Tea Me

As October comes to an end, things are sloooowly starting to cool off here in Orange County. (Little tidbit about Southern California. The warmest part of summer doesn’t start until late August and carries on until November. So while most of you are looking all cozy in your fall sweaters and boots this month, I’m usually sweating my arse off in my hundredth reincarnation of J. Crew vintage cotton tanks, lightweight cargos -yep, these are still kickin’ – and flip flops.)

But! This week it cooled down to the high 60s – low 70s, and I’m full of joyous joyful joy. When I woke up this morning, I realized that, why, I think I needed some socks on my bare feet. Joy to the world!

Which leads me to my request. I need suggestions of delicious, warm, lovely teas to drink during chilly mornings.

As many of you know, I don’t drink caffeine. But I love (LOVE) everything about coffee. The aroma, the rich flavor….love it. Coffee + a splash of half and half + pinch of sugar = HELLO DELIGHTFUL. The problem is that we have one coffee pot, which D uses for his (very caffeinated) coffee in the morning. (I was using one of those Tassimo machines, but I’m not really a fan of the decaffeinated options.)  Also, as D will attest, I don’t drink a lot of my hot beverage in the morning. Maybe half a cup, tops, so brewing a new pot of decaf after D is finished seems kind of wasteful. (Plus, I want to drink my delicious hot beverage WITH my husband, not after he’s finished.)

This is all to say that I know the answer to my hot beverage woes! TEA. I can sip a lovely cup of tea in the morning and get my warm beverage fix without being wasteful OR drinking a little bit of D’s which makes act like a drill sergeant on speed.

I feel like I’ve been seeing lots of tea photos on Instagram lately, so I know you can help a lady out. Any teas that you just love? Decaffeinated and/or low caffeine is a must.

  • Anna

    October 23, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I buy almost all of my tea from Tea Gschwender out of Chicago. Everything they have is delicious. I specifically recommend the Arabian Nights, which they make in decaf. Even better? Shipping on orders over $20 is only $1 tomorrow!

  • Amy

    October 23, 2012 at 10:20 am

    David’s Tea! I ordered a bunch and every single one is awesome. I recommend Paradise Found, the Super Organic Chocolate Green Tea, the chai and the Immunizer (I atttribute fighting off a nasty cold to that tea). Also, the pumpkin anything ones are awesome.

    My best tea tip is to get a tea ball (heh) and loose leaf tea. It’s messier than the bag but oh so worth it! We are obsessed with tea in our household right now and it’s awesome.

    • whoorl

      October 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Okay, so a tea ball is the way to go? I’m looking at all the rooibos teas from David’s and they all look so great. Thanks!

  • Judy Mowrey

    October 23, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Ten Ren sells a decaffeinated ginger tea that is really special, very gingery and refreshing. I don’t know if they have a shop in OC but here’s the link to their web page and the decaf ginger tea

  • Emily

    October 23, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Anything Republic of Tea. The cylindrical containers that they come in also have an endless number of uses. LOVE.

  • Raluca | WhatWouldGwynethDo

    October 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I second David’s Tea, it’s awesome. And this post came at a funny time, as I sip my english breakfast and dumped my half full cup of coffee from earlier this morning.

  • Gemma

    October 23, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I’ve had a never ending cold for the past month, so today I went out to a health food store and bought a cranberry and echinacea tea to boost my immune system. I think I’m going to drink some every morning, because if I’m going to drink tea it might as well do my health some good at the same time!

  • Erin G

    October 23, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I’m a big fan of Harney & Sons teas. Great family-run business that really takes pride in their product. I’ve visited their darling little storefront in CT a few times – a nice stop on our way to NY state. My favorites are the Paris, Hot Cinnamon Spice, and Earl Grey…all of which are avaiable in decaf version.

    Website: http://www.harney.com

    Enjoy your tea! Erin G

  • Jill Will Run

    October 23, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I’m a fan of Adagio’s rooibos offerings.
    I really like the rooibos almond flavor!

    I’ve had to cut out caffeine recently because it doesn’t sit well with my baby!

  • AnnabelVita

    October 23, 2012 at 11:22 am

    You could get a one cup French press for your decaf coffee?

    My favourite non-caffeinated teas are rooibois (with or without milk) or peppermint after meals. Oh! I also love half fermented yellow oolong but that’s a bit specialist….

    • Lynne

      October 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      I second the French press idea!

  • Megan

    October 23, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Stash – chocolate hazelnut tea. SO FULL OF THE YUM. I found mine at Target, but here’s the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Stash-Chocolate-Hazelnut-Tea-18-Count/dp/B000CQG8B2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351016744&sr=8-1&keywords=chocolate+hazelnut+tea

  • stephanie

    October 23, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I am currently obsessed with Teavana’s CocoCaramel Sea Salt herbal tea. http://www.teavana.com/the-teas/herbal-teas/p/cococaramel-sea-salt-herbal-tea

  • Sarah

    October 23, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I’m a coffee person and would not switch to tea to have a hot beverage that isn’t caffeinated. I’d either get a one cup pour over filter (like this: http://www.amazon.com/Melitta-Ready-Single-Coffee-Brewer/dp/B0014CVEH6) or a small french press. The pour over is easy and delish and you can brew a small cup easily once you figure out your rations of grounds to water.

    I used a pour over filter for a while and really liked it. Then I got a 4 cup coffee pot and I really like it. I drink one pot a day and it works really well just for me.

  • Nancy

    October 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I concur on David’s Tea! I headed in a few weeks ago and proclaimed I knew nothing about tea and left with a new mug and infuser and a few different flavours. They are also next to my office to I head in sometimes to try out different kinds – Red Velvet Cake! Toasted Marshmallow! Blueberry Jam!

    The Green and Fruity is a really good decaf option.

  • nicola

    October 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I’m English so feel I can comment on this with impunity ;) I’m not sure if you can get the brand in the US but Teapigs tea bags are all amazing – and beautiful to look at!

  • AlisonC

    October 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I live in Ireland so can’t help you with brands but on a cold day I love a lemon and ginger tea. I also like to drink decaf earl grey in the evening.

  • Jen

    October 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I purchase loose-leaf tea from Teavana, and this mug is absolute BEST for both steeping and sipping. Use the mesh lid for steeping, then swap out for the sipping lid. A spill-proof cover lid screws on to either lid when needed. (It’s stainless steel and travel-worthy to boot.)


  • chan

    October 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Smith Tea makes wonderful teas in pretty packaging … the package is always important, LOL. Aveda also sells their own loose leaf caffeine-free licorice/peppermint tea that they offer up in little sample cups to sip while you shop. I always end up buying a big container of it; It’s DELICIOUS.

  • Jennifer Rupert

    October 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I love Teavana, they often have teas out that you can try. Or have them make you up a cup of a particular tea you want to try. Provided of course they are in your area. I love any flavored tea. On a trip to Epcot I picked up some wonderful Twinings tea, a winter spice and a couple boxes of some flavored chai teas.

  • sarah

    October 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    The mango black tea from TJ’s is awesome. So is chamomile with a splash of honey.

  • Roxanna

    October 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I am simple. PG Tips with sugar and cream. Or milk. Delicious!

  • Linsey

    October 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I like Stash tea in either Peach Black Tea or Peppermint. I like to add a lemon wedge to my peppermint tea.

  • Danielle (elleinadspir)

    October 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I have been drinking tea lately too (although I still have my morning jo). I use my Keurig for coffee but can’t bring myself to use the tea pods. Excited to see what your readers recommend. Right now i am working my way through some tea my mom bought in China. I have also moved a tea pot to the top of my holiday want list, le creuset in teal blue.

  • Aubrey M.

    October 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I’m a new reader to your blog… love it so far! You piqued my interest with tea. :) One of my go-to’s is Teavana’s Honeybush Vanilla Herbal tea. Quite tasty!

  • Ashley Stone

    October 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    My mom drinks a fabulous rooibos tea that tastes EXACTLY like a cappuccino without the caffeine. She has health complications that limit her caffeine intake and this is her perfect solution. I can’t remember the name off the top of my head but I’ll ask her and get back.

    • whoorl

      October 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Please do! That sounds perfect!

  • whoorl

    October 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Whoah. This is some serious tea inspiration! Thank you so much!

  • Elizabeth A

    October 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I have no tea recommendations, BUT, I did want to agree with you 100% on the weather! Here in the San Fernando Valley (North of Los Angeles), I have felt exactly the same way this week, right down to the socks!
    And — thank you for saying that about “our” summer season. I have said for a couple of years now that the seasons have shifted, that summer is now Aug-Sept-Oct for us in SoCal, and people look at me like I’m crazy. Thank you for validating me.
    Enjoy your tea, wherever you land.

  • Sirena

    October 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    This is the tea! http://www.amazon.com/Twinings-Infusion-Camomile-Honey-Vanilla/dp/B000UZLKGI

    I love loose-leaf tea (they actually do use a superior grade of tea leaves for loose tea, versus the “shake” that winds up in bags) with an infuser, but this Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea from Twinings is incredibly special. They have a chocolate-vanilla-coconut tea (Brazil in their Voyager line) which is also pretty awesome.

  • nap

    October 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Stash Vanilla Chai Decaf Tea from the grocery store is cheap, easy, and so good!

  • Dawn

    October 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I second the Aveda Comforting Tea (it is decaffeinated and the licorice root and peppermint combo is great).

    And Trader Joes has a fun decaffeinated Candy Cane Peppermint Green Tea – but you can only get it during the holidays (not sure if it is out yet).

  • Elizabeth

    October 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Rooibos tea is really good. But the Good Earth original is the best “tea” (technically an herbal blend). It is strong, cinnamon-y and delicious. Here is a link to it on Amazon, but grocery stores carry it too. http://www.amazon.com/Good-Earth-Original-Caffeine-Multi-pack/dp/B005GTV9IM/ref=sr_1_33?ie=UTF8&qid=1351030502&sr=8-33&keywords=good+earth+tea

  • Sarah

    October 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Bird Pick Tea!! They are the best, best, best – I know there is one in Santa Monica, but there might be one in OC too, or you can order on line. http://www.birdpick.com

  • Wendy

    October 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    As an ex-coffee drinker, I also love Rooibos tea with half & half and a bit of agave nectar. Here’s my usual…


  • Geri

    October 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I second Rooibos and peppermint tea. TJ’s are currently doing a pumpkin spice rooibos tea. A mix of American and South African delights! Plus Rooibos is really good for you so you might as well kill two birds with one stone. Happy tea drinking!

  • MommyTime

    October 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I love Stash brand lemon and ginger tea on a chilly winter night, so I would imagine it would be good on a cool morning too. Also, can I suggest one of these Bodum presses? It’s just the right size, and you can use it for coffee or tea. It makes fantastic coffee, and only how much you want.

  • MommyTime

    October 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    (PS there’s a link on the phrase “Bodum presses,” but it doesn’t seem to show up unless you hover over it.)

  • Heather

    October 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I totally second (third?) Teavana. I have the mug and love it — used it nearly daily during my pregnancy when I was off caffeine. Also, going to the store in person is a great way to sample teas. They keep their stock in these big metal cylinders and will wave the lid over the contents so you can smell the different varieties. We’ve also had good luck with the salespeople suggesting specific teas for different flavor cravings.

  • Al

    October 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    my husband & i gave up caffeine a few years ago. we were drinking decaf coffee, but then we just realized there was really no point. so now we’re way way into tea!!!! i still miss the “taste” & “event” of drinking coffee too. we actually make our own chai tea lattes. we bought some loose leaf decaf chai at an amazing little tea shop in franklin, tn so we just use a tea infuser from ikea & drop it in some steamed soy milk. yum! super easy to take it with us to coffee/tea shops as well. we just order a steamed soy with no foam & then put our tea in it. :) tastes like coffee to me. ;)

    • Aubrey M.

      October 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      What’s this tea shop in Franklin?

  • Al

    October 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    ps… teavana is so overrated & super expensive. you can buy loose leaf teas from cheaper places. also… tazo wild sweet orange!!!! super good!

  • Joy

    October 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    If you want a spiced decaf tea that you can drink with milk or soy milk, try Bengal Spice by Celestial Seasonings. It’s fantastic!

  • Tracy D

    October 23, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I love all of the options at Tillerman Tea. It’s loose leaf, so you’ll need a tea ball, but it’s worth the extra effort. :) http://tillermantea.com/

    Also, any tea that is blended with white tea is amazing!

    Teavana has good options too.

  • Maureen

    October 24, 2012 at 7:35 am

    I have been addicted to Vanilla Rooibos Tea from Tazo (sold at Starbucks) since trying it during pregnancy. It is sweet and smells wonderful. Give it a try!

  • Jamie

    October 24, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Pregnancy has forced my hand with ALL THE TEA, oh my Lord. I wasn’t a tea drinker before. Now I’m loving:

    TJ’s Spiced Cider (not tea but delicious) steaming hot for that extra autumnal flair
    Celestial Seasonings’ Lemon Zinger
    TJ’s Pumpkin Rooibos
    CS’ Peppermint

    But my ALL TIME FAVORITE, which you’ll have to pry from my cold, dead hands is Mighty Leaf Chamomile Citrus. It is the boss.

  • liz

    October 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Tea Forte cucumber mint is refreshing and any of the Yogi Tea’s (found in grocert stores are great)

  • Rachel Malis

    October 24, 2012 at 11:42 am

    If you buy loose tea (anywhere, though I prefer the sample sizes at Adagio, so I can try many kinds!) you can get empty tea bags that you fill yourself. Here! http://www.amazon.com/Adagio-Teas-5-Paper-Filters/dp/B001G8XORG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1351104129&sr=8-3&keywords=empty+tea+bags+for+loose+tea

  • sarah

    October 25, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I’m frantically clicking all the links and adding things to my christmas wish list. I LOVE tea. It keeps me warm, hydrated, and makes me feel comforted with no calories. (Unless I add a decadent squeeze of honey).
    The specialty teas are usually out of my price range, but I am in LOVE with Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane: pepperminty decaf green tea. I say that it tastes like a freakin’ thin mint. Then my bff then chimes in to say that falvored water CANNOT taste like a cookie.
    I also love the CS Bengal Spice. It’s spicy. Or as amalah put it “water salsa!”

  • Tinap

    October 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Republic of tea is great and they have a large selection of decaf teas. I highly recommend the decaf blackberry sage and decaf vanilla almond….delish!!!!

  • Slava

    October 25, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I am a big fan of milk oolong: light floral/milky flavor.

  • Jessica

    October 25, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I love Twinnings, my favorite is Orange Ceylon, and Irish Breakfast. Republic of Tea is great too, especially Blackberry Sage and Mango Ceylon.

  • rebecca

    October 26, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Someone else mentioned Harney & Sons – I love their tea, and their tins! :) The Vanilla Comoro is decaf and delicious!


  • Julie in NC

    October 27, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Former caffeinated coffee junkie here- now caffeine is only a very occasional treat. I love decaf tea, but sometimes I NEED a cup of good decaf coffee. The one-cup pour-over filter and decaf Illy espresso make me immensely happy. Quick and easy. One-cup French press is also nice when I’m not in a rush. Good luck with your beverage hunt!

  • Sara

    November 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Zhena’s Gypsy Tea — she is an amazing woman, and her teas are wonderful! (Disclosure: I went to college with her). Her company gives back to her tea growers and their families. Highly recommended! Amazing blends and no additives.
    Steven Smith Tea — he’s out of Portland, Oregon and previously developed Tazo Tea. Anyway, this interation of his tea expertise is simply mouth watering. It’s a little expensive, but worth the cost. I LOVE the Big Hibiscus blend which is as beautiful and full-bodied as a glass of red wine. So good.
    Yogi Tea’s Ginger Tea — great for a pick up, or after dinner. Also good as a hot toddy base!
    If you ever come up to Portland, I highly recommend The Tao of Tea — an amazing local tea shop.
    Happy Fall!