Mom’s Favorite Teas

In my case, it’s true–the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Looking back, I can definitely see how my mom’s love of tea has led to my own passion for it.

Here are Elizabeth’s favorites. If mom is drinking a cup of tea, chances are it’s one of these 3 varieties. I’ll be sipping on these as I write out her Mother’s Day card today. The card is spot on, don’t ya think?

1. Puerh (Ripe) 

Thanks to mom, I became accustomed to this fermented black tea early on. It’s earthy flavor makes it exotic to Western tastes, but for us, it’s familiar and comforting. Mom loves this as a digestive and especially aside a dim sum meal. 

A puck of Puerh makes a luxurious gift. The cake is super hard and compressed, so you’ll want to gift it with a teacake pick. When I visit mom, I often break portions off of the “mother cake” to enjoy later at my own home (I shouldn’t do this, but I don’t think she minds!). Every time I drink Puerh, I’m reminded that mom approves.

2. Genmaicha 

At all times, there is a bright green box of Yamamotoyama’s Genmaicha in my mom’s tea cabinet. This is my mom’s daily go-to tea–toasty, nutty and never harsh. As it was her favorite throughout the years, it also became my first experience in drinking Japanese tea.

Mom often asks me: Bonnie, are there a lot of calories in this tea? It’s so good.

Me: No, Mom, no calories.

Mom: But it tastes like rice. How does it taste so good if it doesn’t have calories?

Me: You’re getting the essence of the rice, not eating the rice itself.

Mom: This is the best, I love it!

It may seem that I’m sharing about Yamamotoyama because I partner with them, but actually, it’s quite the opposite: I work with them because my mom and I love their green teas so much. Nowadays, I’ve had the chance to share the organic, loose-leaf version with her. She enjoys this too, but goes back to the original version like a first love.

3. Dragonwell (a.k.a Long Jing)

My mom’s love of this tea grew exponentially after she visited the tea plantations of Hangzhou in China, the homeland of Long Jing. When steeped correctly, the flat, pointy leaves of Long Jing have a mild sweetness and very little acidity. The finish is almost buttery, the color–a light shade of jade. I remember mom returning from a trip with several tins of the stuff. This was the first time I knowingly drank Long Jing myself.If you’re new to this tea it’s important to know both it’s English and Chinese names. The other day, I called to ask my local Teavana if they carried Long Jing. The store worker quickly answered no. After thinking about it, I called back again a few minutes later and asked for Dragonwell. Poof! Yes, actually, they did have it! Whatever the name, this is classic Chinese tea, definitely one worth trying if you haven’t already.

I’m curious, what are your mom’s favorite teas? Happy Mother Day!!

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Nicole Martin

A wonderful tribute to Elizabeth! My mom drinks more tea than I do but she’s a dedicated tea bag drinker, Red Rose with milk and sugar.

Bonnie Eng

How is it possible that she drinks more tea than you, Nicole?? Fascinating! And Red Rose! I must admit, I’ve never tried it…on my to-drink list now. 😉


I enjoy your postings very much. This one was delightful. DeLoris and her sister my Aunt Deanna introduced me to tea early on at a Chinese restaurant. I was hooked. At home she always had bags of Costant Comment and Lipton for making Iced Tea. My collection and love of loose teas has grown over the years. Mom passed 5 years ago and today I am using her morning pot and dunking a bag for my afternoon sit on the patio to watch my bird feeder. The Hummingbirds have arrived for the season, she would be delighted!

Bonnie Eng

Thank you so much for this message, Lindy. It’s beautiful how you honor mom’s memory by enjoying her favorite tea just the way she did. Tea has such a special way of connecting us, past to present.
I too, am enjoying my garden these days (you’ll hopefully see parts of it in some upcoming posts). I’m all about the bird watching. I bought a 10 pound bag of bird seed for a new feeder this week. Was also thinking about getting the nectar feeder to attract Hummingbirds. I just might have to do that now!
Thanks again for the message…made my day. 🙂


You are most welcome!
Hummingbird nectar recipe. Easy and good for them.
Bring to boil 1 qt. Water. Add 1 cup sugar. Turn down heat, stir for a minute or two and remove from heat. Let it cool then store.
Yes, it’s a basic simple syrup. I keep mine in a canning jar in the fridge and
refresh as needed. Nice to have on hand as a sweetener for Iced Tea.
Enjoy your birds!
Lindy in Holland, Michigan