Tea Time by Gaya

For years, I was a coffee girl. If we were going to go on a date, well ...it best include a stop at a coffee shop and a cup of caffe. I used love going to those small "Mom and Pop" coffee shops with bookshelves lined with Fitzgerald and Hemingway and the aroma of a fresh brew.  My favorites were Cinnamon, Hazelnut, and Vanilla Nut.

In fact, I wrote about my love for coffee in an article I did for the Italian-American Newspaper L'italoamericano down below. Having spent several years in Italy, I became obsessed with coffee. L'espresso and cappuccino...no matter how broke I was as a student, I had to treat myself to at least a few a week. Just walking into the Italian bar, ordering an espresso along a sprinkle of "zucchero" and I felt my entire being recharge. 

When I moved back to the states, I kept up my coffee habit. My boyfriend Marco back then would often tease me about "Caffe Americano" and said it was like "water"...But I introduced him to it and he, someone who grew up on Italian coffee, liked it and actually bought a small coffee pot to Italy,  and made American coffee in the morning. Of course, he loved his Italian coffee but he liked having coffee that was a little weaker first thing in the morning. 

Still today, I feel I write better with a cup of coffee by my side. It is my best companion. In the past, I probably would have five to six cups a day. Easy. In
fact, I realized I was pregnant when I woke up one day and told my husband that I didn't want any coffee. He looked at me, and then at my tummy and we both knew.

I still love my coffee. If you offer me a cup of Joe, I'dgladly take it. But tea has become a fixture in my daily diet.

I began to drink more tea as I read about its healing, high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. As someone who lives with a chronic condition, I am always trying to help nourish my body with healthy foods and drinks. 

Tea has had a long and fascinating history  Though the official date and history of tea is somewhat murky....it is believed that the historical roots of tea dates back as far 206 BC when tea containers were found in tombs of the Han dynasty.

Tea has always been a staple in my life.  My Asian-American parents who are from Hawaii always served tea growing up. My mom placed a pot of water on the stove and infused it with Japanese Popcorn Green Tea or Genmaicha.  Together, after dinner, we would sip it with my sisters and my mom and talk about the day.

Whenever I was sick, my mom would make me Chazuke, which is a Japanese dish made with cooked Japanese rice and green tea. She added salt and sometimes served it with ginger, or Tsukemono (preserved vegetables). I always felt better. 

Here are two of my favorite teas: 

Yamamotoyama Genmai Cha Green Tea with Roasted Brown Rice (been drinking this for years.) 

Yamamotoyama Jasmine Tea I have found it to be a challenge to find just plain Jasmine tea. Usually it is combined with other flavors.  I love this one 

Every day, I drink hot tea and then at night I usually go for a decaffeinated tea-it keeps me hydrated and soothes my soul...happy drinking. 

Story about Italian Coffee courtesy of www.italoamericano.org :