Spending as much time as I did in NYC, I became a coffee junkie. However, one day I started to opt for tea, and I started really loving the difference. Not only did I feel like I still had my morning routine, but I also felt that it was just a bit more, je ne sais quoi, sophisticated! Very good feeling for a Southern gal from Arkansas who was now in the Big Apple!

Drinking tea is not only delicious and comforting to me, but it also has so many amazing health benefits. This should be no surprise to you, of course, being so familiar with the healthy lifestyle and all!

Just to name a few of these benefits, tea is calorie-free – that's right! So, drink up until your heart's content! It also helps boost your immune system, helping you ward off illness. Then, for some of us who may be fighting an age-related lowering metabolism (ugh!), teas will actually help you increase your metabolism, not to mention even, more importantly, will help reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke! And, especially for the ladies, that's extremely important!

There are so many different varieties of tea from around the world including black, green, oolongs and herbals, and they each have great and unique qualities. It’s all about choice – and sampling many teas until you find your favorites!

Some of the amazing teas that I've had come from Harney & Son’s Tea, which was founded 30-years ago in the basement of John Harney's home in Salisbury, Connecticut. His passion for tea helped create this small home-run business, which is now a global operation headquartered in Millerton, New York. This wonderful company, also known as one of the largest employers in Hudson Valley, is still family-owned and managed by the next two generations! From its original six teas to now more than 300 varieties, this company sources, blends, and packages all of their own teas! You'll find Harney & Sons served at some of the most prestigious hotels and restaurants around the world. Their entire range of loose teas, sachets and tea bags is available at Harney.com. You'll find their popular HT Collection at Target.

Don't forget, you can add natural ingredients to your tea, just as I used to 'doctor up' my coffee! This is not only to help add a great taste, but also to customize ingredients to help ward off some health problems. Some of the items I like to add include ginger, lemon, honey, mint leaves, and so many other naturally tasty options! (You may enjoy reading the benefits of these ingredients as well in our A-Z Farm Food Guide!)

A few teas that I think are quite special:

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Amba Ceylon Tea (Sri Lanka)

Amba Ceylon is prized because of its unique depth of flavor. It is far more superior to most Ceylon teas due to this flavor, which is a pleasant chocolate-sweet aroma and taste, and it also has a beautiful amber color. A group of remarkable women carefully craft this tea by hand in small batches high in the mountains of Sri Lanka. Made with such care, Amba Ceylon has a sweet, smooth and satisfying quality that will make you beg for tea time.

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Organic Breakfast Tea (India)

The Organic Breakfast Tea is one of the most common black teas known. It is popular iced or hot, and is often enjoyed with organic milk, raw sugar, and lemon. This medium-bodied blend of tea has light malty notes with hints of citrus that make the flavor smooth and not overpowering. It’s a delicious way to start your day and put it all on the right track!

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Organic Earl Grey (Southern India)

Harney’s Earl Grey is a caffeinated traditional blend of black teas. The aroma of this tea is light and subtle, which allows the strong flavors of lemon to be known. Unlike most Earl Grey teas, this one is not full-bodied like the others, but is a medium-bodied black tea. In fact, Earl Grey is such a delicious blend that Harney and Sons' offers eight different versions!

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Organic Green with Citrus & Gingko (Southern India)

You'll feel extra-healthy with this organic tea! This light-bodied green tea blend is one of Harney and Son’s first certified Organic teas! It has a citrus aroma with a trace of ginkgo that brings some earthiness to your cup. This unique blend also has hints of lemongrass and citrus peels, all of which give it a nice bright taste.

With all that info, you're now well-steeped in tea talk! Now it's time to enjoy some. Toodles!


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