Want to have some tea with me? 
Sit outside beside the sea 
Lean back in your comfy chair 
Let the wind flow through your hair 
Feel the sun’s warmth on your skin 
Tell me everything… just begin 
I’m not moving from this place 
Watch the smile on your face 
Let the minutes turn to hours 
Watch the birds and see the flowers 
Cares melt away, you say something funny 
I’m sipping tea with my honey 
~ jet

Coffee drinking came late in the game for me. I was always a tea girl, then took a hard turn to the right for coffee 12 years ago. It feels like I never lived without it because it’s such an integral part of my life. Before I started with almonds or pecans as a meal replacement, I would drink a cup of coffee instead. This was before gluten-free replacements became readily available, which I no longer eat either. If there was a brunch and everybody had donuts or cake, I would drink coffee. With sugar. Now I just do a touch of cream, or black.

Lately, I’m more interested in hot tea again. There’s just something about tea that’s comforting, relaxing and soothing. And drinking tea has many health benefits. As much as I LOVE Lipton for my unsweetened iced tea, the varieties of teas and flavors available are plentiful. Anything orange or tangerine is at the top of my list, but I’m wanting something new to try and decided to ask around among my crew to hear their favorites. Here’s what I discovered:

• John loves Jasmine and Rooibos. 
• Shannon’s favorite is Tetley. Her moms, too. 
• Doug loves Blueberry Pomegranate (from Duane Reed) and Thai tea—where the cream is poured over the top and it’s like art in a glass. He also has a soft spot for Lipton
• Mark loves Raspberry Zinger, but we do love our morning coffee together. 
• My sister loves Chamomile
• Kristen loves Rooibos tea, too… and a blend from her local Spice Merchants called Sleepy Superior made from Chamomile, raspberry leaves and peppermint, and is good for nighttime relaxation.

tea gluten free sage barley celiac disease

One of my best friends thinks tea is the best deal around because a tea bag costs about 2 cents. “How can you beat that?” And it’s a refreshing diet drink—without the diet drink additives.

For cocktail hour, a great combination is whisky and tea. There are some great experts in this field—and I’m not one of them. But I do know Lipton and Woodford Reserve blend well together, and have some friends who agree. Once combined, pour into an Old Fashioned glass over ice and let it rest a bit before you imbibe.

You’d probably guess all tea is gluten free, but unfortunately it’s not. I found out the hard way. Herbal teas and tea blends may contain barley which is a gluten-containing grain or have ingredients that could be contaminated with gluten. And presweetened teas often contain barley malt to give it a sweet taste.

You have to be so careful when you’re not in your usual environment where you know your brands. There could be a day you’re out and about, thirsty, and craving that cold tea. You might drink a whole glass or cup! If it contains barley, you’ll really get hit with the negative effects because it’s gets into your system so quickly. Japanese teas especially should be checked for barley and gluten. Always.