Quiet Time with a Cup of Tea or Not

IMG_5068

As you read this, I am nearing the end of our week long mission trip. I have spent the week working, learning, sharing God’s love, and living among the people of Atlanta and my youth. I’d love to say I prepared for this week by spending the week before resting and relaxing. The morning I wrote this I fixed myself a cup of tea and breakfast. I moved to a quiet place in my house to write a thoughtful piece on the importance of silence and quiet time with God. And then my awesome niece came into the dining room watching a you tube video on her Dad’s phone and shooting me with a Star Wars toy. So, I threw my plans out the window to spend time with my niece and realized that this is great preparation for the mission trip. I spent months planning the mission trip. I know it isn’t going to work out exactly as I planned. I can either be mad that things are not going the way I planned or be flexible and look for God working in my life.

Creating God, I long for quiet time and my life to go according to plan. You break into my life through laughter and disruptions to make me look up from my to do list and see those around me. Give me the courage and patience to be flexible. Remind me to look for you in those I meet. When Plan A doesn’t work, God, be with me as I move on to Plan B or C. In the quiet, noisy, and all the in-between times of life, you are with us, Loving God, and we are thankful for your faithfulness. Amen.
IMG_5070

Gunpowder Green Blend

IMG_5054

This morning I enjoyed the last tea from the Thistle Farms gift pack. Green tea is not my first choice of teas which might be why I left it for last. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the Gunpowder Green Blend. It was very subtle and easy to drink. Thistle Farms describes it this way, “Green tea, orange peel, and ginger root. Fair trade and organic. Delicious blend aids in digestion.” I’d recommend this for the green tea lovers in your life. This tea is blended and created by Positiffitea.

I have enjoyed the gift set and recommend it as a perfect gift for the tea drinkers you love!

Winter Spice on a Summer Day

IMG_4873

Being sick is no fun. Being even a little sick is no fun. I’m living with a scratchy and sore throat this week which means I want comfort, and you won’t be surprised to read that I find comfort in a mug of hot tea. Yesterday at work, I found comfort in my Young Clergy Women Project mug with Winter Spice tea. The delicious smell, the cozy taste, and the warmth soothing my throat made my day a little better. So, while I enjoy trying a new cup of tea, sometimes nothing hits the spot like an old favorite.

Moringa Black Health Blend

IMG_4835

The tea I received for Christmas from Thistle Farms continues to bring me great joy. Today I enjoyed Moringa Black Health Blend. I added one of my honey sticks to it because I love the honey sticks. This tea was smooth and delicious. No one flavor stood out, and it did not get bitter even when I left the tea bag in while I drank the cup. The ingredient are listed as “Moringa from Moringa Madres, black tea from Ajiri Tea, lemon balm, lemongrass.”

The information in my tea kit tells us a little more about how this tea came to be in my cup. “Ajiri tea was grown and harvested in Western Kenya by Ajiri, providing safe work for women. The members aim to form a sustainable cycle of community, employment and education.” Also “Moringa tea leaves were grown and harvested by the women of San Juan Cosala, Mexico, striving to make a living for their families.”

Overall, a delicious cup of tea helping us to support each other and one more reason for me to visit The Thistle Stop Cafe!

 

Fancy Chinese Tea

IMG_4682

My husband was given this tea as a gift. I have enjoyed a few cups of this tea. In order to share what it is, I had to enlist the help of a friend who can read this tea tin. A big thank you to her for this information about this tea.

“The tea is the flower of plains coreopsis. Although the flower is quite common, people only use the flowers growing above elevation 3000 meters to make this tea. So not much tea can be made each year actually. And we believe this tea is good for your health. It’s definitely a good tea and becoming more and more popular in recent years.”

This tea smells like a spring day with flowers blooming. It tastes delicious too. It has a subtle, cheerful, and calming taste that is unlike other teas I have enjoyed. I highly recommend this tea.

Thistle Stop Cafe Herbal Blend

IMG_4676

Another tasty tea from the good people at Thistle Farms. This tea was part of the gift pack I received for Christmas. And since that gift pack included honey sticks, I added honey to this tea while it was steeping. This is a subtle, delicious. calming tea. I would enjoy drinking this before bedtime or on a rainy afternoon before a nap. It contains only three ingredients: milk thistle, dandelion root, and cardamon. None of these ingredients overpower the others. In fact, they all work together to make a tasty cup of tea. My information sheet says that this tea also helps with liver health. If you would like to try a cup, it looks like this tea is only available in the tea gift set or by visiting Thistle Stop Cafe.

 

IMG_4678

Cinnamon Plum

IMG_4586

I’ve visited The Spice and Tea Exchange many times without ever buying anything. It is a great store with jars and jars of tea lining the walls. I got my first taste of their teas when a friend gave me this tea. She chose very well. This is a great cup of tea. The cinnamon flavor is very subtle. The main flavor you’ll enjoy is the plum. I haven’t had many plum teas before and this one is delicious. I highly recommend stopping in to browse The Spice and Tea Exchange if you happen upon one, and I highly recommend you picking up a little Cinnamon Plum tea too!

Sweet Cinnamon Spice

IMG_4561

On a cold, rainy night I sampled this tea for the first time. It was a birthday gift from a dear friend. This tea smells delicious. I held my tea cup in my hands and inhaled the spicy aroma. Although this tea is called sweet cinnamon spice, cinnamon is only one of the flavors I tasted. Tazo tells us that this tea contains cinnamon, licorice root, orange peel, and star anise. I tasted all of these ingredients except the orange, and I didn’t miss not having the orange flavor. This is an enjoyable tea. It is a good tea to drink while curled up on a cold night. I highly recommend this tea.

Baltimore Coffee and Tea

Last month, I found myself in Annapolis with some time to myself. I could have walked through the beautiful capital of my state…I highly recommend this for anyone who has never done this! Instead I did a search of local tea shops and discovered Baltimore Coffee and Tea. This place has two walls full of tea! I ordered a cup of hot tea and was directed to their tea bar where they was a selection of more than 30 tea choices. And if that wasn’t good enough, the server told me if I didn’t like the choices she would pull down any of the teas on the wall for me to drink.
After much debate (and forcing myself not to drink Lady Grey), I picked Eastern Shore Tea Company’s Victorian Rose. It was a wonderful cup of tea. Very smooth and calming. It would be perfect for a fancy tea party. It was also very tasty in my paper cup.
IMG_4288

Tea on the Tiber

Drinking tea forces me to slow down. I cannot gulp down a huge mug of hot tea. I must wait. Last week, I had the pleasure of enjoying a tea party with a dear friend. We slowed down. We savored. We laughed. We talked and listened. And, we drank tea. We stayed so long that we each managed to drink two pots of tea!

IMG_4355

I enjoyed Earl Grey Supreme. Yum. I did add a sugar cube to my tea for some extra sweetness. Our server warned me that I’d never be able to drink regular Earl Grey again. I haven’t tested out her theory yet. My tea party friend enjoyed her Black Currant tea. It was a little too sweet for me (says the person who added a sugar cube to her tea).

IMG_4356

Our afternoon of fun took place at Tea on the Tiber in Ellicott City, Maryland. If you find yourself in Ellicott City and want to share a cup of tea, give me a call and I will join you.

IMG_4359 IMG_4361 IMG_4363

My pictures from the day include multiple pictures of the sunny room where we didn’t have tea and the library where we also didn’t have tea. We were on the second floor. We did take a walk up the steep stairs to the third floor which is a tea room and play room for children. It made me want to host a children’s tea party!

IMG_4354

While I may not be able to enjoy a cup of tea at Tea on the Tiber with all my readers, I do hope this post inspires you to slow down, spend some time with a friend, laugh a little (or a lot), and enjoy a favorite beverage!