Drinking Tea in Fresno

Although I usually drink my tea without adding anything to it, I branched out of my comfort zone and tried a new thing recently. While visiting family in Fresno, California, I decided to try tea the way it is done there with (lots of) milk and sugar. Wow! Both times I tried it, my tea was a very light tan and it was difficult to taste the flavor of the tea. The second time at a new place I even asked for my tea lightly sweetened and while it was less sweet it was still too sweetened to taste the tea.
Here is what I was hoping to try-
I cannot tell you how the lavender complimented the creamy earl grey because I couldn’t taste any of it. This may be a good way for someone who doesn’t like tea to start drinking tea. For me, I’m going back to enjoying the flavor of my teas.

Green Gunpowder Tea

Green Gunpowder Tea
My husband has been enjoying this new to him tea recently. While his favorite remains Gyokuro, he reports this is a tasty second place. He ordered Green Gunpowder Tea from our favorite tea shop, McNulty’s. He describes this tea as more full-bodied than Gyokuro. He warns you not to steep this one too long or it will become bitter. He recommends a maximum of one minute. The price of this tea is significantly less expensive than his number one choice which makes this tea a great entry level loose green tea. 
McNulty’s website shares this information about this tea, “As its name suggests, Gunpowder is a tea that is rolled up into tiny pellets resembling gunpowder, and unfurls as it is steeped. The tightly rolled tea leaves keep very well, and produces a light green-yellow liquid and has a slightly smoky undertone due to it being pan-fired over wood.” 
All of you green tea lovers should give this one a try and let us know what you think. 

Searching for Sabbath

Just as I was steeping a cup of tea and preparing to sit down for a time of reading and writing my phone rang. The caller did not give me the news I wanted to hear. Instead I heard bad news that instantly annoyed me. The news I heard was not bad health news and my loved ones are all fine. It was nothing like that. It was not the news I wanted to hear, and I was annoyed. I needed my cup of tea and quiet time more than ever.

And the cup of tea, Earl Grey Creme, is not warming my soul as it normally does. I’m having trouble concentrating on my reading. My intention of writing about taking time for Sabbath took a slight change as I now had to reorient my thinking. How can I shut out the distractions of daily life so I can be fully present in Sabbath time? While each person has a different method for clearing out thoughts that distract, here is what works for me.

I write down what is distracting me. The physical work of writing it down allows me to transfer it from my brain where it is swirling around onto a piece of paper where I can pick it up later if needed or leave it there on that piece of paper.

I change my surroundings. I move outside if the weather is cooperating or move to where I have a view of the outside. I find a place to sit that is comfortable and not where I felt so distracted.

I remind myself that grace abounds. If now is not the time for quiet prayer and reflection, how else might I be present to God’s presence? Is now a good time to take a walk and envelop myself in God’s creation? Is now a good time to tackle a project that is long overdue? Is now a good time to write a letter to someone who is on my mind?

Whatever direction your Sabbath takes, I hope you’ll remember that grace abounds and you are loved more than you know.

Flowery White Pekoe

This tea has a brief mention in the former post, My Favorite Tea Shop. I think this tea needs its own blog post because it is so good. For much of the Fall my husband has been drinking this tea after we ran out of his favorite tea. While my love of teas is wide and far ranging, he has a much narrower group of teas that he loves. He enjoys certain green teas and a few white teas. This tea makes his list of favorites. When I asked him what he liked about it, he said, “It tastes good.”

Flowery White Pekoe brews up almost clear. It smells of just the right amount of flowers. It doesn’t overwhelm you with the smell or the taste. The taste is comfortable and clean. Despite being a flowery white tea, this tea can be enjoyed in all seasons. It doesn’t taste like a summer tea. When you visit McNulty’s, purchase some Flowery White Pekoe. It will not disappoint!

Voila! Black Tea

My favorite black teas are forgiving. They are the teas that don’t have to be steeped exactly 3 minutes. If by chance you get distracted and leave your tea bag in your mug a bit too long, the forgiving black teas will still be delicious. Voila! Black Tea is a smooth, easy to drink, forgiving tea. The caramel, bergamot, currant, and cranberry blend together well. This tea smells as good as it tastes. I highly recommend it for a cold, rainy winter day. 

Thompson’s Family Teas – Irish Breakfast Blend

On a recent trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, I was browsing at a shop called, A Little Irish Too, when I spotted Thompson’s Family Teas. I was so excited because the Thompson side of my family traces their roots back to Ireland. It seems that my family of origin loves tea a much as I do.


I’m happy to recommend this tea and not just because of the name. It brews up a dark, rich color. The tea smells like Irish fields after the rain. (This is a guess since I have never been to Ireland. Sounds like I need to plan a trip there for research for my blog). The tea is smooth and delicious. This is now my favorite Irish Breakfast Tea.


A New Tea Shop

Last weekend we took some time away. One of our stops was Voila! in Frederick, Maryland. This tiny tea shop smells delicious as soon as you walk through the door. The staff is friendly and knowledgable. You can sniff any of their teas and you can enjoy a cup of anything in the shop. While we were there, they had three teas available to sample too.
I bought a couple of teas which will be reviewed in the coming weeks. I left the shop with a cup of White Grey. This is Earl Grey made with white tea. So delicious.
It was a fun place to explore and sample some unique new teas. I am looking forward to enjoying the teas I purchased and planning another trip to the shop. This is the same shop where my friend purchased Earl Grey Creme which I highly recommend.


Earl Grey Creme


This is my favorite cup of Earl Grey. The addition of vanilla makes this a smooth and creamy cup of tea. It is delicious. I am looking forward to visiting Voila! and finding more teas to enjoy.

This tea was a gift from a dear friend who also gave me the delightful buttons in the picture.

“Coffee is not my cup of tea.” -Samuel Bolding

“Where there is tea, there is love.”

“Tea is liquid wisdom.”

“Tea is a cup of life.”

I am hoping your day is filled with love, life, liquid wisdom, and a cup of tea!

A New Way to Drink Tea

I love getting real mail. You know what I mean. Not advertisements. Not bills. Not mail for people who don’t live here. Mail addressed to me sent by another human. When the mail arrives and there is a package addressed to me inside, I am so excited. Recently I received the most wonderful package and inside was this-



A dear friend had been shopping at a thrift store, saw this, thought I would love it, bought it, and sent it to me. How wonderful is that? So now I have another way to enjoy a fancy cup of tea. This is an all-in-one tea making cup.




Today I am thankful for a delicious cup of Flowery White Pekoe from My Favorite Tea Shop, for friends who think of me, and a new-to-me fancy cup of tea.

Tazo Zen

After a very busy couple of weeks, I tagged along to a conference my husband is attending in DC. I am sitting on a comfy sofa with my feet up watching the Olympics and enjoying a cup of Tazo Zen. It is smooth and calming. This is an easy to drink tea. It is described as, “A harmonious blend of green tea with lemongrass and spearmint.” When life is overwhelming, I recommend holding a cup of this tea in your hands. Let the cup warm you. Let the smells and steam rise up. Take a sip and drink in the relaxation. Enjoy!