Every morning starts this way…

Ancestry research shows much of my kin came from Ireland. The Irish consume more tea per capita than any other country. Coincidence? I think not.

tea + dog

With only very rare exceptions, I start every day the same way: I get up and stumble to the kitchen with a black dog at my heels. On my way to open the back door for the dog to go out, I click my tea kettle on. (The other dog is lazy and stays in bed ’til later.)

Beyond that, the other particulars of my morning vary. On school days, I immediately start breakfast for the kids. On non-school mornings, I take the opportunity to stare out the window while the water boils, and I wait for my brain to engage. Even on days I’m going for an early run, I still drink tea first. Coffee and I don’t get along well but tea helps me function.

pouring water for hot tea

Much of tea’s wake-up factor for me is related to routine more than caffeine content (much lower than coffee) — but whatever works!

Lately, I’ve been adding a spoonful of collagen protein to my cup each morning, too. I’m totally okay with aging, but I’d like to do it as well as possible. I’m also growing out a pixie ‘do, and trying to speed up the process!

The very first thing I set up in the kitchen when we moved in was my tea cabinet and electric kettle. Priorities, people. Notice a trend in that cabinet? All those look-alike bags? I don’t write many sponsored posts these days but when Adagio emailed to ask if I’d write one, that was a definite yes because I already adore their tea.

Disclaimer: I received tea in exchange for writing this post, but my cabinet has been filled with Adagio Teas for years. Seriously, I just logged into my account to check my order history and I’ve been buying regularly from Adagio since February 2011.

tea cabinet and kettle

There’s not much to say about tea that I haven’t said before; I’m a ridiculous tea geek so I’ve already written about tea and how to brew it; I’ve planned events around it, and even collected pages of quotes about it. But I can tell you why Adagio has been my tea retailer of choice for the past six years.

Why Adagio teas?

1- Great variety.

So many teas to choose from, including sample packs so you can figure out what you like. Wonderful if you’re a newer tea drinker, or if you’re trying to branch out in your tea tastes.

I’m a loose leaf snob, so I stick with that — but many of their most popular teas do have the option to buy bags if you prefer.

2- Good prices, good quality.

I’ve bought grocery store tea and it does NOT taste the same, y’all. I have bought tea from small boutique stores occasionally, and while those have been good quality, the cost is higher. It’s fun to find tea shops when I’m visiting a new town, but it’s not possible, or at least not practical, to buy those online. Adagio has quick shipping, which is free on orders over $49.

If you’re new to tea, ordering $50 of tea sounds like a lot of money — but when you break it down, that’s as little as 10 cents per cup, depending on the tea. Compare that to a Starbucks anything; no contest which is the better deal.

3- Roots Campaign for tea growers.

Whenever I can, I buy fair trade products and food. Adagio believes in working to raise the living and working standards of the growers, too. Read more about how they do this and their “roots campaign” to introduce tea customers to the stories of the tea farmers.

4- Earn points, get tea.

Every time you order, you earn points for each dollar spent. Every time you review one of the teas you’ve ordered, you earn points. Every time you tweet about Adagio, you earn points. You can earn points for sharing on facebook, etc. The fun part: when you’ve earned 100 points, you get a gift certificate for $10. Sweet!

hot tea mug and kettle

Sorry, y’all: no handy link for that handmade mug. I bought it from a ceramic artist at one of our local markets. I adore it. Perfect size, lovely color, and fits nicely in my hand.

My favorite teas:

Every morning I start with black tea, and it has to be one that holds up well to a bit of milk. I never add sugar. My favorites are Black Dragon Pearls for a splurge, and Irish Breakfast Tea, which I buy a pound at a time. Each one will happily make at least two infusions. Another I love but don’t currently have in my cabinet is Rwanda Rukeri.

Later in the day, I usually switch to an oolong or a green tea. My favorite right now is Jade Oolong Tea. My favorite greens are Gen Mai Cha and Sleeping Dragon. All of these tend to be acquired tastes; newer tea drinkers or those who prefer to add sweetener tend to prefer flavored teas or something with floral tones, like a jasmine tea.

Adagio has nice teaware as well, including teapots and more. I use this metal infuser and I love how easy it is to clean. Adagio’s version comes with a mug, available in several colors.

For you:

Want to try Adagio Teas? Leave me a comment requesting a gift certificate and I’ll send you a code you can redeem for $5 towards your order. (It’ll come via email but I promise I won’t use your email for anything else!)

Tea questions? Comment and I’ll do my best to answer. Or just tell me about your love for tea so we can become tea besties!