International Tea Day 2020

Today is International Tea Day. A year ago I would not have noticed this event. I became a serious tea drinker six months ago.
Every morning I make a pot of tea (about three cups.) It is usually loose leaf tea. I make a tea latte using a new item of kitchen equipment I received for Mother’s Day. It is a Breville Milk Café Frother. It heats the milk and froths it. There is two disc choices. My favorite disc will froth most of the milk to a thicker froth with peaks like in a cappuccino. The rest of it will be creamy which I love too. This kitchen item is easy to use!
I am not a connoisseur of tea, but I know what I like and don’t like. I’ve tried several different tea brands and I’ll share them with you. I am not an Amazon affiliate, nor am I compensated for the following information.

My favorite loose leaf tea is from The Steeping Room. It’s a business located in Austin, Texas. This link takes you directly to the tea choices: The Steeping Room. I chatted with a representative from this store. They try to buy all organic, as much organic as possible and certified with no agrochemicals. At least this is their goal. The teas are from the following countries: Taiwan, China, India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Africa, and Columbia. They’ve had big tea sales and I asked if this will continue after the COVID-19 restrictions? Yes, but they are unclear as to what extent the sales will be. Businesses are trying hard to maintain during this rough COVID event. I wish them all the best. The teas I’ve tried and love from The Steeping Room, black teas: Golden Monkey, Golden Langur Assam Blend, Ying Hong #9 Black Tea from Guangdong Province, and 2019 Old Tree Feng Qing Black. I have loved all of the teas mentioned from The Steeping Room, and would have a hard time choosing just one as a favorite. My goal is to try all of their black tea choices.

Other loose leaf teas I’ve tried: Taylor’s of Harrogate Yorkshire Gold Loose Leaf Tea. This is a much cheaper tea, but it is not at all in the same league as The Steeping Room‘s teas.
Stash Tea Double Bergamot Earl Grey Loose Leaf Tea. This is a good tea. I’d place it in 3rd place.
Harney & Sons Black Earl Grey Loose Leaf Tea. This is a very good tea. I’d give this second place just under The Steeping Room‘s teas.

If you are interested in becoming a loose leaf tea drinker there are some items you will need.
•A tea kettle. I have an electric tea kettle, but it doesn’t let me set the temperature. I’ve read that a tea kettle with a temperature setting is important. Hopefully in the future I will have one.
•A spoon to specifically measure the loose leaf tea. An average teaspoon, as we know it, does not correctly measure.
•A tea infuser. You can place this in your cup for individual size tea or place it in a tea pot.
The link is a good deal for buying both. Amazon.
I also purchase supplies at Cost Plus World Market. They have a great selection of tea stuff.
An extra item-a cool gadget I have. It will cover your tea cup to keep it warm. Kitchen Tool Tea Bag.
Another choice is to use a tea filter bag (reminds you of a coffee filter.) This will come in handy for using when you have fine tea. You can use this plus the tea infuser to keep particles from being in your tea you will drink. Melitta Loose Tea Filter.
•A tea pot. You don’t have to spend big money to buy a tea pot. I bought my white one at Target for $14.99.

I use a kitchen timer. Black tea should steep about 5 minutes.
I consider making tea an enjoyable morning ritual.


This handsome little man can be found at Cost Plus World Market

Other teas I love-these are bagged teas:
Most of these teas I’ve found in grocery stores. I’ve provided the Amazon link so you can see their pictures.
Pukka Night Time Tea
Clipper Snore and Peace Tea
Twinnings 100% Pure Black Tea, English Breakfast Decaffeinated
Stash Black Tea, English Breakfast
Stash Moroccan Mint Green Tea
Celestial Seasonings Green Tea Matcha
Twinnings Green Tea Jasmine

An honorable mention from Wholefoods Market:
Organic Rooibos Orange Vanilla Crème Tea  

My go to place to learn about tea is at Oh, How Civilized.  You can also find it on Facebook. Twitter.
Other online sources:
Tea House Times 
The Daily Tea
Tea Efficiency
From WebMD: Types of Tea and their health benefits

Did you know YouTube has a channel for tea drinkers? Afternoon Tea Jazz.


The Classics Club

I attempted this challenge several years ago and almost made the goal of reading 50 books in 5 years. Life happened. I’m starting again.
The Classics Club began in 2012. The club’s emphasis is to encourage people to read the classics. If you are interested, this is the link for more information about the club: Club FAQS.

I began reading for this challenge on May 2, 2020. I plan to finish reading the 50 classics by May 2, 2025. This is a living list, not a strict list of books.
*I might change what I’ll be reading.

My Classics list:
1. The Iliad by Homer, a new translation by Caroline Alexander—Read in 2020
2. The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Robert Fagles (reread)
3. The Aeneid by Virgil
4. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
5. Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Major Works 
6. Anne of Green Gables (reread) by L. M. Montgomery
7. Herodotus-The Histories
8. Complete Poetical Works by George Herbert—Read in 2020
9. Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers; The Necessity Nature, and Means of it by John Owen
10. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
11. Eleanor Roosevelt’s book, You Learn by Living
12. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
13. Curious, if True Strange Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell
14. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco
15. Memoir of Jane Austen by James Austen Leigh (a reread)
16. Agatha Christie, an Autobiography
17. The Complete Works of George MacDonald
18. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
19. The Metamorphoses by Ovid
20. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
21. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
22. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
23. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
24. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
25. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (reread)
26. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
27. The Trumpet Major by Thomas Hardy
28. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
29. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
30. Villette by Charlotte Bronte (reread)—Read in 2020
31. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte —Read in 2020
32. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
33. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
34. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
35. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty
36. For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway—Read in 2020
37. Watership Down by Richard Adams
38. The Count of Monte Christo by Alexander Dumas
39. The Brothers Karamazov  by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
40. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
41. Two Years Before The Mast by Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
42. Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
43. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
44. The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare
45. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
46. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
47. Richard III by William Shakespeare
48. Henry V by William Shakespeare
49. Henry VI by William Shakespeare
50. The Tempest by William Shakespeare
51. Gunnar’s Daughter by Sigrid Undset—Read in 2020
52. The Brother’s Grimm by Jacob Grimm—Read in 2020
53. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James—Read in 2020
54. Phantastes by George MacDonald—Read in 2020
55. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston—Read in 2020
56. The Fellowship of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien—Read in 2020
57. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle—Read in 2020



Welcome to those who have joined this book review blog. I’m blown away by your support! And to those who just stumbled on to this blog, I welcome you too.
I read most genres. At this time I’m going through a true crime interest. Soon, I will be reviewing the following true crime books: The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule, Why They Kill by Richard Rhodes. In addition, Idols of the Heart by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker.