My closest childhood friend was Australian, and her “mum” was rarely without a cup of tea when at home. I was surprised to find that even her father drank tea; it had seemed such a feminine treat in our American household. Tea was not only a routine part of my friend’s everyday life, but something of a panacea, too: coming down with a cold? Tea. Upset stomach? Tea. Heartache? Tea. In a rage? Tea. I shared this quote from a movie I watched recently, but it bears repeating here:
“How about a cup of clever tea?”
“Why is it clever?”
“Because it always knows just where to go. If you have a headache, it goes to your head; if you have a stomachache, it goes to your stomach.”
I love my clever tea these days, and it’s not only the taste that soothes — it’s the ritual of boiling water, measuring out loose-leaf tea, and waiting for it to steep and cool. Nowadays, I drink tea after dinner every night and often in the late afternoon, too. As Mr. Magpie put it: “You need a vice right now; tea is it.” (Coffee and wine are obviously out while pregnant.) Because of this, I’ve had occasion to explore the finer points of tea-drinking. Sharing what I’ve found below for those of you heading into “dry January” (that’s a thing now, huh?) and looking for something to look forward to after dinner…
+I use my electric kettle every single day — for coffee in the morning and for my beloved tea the rest of the day. I cannot say enough good things about it. It heats evenly and virtually instantly (tea is ideal when water hits over 210 degrees), and pouring out of that gooseneck spout is strangely delightful. My only gripe with it is that the buttons/controls are a bit confusing to figure out at first. But once you’ve nailed it, it becomes second nature.
+I am drawn to the retro-chic aesthetic of this Smeg Kettle. The Bonavita is utilitarian, but this would be show-stopping if you (like us) need to leave your kettle on the counter. A lovely way way to introduce color to a kitchen. (P.S. — Speaking of introducing color to a kitchen, my Christmas rug for the kitchen has now been marked down to only $10! Buy now and save for next year. It was such a fun way to juju up the kitchen before the holidays.)
+I tend to buy loose leaf teas and I use either this brewing basket (read the reviews!) or disposable filters from David’s Tea. I’ve gone with David’s Tea filters simply out of convenience, as I buy a lot of loose leaf tea from them, but these get good reviews on Amazon.
+My favorite teas are from David’s Tea, Fortnum & Mason, and Harney & Sons. I especially love Harney & Son’s peppermint (so smooth); David’s Tea Mother’s Helper (so comforting), The Big Chill, and Forever Nuts; and any of Fortnum & Mason’s black teas (<<this would be such a good self-care gift), which I drink more sparingly as I am trying to avoid too much caffeine during my pregnancy. Mr. Magpie occasionally has tea with me after dinner, too, and his favorite is one from David’s Tea called Le Digestif (currently sold out, but this looks similar), which is wonderful for calming the stomach after a big meal.
+My mother in law gifted me a bunch of loose leaf teas from Brooklyn-based Bellocq for Christmas and I cannot wait to try them. They came gorgeously packaged; a really solid gift idea for a tea lover.
+I like to drink my tea out of these mugs, but whenever I visit my mom in D.C., I always drink out of her elegant bone china tea mugs from Tiffany (no longer carried, but they are in that signature Tiffany blue, like these, which would be fun for my fellow Manhattanites). I have my eye on these right now (love them in the pale pink), and of course love these and these. Also, can you imagine a cabinet full of these or these?! Or for Christmas — I’d die over these.
+My mom has an incredible sterling silver tea service set similar to this (only hers comes with a huge urn she puts over a sterno flame) that I absolutely adore. You might consider buying a set of these vintage sterling silver spoons to get a touch of that old school British look for less.
+I am addicted to these shortbread cookies, and I especially love them with tea.
+For your mini: how darling is this tea set?! Mini already has two tea sets (which she LOVES and plays with daily nowadays) — this one, which I also gifted my niece for Christmas, and this one, which is so Scandi-chic (I’ve removed the smaller parts for now).
+I think Mr. Magpie needs this. #classic #Kennedystyle
+I’m a pragmatic cook — what about you?
+This is SUCH a fun top for a big night out — I’m thinking a bachelorette party or a trip to Vegas. I like the idea of pairing it with a black skirt or tailored black pants for a fab 80s-esque silhouette.
+These are SUCH great earrings and a great way to get the heart-shaped-earring trend without being too over the top about it, for those of you who weren’t quite as on board with the size of my Alessandra Rich beauties.
+Anyone traveling somewhere warm this spring? I love love love this dress for a vacation.
+Ordered this in the snakeskin print — I think it will work well with my bump but would look just as chic without it! Depending on how long it is, I might wear it with my maternity tights and new favorite booties or black skinnies.
+Dying over this knit shortie for micro.
+This was one of the biggest revelations of 2018.