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The Diversity & Creativity of Tea, and Why Coffee is Jealous March 10, 2010

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Drinks.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As a Turk, I was born surrounded with tea. It is not uncommon for an average Joe in Turkey to have over 5 cups a day; during breakfast, at work, and after dinner. Although Turkish Coffee seems to get all the publicity, I assure you, tea is by far the popular  choice of locals. This might be the reason why I am biased towards tea, but just look at this photo below! Try to take a better picture of coffee. Try!

Orange Blossom

Orange Blossom Tea from Teavana

When I first started attending Babson College in Massachusetts, one of the first things I noticed was everyone’s obsession with coffee. Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Honeydew donuts were a dime a dozen. And yes, they still are. I suppose the pace of life necessitates such a drink to help people out through the day. But to all of you out there that doubt tea; rest assured it has a much more diverse offering in terms of both flavor and caffeine. Taking two extremes: green tea can soothe you before bed, and “Yerba Mate” can energize you in the morning with much more force than an espresso.

Authentic Japanese Cast Iron Pot and Teacup!

I recently visited the Teavana in the Providence Mall in Rhode Island. I had quite the adventure in the store, spending approximately an hour looking at the different products and teas. I was intoxicated by the mesmerizing aroma of the teas, and the authentic cast iron teacups and teapots. Although it is quite hard to drink out of cast iron teacups (they get really hot!), they keep the tea warm, and are quite decorative.

Youthberry Tea from Teavana

Youthberry Tea from Teavana

The saleslady at the Teavana did try her best to sell me everything possible in the store. You might encounter a similar experience if you visit, and should be prepared. At one point, she asked me: “Would you like the tray so you can carry your tea to bed?” Bursting into laughter, I sadly declined.  Moving towards the cash register to complete the sale, I was talking about the songs playing in the store. The saleslady praised the CD so well, at one point I blurted out “I’ll take the CD also”. I don’t think she was amused.

Teavana Catalog

I encourage anyone who hasn’t been to a Teavana to give it a try. If you really cannot afford Teavana prices right now, I wanted to share a quick recipe for home-made tea that you can make. You can get creative yourself, and alter this recipe however you like. You just might discover something better!

Boil for 5 minutes, strain and enjoy

The peel of any apple
3 cups of water
A squeeze of lemon
1 tablespoon of chunkily chopped ginger
1/4 cup of chamomile
1/2 teaspoon of cloves
2 pieces of whole black pepper (yes, 2 tiny pieces)
2 cinnamon sticks
Honey to taste



1. Anna - March 10, 2010

Loving your blogzie Canzie!

Deniz Olcay - March 10, 2010

Thanks Annazie! =) Let me know if you have any suggestions or cool stories I can use!

2. Vicky - March 10, 2010

I really like the yerba mate reference! I enjoyed reading the blog.

3. Deniz Olcay - March 10, 2010

Yerba Mate is also an appetite suppressant if that interests anyone!

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