Time for tea and coffee!

First off, I want to say a wonderful congratulations to the state of California! By having smart, intelligent educators, lawyers, lobbyists, and one sassy judge, Proposition 8 was ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL! WOO HOO!

A challenge was set by a group of people bent on controlling what defines marriage, and the GLBTQA community stood strong and used not only superior intellect, but superior love to fight against the minority of people who don't support gay marriage. Enough was enough, and I extend all of my love to the state!

Not to mention my Judaism professor's sister....whose marriage was legally turned down the DAY after she got married. Mazel tov to her family!

Anyhow, onto the main topic! TEA AND COFFEE!

I will soon be departing to Columbia University (YAY!) in NYC (double YAY), and I wasn't sure if I was going to transfer to another coffee shop or not. This got me to thinking off all of the coffee and tea that I've consumed in my short life, and which ones reign as my personal favorites!

So, while I was over-caffeinated at work yesterday morning (calibrating espresso shot you see...), I jotted down a few faves. Hopefully some of the categories will speak to you and inspire you to look into some others :)



Corsica Blend at La Columbe (NYC/ Philadelphia)

I visited this place when I was visiting my friend Scott in the Village. I believe its location is in SoHo, but I distinctly remember also hearing about a cortado, the barista's favorite drink. It's been a must-recommend in my cafe ever since.

French Roast & Komodo Dragon Blend at Starbucks (pretty much everywhere)

So I know it's Starbucks, and if I vote democratically I should probably be going off to hug trees instead of drinking from the silver chalice of Corporate America, but Starbucks make a damn good cup of coffee. They're also a part of a big initiative to make all of their coffee organic by 2012. Not bad!

Flourish Blend by Metropolis Coffee Co.

AH! Chicago is so fantastic, and I was so lucky to go to a school so close to this coffee shop. Flourish is a separate blend created for the Flourish cafe off of Bryn Mawr Ave. in Chicago. Too many cooks DEFINITELY don't spoil the coffee! Their vegan spice cookies are a nice touch...just sayin'!


*shudder* normally light roasts are gross to me, but I make some exceptions! My parents love light roast coffee, so I try to do them right when I come home with a few pounds!

Columbian roast- Seattle's Best Coffee

It's light, it has flowers in it. I've brewed it several times....because I have to! (haha) Barely any acid, and a smooth way to wake up in the morning.

Anything from Intelligentsia! A bit more luxurious in taste (and price), but it's some of the most ethical coffee you can buy in Chicago. Lattes here are absolutely amazing!


In my limited travels of the world, of course I needed to add a Seattle locale! Caffe' Vita is amazing, and has some of the best brews you can find. Coffee in Seattle is like Wine in Italy...lots of tastes, and people coming in from all over to slurp and taste the best!

There is also Lavazza, an Italian import that just OOZES sexy Italian coffee. Make it a dubio ;)

And now for tea time...a very merry un-birthday to you! (unless it's actually your birthday- ha!)

Green tea... so metabolic, so controversial. Last year, I graced my boyfriend's presence with a box of Daily Green Tea from Republic of Tea. He didn't like it, so of course I was SHOCKED! The tea tasted SO good to me, so I thought there could be a number of things that happened.

1) Foamy tea. Don't be an impatient Polish woman like my mother warns against. The water has to be HOT HOT HOT or else a weird yucky foam comes on top of the tea. Boiling on a stove top instead of in a microwave will prevent this. Let the tea clouds fade away, and just make sure that your tea is immersed in good water!

2) You didn't let it steep enough, or it steeped too long. My dear co-worker Kat is always my go-to Tea Guru at work. We talk about everything from Obama to theater, but with tea I am never an equally informed conversationalist. Kat always recommends not steeping green tea more than 4 minutes! That way that light yummy flavor is there, without the bitterness that resembles my old drama club in high school. Leave the bitter for your lemon wedges! Kat would be proud!

3) You just don't like the tea! I am particularly a fan of tea, and I always have been. There are so many different kinds to choose from though, so if you're new to the tea game, just wait! There's plenty more where your first tastes came from!


Non-green-tea-discriminants' favorites:

Tazo China Green Tips

Tazo Green Tea Latte concentrated mix (so easy to make those lattes at home- some almond or soy and you have an inexpensive tea latte at home at a FRACTION of the cost!)

The aforementioned Republic of Tea is quite delicious! Very green-tea-i-fied!

For the people who WANT to like green tea (but just don't!)

Tropical Green Tea- Mighty Leaf Tea Company
I get this tea EVERY time I go to Union Station because it's offered at the Corner Bakery franchise. It's also at certain Jamba Juices too! It's kind of pricey, but if you divide up the cost per bag and the price at retail locations, it's at least 75% less than what you'd pay.

Sidenote: Paying for tea outside of the home will almost always be marked up this much. It's a standard. Don't shoot the messenger (aka fellow baristas who don't want to charge this much for tea!) Make tea in a reusable container and bring it with you!

Tazo Zen tea- Absolutely my go-to tea to relax and have a few sips on a cold day. One of my absolute best friends, Dana, remembered this and got it for me for Christmas! Such a simple gift, but it meant so much that she remembered. It's light and doesn't smell like pot like regular mint tea does after it's been sitting out a while (yuck!). DELICIOUS

Tulsi tea- Pomegranate Green Tea
I got my first taste of this at Chicago Green Festival. The taste is just so unique, and the "Original" flavor mimics an authentic tea my first roommate bought for me at a tea sale on Devon Ave (the Indian "district", if you will, of Chicago). Whole Foods has this tea at least on sale or with coupons. Channel your inner Dutch/Polish lady!

Chamomile: yeah also not my fave....but others LOVE it! :) One of my favorite quotes about chamomile regards an exchange between Mamita and Gaston:

M: Would you like a sweet?
G: No, thank you; but I would love a cup of your chamomile tea.

Then, of course, there's more dialogue about how cozy the life of the poor is....psh oh Gigi!

Tazo Calm tea- hit it up! The lemongrass is wonderful, and the "calm" is no joke. It basically makes you fall asleep!

Tulsi also makes a Honey Chamomile that is a bit sweeter. For those who know me, this is exactly why Chamomile isn't one of my favorites, but if that's your bag, go for it! It smells divine!

Non-Chamomile herbal teas:

Passion/Mambo from Tazo

ANY Rooibos Red Tea....Celestial Seasonings has quite a bit and it's CHEAP! I love steeping a bunch of bags in hot water, letting it cool, adding ice and popping it in the fridge. I finally found a good herbal tea that isn't so lemongrass-y!

I don't do a lot of specifically flavored teas, but this one had me SOARING.
After explaining to my dear friend Kelly that black tea was connected to helping people with diabetes lower and maintain their insulin level, she promptly took this opportunity to help a girl out! I have always loved Argo Tea (born and raised in Chicago- hehe!), but their Mango Mambo
flavor just reminds me of going to Chinatown for their Summer Festival, and using what little cash I had to buy tins of loose leaf tea. Strawberry was a good one, but my favorite was mango! Now I can get it all the time...and in NYC now too!

Hope this extensive list brought you guys closer to some sip-worthy beverages! HAPPY WEEKEND! :)

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