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Continuing Adventures in Tea

Sometime in May, I started thinking that drinking tea at home would be so much easier if I had an electric tea kettle. At work we have hot water spigots both on the coffee machine and the water cooler, so making a hot drink is quick and easy whenever you’d like. But at home I find that if I have to wait five to ten minutes just for the water to heat up, let alone the added time for the tea to steep, I’m probably going to just grab a can of pop instead.

Because I’m at least trying to do a few small things that are healthier, I began investigating my options in electric kettles. It turns out that there are models out there where you can choose different heat settings, perfect for steeping different types of tea at the various temperatures they’re best at. I ended up choosing the Upton Tea Imports Variable Temperature Electric Kettle, which my parents agreed to order for my birthday. However, my mom only got around to ordering it a few days beforehand, and my birthday fell on a Saturday to boot, so I figured I wouldn’t be seeing it for a while. To my surprise, it had shown up in time after all, taking at most four days. I made a cup of Scarlet Cloud white tea to enjoy in the sunroom that morning, and it really did taste better steeped at a lower temperature.

I was so impressed by the shipping speed from Upton Tea Imports, that I decided to put in a small order that following Monday to see how their tea is. I ended up selecting Season’s Pick Earl Grey Crème Vanilla, Assam Zaloni Estate TGFOP, and a few handy clips that make using loose leaf filter bags so much easier. The first pleasant surprise was that all of this arrived in a mere two days for the same $4 standard shipping cost, even though the total order was only about $17. The second very pleasant surprise was just how much tea I received. I hadn’t considered at all how much tea 125 or 250 grams was going to be (if you’re supposed to learn conversions at some point in school, this is probably the greatest failing of my education). I’m used to buying by the ounce at Teavana, and figured that if the prices were comparable, $4.20 for 125 grams of the Assam would probably be about two ounces, and $5.40 for 250 grams of the Earl Grey would be about four ounces (though this one in particular would still be a really good price compared to Teavana). It turns out that 125 grams is nearly 4.5 ounces. This tea is seriously going to last me a while.

And I liked how they tasted so much and found the prices so agreeable that I put in another order on Thursday (I swear, this will be it for a while), and am hoping it will arrive today or tomorrow. It will contain Mélange de Chamonix, New England Harvest Blend, Summer Blend, Scottish Breakfast Blend, a strainer (I’m experimenting with making iced tea from some of my loose leaf teas with the Bodum Ceylon Ice Tea Jug, but having trouble with some tea bits creeping their way into the tea, which I’m not finding appetizing), and an Upton Team Imports mug. Because I need another mug, right?

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