Tea Time

• 01 March 2008

I love the tradition of participating of "afternoon tea". I've enjoyed it with my sisters and with good friends alike. It doesn't matter if the location of choice is a fancy hotel or a hole in the wall--we always have a splendid time together. Here are a few places worth trying:

* St. Regis Hotel (NYC)
* Wild Lily Tea Room (NYC-Chelsea)
* Protea Cottage, Gardner Village (West Jordan, UT)
* Grand America Hotel (SLC)

(still looking for a great tea room in San Francisco. I've struck out so far--any suggestions?)

Since going to afternoon tea doesn't happen as often as I'd like, I often find myself enjoying this lovely ritual with a few of my tea-loving-neighbors late in the evening. Here are a few caffeine-free favorites to try:

1. Stash--this label offers a generous selection of herbal teas. My favorites include Mango Passionfruit and Licorice Spice.

2. Aveda--they offer organic, caffeine-free "Comforting" tea in bags or loose tea. It is more cost-effective to buy the loose tea but you'll have to own a few extra supplies. A salon in Seattle my sister and I visited offered us a cup of this tea on a cold, rainy Seattle day. We were sold at the first sip. You can find this tea at any salon carrying the full Aveda line or online here.

Locally I've found excellent loose tea at Belle Maison--a little shop attached to Holladay's Boulevard restaurant. I've also noticed Tea Grotto in Sugar House and am interested in stopping by to see if they have a decent herbal tea selection.

If you are interested in making a homemade herbal tea, this one looks delicious. It looks so easy to make, which is always nice!

Combine 4 cups of water, 2 ounces of thinly sliced ginger, 5 whole cloves, and the juice of 1 lemon in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Strain, and serve with honey or sugar.

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