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I love Friday. There are many reasons for this other than the obvious one—the weekend! My husband has a terrific career but it entails a great deal of travel so the weekend means a few days of time together. One of our little routines is to have coffee while conversing in the mornings. Lately, for me at least, that ritual has turned back to tea. I love tea as much as I love Friday.

Tea and I go back a long way and the love affair with this warming beverage started early. I have fond memories of being kindergarten-aged and Mom making tea for my little porcelain tea set. I was a mere twelve years old when my Aunt Gladys gave me twenty-five dollars as a Christmas and birthday present. I had saved as much from babysitting as well. You’d expect a child of that age to go out and buy some sort of toy, a new trendy top, a new music release, or the latest Trixie Belden book. Not this pre-teen. I went straight to an expensive gift emporium named Duncan McPhee and purchased a gorgeous teapot with a set of four matching cups. I had been looking at it for several months and waiting until I had enough money. Luck would have it that the particular one I wanted, a pure white pot with a gorgeous pink iris, was on clearance. Then it was off to the mall where I picked up a pot worthy mesh tea ball and some wonderfully blended loosed teas from a shop called The Second Cup. While renowned for coffee they had some lovely teas. This was no child-like tea setup and I was very proud of my find. I was still using this set twenty years later and would have continued if it had not been damaged in our 2001 house fire.

a little collection

part of my collection

I strayed from tea for quite some time. My return started in 2004 when my darling little boy, who was three at the time, pulled up a chair and wanted to have tea with us. Tea time became a special time for family bonding.

Fast forward to this morning. My little boy, now a ten-year old with pre-pubescent attitude, is home from school with a sore throat and general malaise. He dragged his groggy self out of bed and came out to the kitchen. I had just put the kettle on. He asked if he could have some tea. I looked through my cupboard which has two shelves entirely dedicated to this beverage, and pulled out a brand-new package of Organic Peppermint Tea from Fair Trade. It is a fragrant and soothing cup that doesn’t have any caffeine, making it a great choice for a child with the chills. This reminds me so much of Mom making cups of Orange Pekoe for me when I was ill as a child.

My Mom has asked me to source a porcelain tea set for my daughter Kaia to have as a gift. As I look at these miniature little sets I am reminded of the times when I played “tea party” with such wonder. What a special memory and a lovely thing for my Mom to do for my daughter. Kaia is also going to her first real tea party in the Spring. My close friend is getting married and her bridal shower is to be a High Tea.

Me, well, I got busy and am just sipping my cup of Double Bergamot Earl Grey. Finally. It’s from Stash Teas, a brand that is one of my favorites when it comes to bagged teas. Their Meyer Lemon is delicious too.

I’ll post more about tea. Perhaps next time I will share some of my favorite ways to cook with tea.

ineeka ma-chai tin

ineeka ma-chai tin

Today I was at the post office picking up a shipment. Our local postal outlet is in a Shoppers Drug Mart and they have a great range of organic teas and coffee. As I was browsing the selection a silver tin caught my eye — tea made by a company called ineeka (little earth).

The company’s tagline is “Cultivating Consciousness” and the goal is “to be socially responsible for the subsistence of the 25, 000 people who live on the farms.” They have a strong emphasis to be environmentally responsible as well.

The tin is much like a humidor and contains 14 bags of ma-chai. The ma-chai is a whole leaf, 100% organic tea blend containing black tea leaves, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, clove, rose petals, and saffron. There were other flavors but this one really intrigued me.

What impresses me about this product, other than the fact that the tea has a wonderful aroma and taste, is the way in which it is brewed. Each bag is actually its own infuser called a “Brew Taché” which gives you the convenience of a bag with the

ineeka brew taché

ineeka brew taché

benefits of loose leaf brewing.

The bags are flat and are slightly larger than a traditional tea bag. To use the “Brew Taché” you gently tear off the top strip of the tea bag and open the bag up into the infuser. It rests on your cup. You can see how it looks when set up in the picture to the right.

The tea itself is a superior product. Delicious. The pre-measured infuser makes for a perfectly brewed cup of tea. The aroma is incredible and the flavor was superb. Clean up is a breeze. These are a little more expensive but well worth the extra cost.

As you know, I love to backpack and canoe, these will definitely be in my pack on the next trip.