without the unnecessary calories.
Tea is the new black, tea is the new coffee, and tea has upgraded to bringing beautiful multi-sensory experiences as well as expanding its reach - tea isn't just a drink associated with class and elegance anymore, it's affordable, homely, and best of all, there are so many flavours worth trying! 
With this new Tea Diaries blogpost series, I want to share with you some of the best teas I have tried, as well as some new and upcoming tea brands I've come across that are entering our 'teascape' today.

So tell me readers, what's some of your favourite teas, and what brands are they? Are there any new brands that you might like me to review?  I'd love to hear from you :)


  1. Ooo I am looking forward to these posts as a fellow tea enjoyer! I just bought that chai powder from Arkadia because I heard good things. Haven't really tried it yet. How do you prepare it?

    1. Hey jen!

      So for both coffee and tea, I really like using soy milk for the increased protein and lower fat content, and soy milk tastes particular nice with chai. I prepare my soy chai lattes by microwaving some soy milk in my normal drinking cup, I fill my cup about 3/4 full with soy milk. I then put in 2-3 tsps of the chai powder, stir, and then enjoy :)

      I don't tend to use this powder to prepare chai tea alone, but that could be done by swapping the soy milk for water.

      Hope you enjoy your chai creations with the Arkadia tea! :)

    2. Soy milk sounds like lovely with chai! Thanks Tina!

  2. Of all the teas that I love I choose green tea.... It is so healthy and benefiting to my body.. I always pack this whenever I travel.

  3. so rare for me to see a compilation of the best teas! thank you very much. Are you also selling them and how much would it be for shipping?


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