Tea… I love the stuff… How to give up cow’s milk in your tea. I didn’t think it was possible, but it is.

I have been an avid tea drinker since I was about 10. My parents did not get moving in the morning, until 2 huge mugs of strong black tea with milk back in bed had been consumed, something they continue to this day. I have continued this love affair with tea up until today, with a few short breaks. The biggest one was when I was tourleading between 2002-2005. I drank my black tea with cows milk, but in Thailand, cows milk was not readily available in the cheap guesthouses that we stayed in. The only alternative was yucky Coffeemate. At that time, Coffeemate was bearable in coffee, but tasted hideous in tea, or it did to me in those days so I switched to Nescafe. God…. I could never go back to tourleading.

At all other times, I was a huge tea drinker. I am pretty good in the morning. I get moving pretty quickly, but only if I’ve had a cup of tea. I know it’s caffeine and it would probably better if I didn’t have it, but I just don’t want to give it up.

When I started delving into veganism at the start of 2009, I thought that I would really struggle adjusting to black tea or tea with a non dairy milk. I’m not going to lie. It was tough. It took 3 days of toughing it out to ‘accept’ soy milk in my tea, but now, I have no problem with it at all. There are a few tricks though. Here are my tips to convert to soy milk in tea.

There are many different types of soy milk. I would recommend avoiding the asian soy milks at first, as they taste very distinctive and bizarrely seem to curdle the tea and coffee. I started with Silk soy milk which was the main western soy milk available in Vietnam and found it delicious after a few days. When I realized that Silk was owned by Dean foods, a huge dairy company and that the soy beans were not organic I decided to choose an alternative, of which he have a huge choice in Thailand. Now, we mostly use Westsoy, which is an American company. It uses organic soy beans. While I do not like consuming a non local product, the taste of the local one is not so good in tea. I comfort myself with the fact that the vacuum-packed tetra packs have been sea-freighted over here, rather than airfreighted so while I don’t know the numbers, I am sure the impact is much less than cow’s milk for example. Seb and I have also tried oat, almond and rice milk and I can have them with tea quite happily Incidentally, Seb transitioned to soy milk in his coffee without any difficulties.

So…. Anyway… TEA! I drink about 6 cups of tea a day. I mostly drink black tea, but occasionally drink green tea… Yes.. I know green tea* has more health benefits…but I really like the black tea with milk.

Which teas do I specifically drink? I have just discovered a new tea here in Thailand. It’s called Good Earth, and it is about 250thb for 250 bags. It hasa lot of cool things going for it. It’s certified organic, the teabag is unbleached, it is fair trade certified, GM free and no artificial flavours(a lot of flavoured teas have a synthetic flavour which doesn’t sound that great to me).

Excitingly though, I will hopefully be able to stock up shortly on quite frankly, the most delicious tea. My sister-in-law owns a tea company based out of Whistler called Namasthe. It is the most delicious tea (especially the Earl Grey) and I am looking forward to stocking up on Isabelle’s delicious teas when I go to Canada in 3, count ’em, 3 weeks! 

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*I said I don’t drink much green tea, but I often make a cup in my Libre cup and enjoy in on the boat on my commute to work.

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