Skeet Shares
stuff I find interesting
Monday, January 29, 2007

I gave teapots to both of my closest friends last year for their birthdays. I selected three teas that I thought each would enjoy and added some pretty but rather bland cookies that wouldn't interfer with the taste and aroma of the teas. Their little gourmet baskets were lovely, even if I do say so myself. For Grace's basket, I had to buy the tea and cookies twice. I was sick the week of her birthday and had to postpone our lunch. I drank her teas that week, and bought fresh ones for her when I knew we would be getting together. Stale tea would have been a terrible insult.

We've been going to the theatre and having lunches together on a regular basis for quite a while. When we go to the theatre, we always try to make a day of it. We have lunch and then stroll through Chinatown. Sometimes we buy little trinkets or pricey imports, but our favorite stops are in the tea shops and herbalists. We buy tiny little packets of different teas. When one of us finds one we especially like, we buy it again and again. When we see something unusual, we have to buy that and sample, of course. It's become almost a ritual with us. The only problem is finding a favorite when we go for a return trip. The varieties available are always limited and some make only one appearance in the shops. I've never trusted buying teas online because of the freshness factor.

We won't be giving up Chinatown strolls, but I've found a new source for the teas we enjoy. Grand Tea Stand ships all of their teas in air-tight metal containers. If it weren't for that I would not have given their site a scond look, because stale, dried-out teas are not worth bothering with.

Shopping with them will also solve the problem of finding favorite varieties on a consistent basis, and their wide selection means I can taste and sample to my heart's delight. My own preference is for flavored teas, with subtle hints of fruitiness that don't overpower the taste of the tea itself. I'm especially looking forward to trying their Forest Berries and almond blends. I know that Grace enjoys the more traditional Green Teas, and Grand Tea Stand has a number of varieties to choose from. Jane, the third member of our group, prefers tisane, herbal teas that can be completely caffeine-free. Finding the perfect gifts won't be a problem this year, because I know now where I can find their favorite teas, fresh and at very reasonable prices.

I was really pleased when Grand Tea Stand offered to sponsor this post and I discovered that it is possible to get fresh teas in many varieties online. I'm looking forward to my first order!

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