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The local tea shop

January 9, 2010

Where do you buy your tea?  And spices? And herbs?

Irish Breakfast, Vanilla Chai (rooibos), and Roasted chicory root

Some time in high school I started turning into a tea snob, thanks to my Aunt Marianne and her lunches at the White Lilac (a sadly now-closed tea room in Southern CT).  Looseleaf was infinitely preferable to bagged, and still is, unless I’m really rushed.  Remind me to show you the various tea pots E. & I own sometime.

Bay leaves, cumin, thyme

bay leaves, cumin, thyme

For a while, I bought looseleaf tea in a variety of places: Simpson and Vail, Harney & Sons, and  Cornucopia.  The first two have quite lovely tea and were more or less local.  I was wholly underwhelmed by the tea at Cornucopia; it was rather stale and flavorless.

My favorite place for tea, herbs, spices, soaps and the like is Acadia Herbals, a lovely local shop where you can try the tea of the day, find organic teas, sustainably wildcrafted herbs, and fair trade spices.  I’ve been buying tea there since college and could not be happier.  The new owner, Jennifer, is expanding the selections of tea to things like vanilla chai with rooibos.

Vanilla Chai tea

Vanilla Chai

Bedtime snack

Vanilla chai with earl grey cookies

E. & I typically keep some breakfast tea on hand (English, Irish or China–all black variants) as well as a flavored black tea like black currant or vanilla or lavender earl grey.  We enjoyed the vanilla chai rooibos last night with earl grey cookies my friend Nora (link to the recipe, Nora?).  Perfect way to end a night out.

While at Acadia Herbals, I tried the Nettle & Oats tea with a touch of mint (mild, soothing), stocked up on Irish breakfast, picked up a bit of chicory root to try as  a tea (or an infusion if you must be so precise), and refilled my supply of cumin, bay leaves, and thyme.

Looseleaf Irish breakfast tea

Irish Breakfast

And, of course, this morning E. & I had the Irish Breakfast with breakfast.

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