Lindsay Lane’s Tea Picks

Creativity plays a huge part in my life and always has been; I grew up in an artistic family and it’s something I am very proud of. Both my father ánd my grandfather (from my mother’s side of the family) are -and in my grandfather’s case were- amazing autodidact painters and were mentors to me throughout my creative life, always encouraging me to find my own creative path.

As a child, I visited many art galleries or went to museums where I set eyes on famous paintings from Dutch painters such as van Gogh, Vermeer, Bruegel, Rembrandt, et cetera. In my gut feeling, I knew that art was to be my life’s course. I am simply not made for a 9 to 5 job; I am free-spirited, unconventional and a little bit of a bohemian. However, making a living out of art is almost an art in itself, it is very difficult (Vincent van Gogh comes to mind), but doing what I love most is very important to me.

I started drawing and painting as a very young child and animals were my favorite subject to draw. I spent a lot of time watching my father paint in his atelier; the smell of paint and the soothing brushstrokes of his brushes made me calm and had an almost hypnotizing effect on me. And it still does; whenever I smell oil paint or acrylics I get thrown back 20 years into the past. It is a comforting scent to me.

Wherever I went I always had a little sketchbook and some pencils with me, and, suffice to say, drawing was my favorite lesson in school. I excelled in it and it won me high grades.

Yet, there came a time where, when I was an adolescent, I quit drawing and painting due to some traumatic experiences that happened to me and it simply stopped having a place in my life. I wanted to have nothing to do with it. But once a creative always a creative, I did start to seek out other creative outlets in which I could find some solace and I found it in photography and writing. I worked as a model a little while, but I am now entirely dedicated to spending time behind the camera instead of in front of it.

I absolutely love to venture out into the world and photograph it the way I see it and I do so as often as I can. I always bring with me some vegetarian sandwiches and a thermos bottle of green tea with Jasmine; a favorite of me as of late. Besides green tea being very healthy, it also makes me feel calm. Grounded. Awake. And the scent of Jasmine makes me happy.

What I do is, I travel to a place (preferably nature or old graveyards) and go sit in a quiet spot, drink some tea and become one with my environment whilst scouting for things to photograph, sketch or write a poem about.

I used to be a coffee drinker for a long time, but a few years ago I found coffee to be a little too aggressive for my body. It wrecked havoc on my skin and the jittery feeling I got from coffee started to annoy me a lot.

Slowly I started to detox from coffee (which was tough!) and had green tea instead; I began to notice that I started to look forward to having my cup of daily green tea early in the morning, which was not the case with coffee. I simply consumed coffee to avoid the headaches a caffeïne addiction gives you and to feel instantly awake. I have to say: I feel so much better now without coffee, and green tea actually makes me feel so much more productive, awake and present than coffee did.

In 2015 I finally picked up painting again and I particularly found utter happiness in painting with watercolor paint; something I used to do together with my dad.

I remember the first watercolor painting I made, when I was very little, was a sunflower field in the Provence, which reminded me of summer vacations I spent in France with my family. Unforgettable memories I hold very dearly.

I am an early bird; I like to wake up very early in the morning and think, in all quietness, about my next project. I simply love to spend time at my (oftentimes chaotic) workplace, with all my materials laid out in front of me, a large pot of tea on my 1930s tea warmer, to simply relax and become one with my brushes and paint. Painting and drinking my tea calms me and makes me forget whatever worries I carry with me.

I am also an herbalist and my pantry is stocked with all kinds of herbs I use for tinctures, salves, and teas, et cetera. One of the things I love to do is painting herbs in my herbarium with watercolor paint and at the same time brew and drink tea of the herb I am painting; it makes me feel close to nature, which is what I love.

Of course, as someone who works with watercolor paint, I often make the mistake of dipping my brush in my tea mug instead of the water intended for my brushes. Coming to think of it, I should really get me those two mugs that are on the market that have “Paint water” and “Not Paint Water” printed on them!

Bluebird Tea Company’s Chocolate Digestives

Choc DigestivesTea and biscuits. Now there is a marriage made in heaven so it would have been foolish of me not to grab the new Spring blend from the Bluebird Tea Company. The experts in tea have never let me down so this was going to be exciting. So, I brewed a pot of Chocolate Digestives – it tastes exactly as it says on the tin.

The first thing that hits you is the gorgeous smell of chocolate, a sip of this reveals a lovely biscuity taste and that warm chocolatey goodness – I’m not sure how they do it but it is absolutely exquisite. I tried it with and without milk just to test it out and I did enjoy it both ways. A little drop of milk really brings out that chocolatey taste you get with a good biscuit.

Next to their festive Snowball blend, this is definitely one of my favourite teas. I think they are excellent at making teas for those of us with a sweet tooth. Go and order some right now.

The London Tea Company – Purple Tea

London Tea Company - Purple Tea

Being a visual person I do enjoy beautiful things and one of those involves tea. I love the cups and saucers, I agonise over the colour of  my black tea each morning and what I have discovered that I love more than anything is – the wonderful array of colours that comes from brewing a cuppa.

Purple tea. Now that sounds like a match made in heaven for someone like me who is tea obsessed and calls purple one of her favourite colours.

As soon as that water hits the bag it is like a Jimi Hendrix video, the swirls of purple and deep crimson create this amazing fragrance of Hibiscus. Tea with this particular flower in it is rather tart and has that almost bitter cranberry taste to it; this can be sweetened of course. It is very punchy so I think this would be a great tea for elevenses, to awaken those senses during a busy morning at work.

The London Tea Company have made quite a lovely tea here because you are not only getting the tastiness of the tea but the fragrance is lovely, hitting your senses all in one lovely cup of purple tea.

Shop for it right here

 

 

Katie Doherty’s Tea Picks

 

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Blogger, tea drinker, bibliophile, writer, poet and creative enthusiast. Katie is a published poet, writer and editor. She owns Patchouli Tea where she gets to put her bohemian creativity to use in the form of a blog.



I was given tea from a ridiculously young age, whether that was right or wrong it gave me a thirst for it. Over the years I have tasted so many great blends and so many bad; I think my taste is much more refined these days.

I have a cup of tea as soon as I wake up; this is usually a Yorkshire Tea, it is a strong and tasty brew that helps awaken my senses for the day. Depending on where I am or what I am doing  I will go between drinking various types of teas such as Earl Grey, Assam, Darjeeling, chamomile, peppermint and Earl Grey Crème. I try to keep myself focussed and healthy with the use of herbal teas.

I find the smell of bergamot in Earl Grey very nostalgic. I love writing whilst that scent makes its way up my nostrils and fills the whole room with its endearing perfume.

I am a big fan of black tea and I probably drink more than I should in a day but it does keep me alert and focussed. It is so warming, so flavoursome and comforting – I could never be without it. It is never too far away when I am tapping away on the computer, writing notes in a café or reading a book of an evening. It’s my perfect companion whatever the weather.

Loren Rhoad’s Tea Picks

loren-rhoadsLoren Rhoads is the author of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. Her new book — 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die — will be out in October.

You can find her website here

My day starts with tea. I turn on the computer and the kettle at the same time. Tea helps me wake up gently, brings my brain back to focus during the day, and chills me out in the afternoon. I have a cupboard dedicated to teas that I’ve collected on my travels. There’s nothing better than wandering into a foreign grocery and looking over their selection of tea — or finding a dedicated tea seller on my adventures.

My favourite tea at the moment is Harney & Sons’ Paris, which is blend of black teas, vanilla, strawberry, and orange. It smells wonderful and tastes better.

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Lydia Peever’s Tea Picks

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Lydia Peever is a horror author and journalist from Ontario, Canada. She is a big fan of horror music, books and film–so anywhere there is blood, you will probably find her lurking somewhere in the corner.

Her short stories have appeared in Postscripts To Darkness, Dark Moon Digest, For When The Veil Drops and her small collection, Pray Lied Eve and it’s sequel Pray Lied Eve 2. The follow up to her first novel Nightface has also been written.
In her spare time, she helps update the new releases section of the Horror Writers Association website, photographs zombie walks or bloody punk rock bands, and records a few podcasts.

You can visit her website here



I’m a big tea fan, although it often gets overshadowed by my massive coffee consumption. To tell the truth I’m not one to pick sides, except in the morning I may prefer a coffee, and in the evening tea may sit better.

My darling tea is hands-down Earl Grey. Twinings makes a great one, though the last two boxes I’ve had were from Ahmad Tea. Both really great. There is a boutique roastery in Ottawa named Bridgehead which has some of the best loose leaf Earl Grey I’ve ever had and I often gift it for holidays – the Twinings loose leaf is a runner-up to that.

Rooibos of all kinds is my decaf star, over and above any decaf coffee I’ve ever had. Rooibos is lovely any time of day, the redder the better!

I also love Sunflower brand loose leaf Jasmine Tea. Nothing beats heading into Chinatown for so many varieties of Jasmine!

Not a big fan of dried herbals, but when I have a garden handy, I really like mint, borage, basil, chamomile or whatever you can pick and steep. The exception is Yarrow tea for circulation, and counts as the only real medicinal use of tea I can get behind other than tea being a hot cup of something which is usually always good!

Last year my sister was into Pu’er teas and some of the longer steeping teas, and while I don’t have the patience for that or some of the lovely green blooming teas, I will note those for retirement when I have more time to steep tea!

Commonly, I opt for a black cup of whatever Tetley or Red Rose is around when the coffee or milk is suspect. It’s very rare that I take tea with any milk, sugar, lemon, or anything so it is a frugal bet.

My father has been a tea drinker all of his life and for a short time was into a good Earl Grey. Save that tryst, he’s been an Orange Pekoe guy but the Earl Grey reminds me of him ~ likely because it was an oddity. The bergamot scent even worked its way into my first novel, Nightface, and it’s all because of this tea. I’d have to say I like it for these things and also because even a bad cup of Earl Grey is at least a decent cup of black tea!

The Artist’s Guide To Tea

ceramics-1868492_1280Bookworms, bibliophiles, and creatives I call you forward to proclaim your love for a good book and a cup of tea. Yes, tea and literature go together so well that we cannot think of a time these two didn’t exist together in such a wonderful marriage. That ritual of warming the pot and waiting for the leaves to infuse or maybe you prefer bags? Whatever takes your fancy there is nothing like getting cozy with tea.

‘Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.’ Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas de Quincey

 Oh, Thomas, you got it right there. It is a luxurious and self-indulgent moment when you have lovingly brewed a healing elixir fit for any purpose or for any troubles life throws at us. A stimulant that pushes us gently into the arms of creativity and our daily lives. It is a healer that takes away our aches and pains and helps us drift off when our minds are spinning like a hamster wheel.

There are so many different blends out there today that can help with pretty much every ailment. From digestive problems to insomnia to helping wake you up. If you need a few pick me up teas when you are getting creative then follow my guide:

Wake me up from this slumber, I need to write.

For a long time black tea has been a favourite for anyone waking up in the morning. Some people swear by a cup of tea first thing and there is a good reason. It has been said that black tea helps to keep you more alert and keep your attention on the job in hand. This is a must before sitting down to write in the mornings, as I am more of a night owl.

Favourite: Bluebird’s Great British Cuppa (loose leaf).

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I can’t sleep, I can’t stop thinking about my book

After a long day of creativity it can problematic in the way that your ideas are still buzzing through your head. What do you do? After trying this wonderful tea that is not only tasty but has a wonderful relaxing effect that helps you drift off nicely; you will be excited to float into your dreams.

Favourite: Clipper Organic – Sleep Easy

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I’m Stressed, I have a deadline

During my exams many moons ago, someone once told me to drink chamomile. I tried it but the taste was so bizarre I wasn’t interested yet all these years later – it is one of my favourite teas. I try and drink this whilst working as to ease the stress of my workload; it is incredibly warming and really does help you remain calm during the working day. I recently found it had been blended with vanilla – it is delicious. My favourite so far.

Favourite: Higher Living: Chamomile and vanilla organic tea

No useage without permission.

I need a break (and maybe a slice of cake)

Earl Grey tea has always been a winner for me, I have sipped my way though many cups and nibbled on many pastries too. It was exciting to find a blend called Earl Grey Crème, which includes vanilla. It is like drinking earl grey with the most dreamiest creamy taste. The best one I have tried yet.

Favourite: Bluebird Tea Company’s Earl Grey Crème

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Having only just discovered the wonderful world of Chai, I have been looking at trying out all sorts of different infusions. Having been given an authentic Indian chai awhile back, I fell in love. It is so warming; it makes me feel very cosy and is a wonderful addition to snuggling up under the duvet and reading a good book. India Tea has an array of tea’s I am dying to try.

Favourite: India Tea – Coconut Chai

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Faerie Magazine

Faerie Magazine is a rare creature. It combines intelligent features with some of the most beautiful photography. Far from the realms of silly subculture fashion it brings in every element of beauty and magic in the form of history, home décor, recipes, poetry and fiction. A publication you can certainly lose yourself in, its content imagery is something you can hear, smell and touch; it’s fabulous.

The idea of a magazine dedicated to the faerie culture may sound rather odd and far too whimsical for this cynical world but alas; they have hit on something here. The magazine brings about the oldie worldie, the traditional and the free spirit that can be found in all of us, if we let it. Quietly coaxing out your inner magic; we all have it in there. Whether you want to put on a Victorian tea party, require fashion advice from Oscar Wilde, glimpse into magical homes or learn how to make beautiful jewellery; Faerie Magazine is your bible.

Both printed and digital copies are available here