As much as I love me a good natural wine or a cool gin-based cocktail, herbal tea is one of my favorite things to drink. In fact, whenever I’m home, you’ll find me holding a mug of tea during most hours of the day. As SWMRS prepares to head to Europe for a brief yet exciting week of shows with both Blink-182 and Green Day, I’m thinking about how to pack the essentials and what extra items deserve vital space in my carry-on. Stashing a ziploc of my favorite teas I can whip out when there’s hot water available isn’t a question. Here’s what I’m bringing on the road (all of which you can order online too):
Makes Me Feel: Like a scholar. Ask me what my favorite drink is and 9 times out of 10 it will be peppermint tea. No other type is so refreshing and calming at the same time.
Best For: An afternoon pick me up. Or easing a headache after Seb has spent hours trying to make your life a living hell in the van. He’s good. Sometimes too good.
Tea: “Baller Status Only”
Where To Find: The Secret Garden, San Luis Obispo, CA
Makes Me Feel: Like a baller, obviously. This was the first loose leaf tea I had ever seen. My sister brought it home when she was in her first year at Cal Poly and I became obsessed. The taste is like nothing I’ve ever had. Sarsaparilla, ginger root, mint, cinnamon…This stuff gives you a boost to go the extra mile.
Best For: Making a comeback. Think Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky series.
Tea: San Francisco Spice
Where To Get: Linnaeas Cafe, San Luis Obispo, CA
Reminds Me Of: Weeknight dates with Michelle during college in SLO, where the evenings always got chilly. We’d each get a cup of SF Spice and then play backgammon or listen to live music in Linneas’ cozy communal space. This tea is very similar to the Market Spice Tea from Seattle’s Pike Place, or Good Earth’s “Sweet and Spicy”. They all have orange, cinnamon, and other warm, bold spices that make you feel like you’re in front of a crackling fireplace.
Best For: Sipping while wearing fuzzy socks, cozy late nights, or VERY early mornings to help kickstart a long day. Now, I like drinking it late at night in my hotel room after a show.
Tea: Genmai-cha (aka “Toasted Rice Tea” or “Brown Rice Tea”)
Reminds Me Of: Mid-morning walks through beautiful cities. On tour, I like to get up a little earlier than the rest of the dudes, and this is the perfect post-breakfast tea for a pleasant stroll.
Best For: People who have a tough time with green tea. Since Genmai-cha is a type of green tea blended with toasted rice, the taste is softer, less bitter, and slightly savory in a way that’s hard to imagine until you try it. So go do your health and taste buds a favor. (Make sure to leave the tea bag in for no more than 6 minutes. Over-steeping will bring out the bitterness of the green tea.)
Tea: Paris Tea from Harney & Sons
Where To Get: Harney & Sons (or Amazon, or Target)
Reminds Me Of: Basking along Canal St. Martin in Paris while savoring the ‘pain chocolat banane’ from Du Pain et Des Idées. (See this moment.) This tea is smooth, silky, and floral in a way that perfectly compliments any baked goods, really. It can transport your mind elsewhere, making it ideal for late night gas station stops in the middle of Iowa (no shade intended).
Best For: Mental vacations. Everyone needs those moments.
Tea: Wild Mint by Dr. Vox
Where To Get: Online
Makes Me Feel: Like a road warrior. This London-based company (co-created by a friend of mine) has designed tea blends specifically for tired voices of those in the music industry – where the founders got there start. This is basically the U.K.’s version of Traditional Medicinal’s Throat Coat available in the U.S. Dr. Vox is gaining quite a following within the music community across the pond, and it’s no wonder why. Every flavor does the trick, but as I mentioned earlier, I’m a major mint tea fan.
Best For: Sore throats during long tours, if you’re Adele performing at the Grammy’s, or if you just had a rough night out.
…What are some of your favorite teas? Share below. Pinky up.