By Megan Bollen
Teachers will tell you that living on a bell schedule presents its own unique set of challenges. A lot of us find ourselves eating and drinking things we never thought we would (i.e. free coffee and candy) in the school setting. So as a tea drinker, you may need to trail blaze a bit to keep your habits alive and well. Here are some suggestions from my own experience as a classroom teacher that will hopefully inspire you in your efforts.
The Tea Drinker’s Classroom Essentials
- Electric Kettle: If you can afford it, Breville is the best
- A Mug
- A Filter: If you drink loose tea, you will need this and something to rest it on
Another convenient loose tea option is a Tea Tumbler. This is the one I currently use: Lake Missoula
Types of Tea to Drink
Different seasons, times of day and personal preferences are major factors in deciding what types of tea or tisane to drink. But in general, I have 4 categories for tea drinking in schools: Zero Hour Tea, Teaching Tea, VictorTea and Grading Tea.
Zero Hour Tea: This is what I call my early morning tea. I typically prefer something rich, bold and fully oxidized, such as a nice black blend. When it’s cold, I’ll opt for a Masala Chai with Milk. Another fantastic zero hour tea is a simple bowl of whisked Matcha. I personally find it is the best solution for clearing a foggy, morning mind.
Teaching Tea: I am an Oolong girl. This is the tea that in my own experience gives me the most responsive and stable energy with a full and evolving flavor. Because it is partially oxidized, it is neither fully green nor fully black tea, but rather somewhere in the middle. Oolongs also tend to do well with re-steeping so, Oolong all the way!
If you are interested in experimenting with a tea ritual to re-center your day and happen to have a planning period with the time and space for it, consider exploring Gong Fu Cha.
VictorTea: You made it to the end of the day! This is a chance to celebrate. So select a tea you really enjoy. I prefer something caffeine free that is slightly sweet and most importantly – exclusive. Keeping a tea “sacred” by only drinking it as a reward at the end of a long day is a fun and simple ritual you will look forward to.
Grading Tea: For grading it’s nice to have something that not only supports focused mental clarity, but is also resilient in that it can be steeped again and again. That is why Yerba Mate´ makes such a lovely grading companion. Yerba Mate´ comes from a plant called Holly Tree and has a strong grassy, earthy, bitter flavor.
Do you drink mate´ in a Gourd? I found Mate´ Mateo gourds to be extra classroom friendly and easier to clean than traditional gourds.
Caveat: Pay attention to how you feel, what you like and don’t like because everyone is different. Everything in moderation. And you’re not a bad person for drinking coffee… or eating free candy…