You Can’t Spell STEAM without TEA

Teaching STEAM requires that I learn every day. Somedays, I need to be smarter than I really am. Long ago, I learned that these demanding brain moments can be eased with the right amount of caffeine. Looking for the right amount of caffeine has lead me on a tour of so many delicious sources.

At schools, the communal coffee urn has been retired for a couple of K-cup machines and a water filtering machine. We chat about weekends as we fill our water bottles and thermal mugs. While some love a cozy cuppa just for the warm and favor, I rely on a kick from caffeine start to the cerebellum.

While my daily habit is very coffee-focused, I enjoy good tea. To do it right you need a warmed teapot and some time- I still haven’t gotten on board with the tea from a K-cup experience.

The Best Teas for STEAM Teachers

Chai, not a sugar-based mix, but black tea with spices.

I have had some amazing Chai. It was always made by a person in a non-commercial setting. Once it was in a bookstore, but the Chai wasn’t for sale. If there were people in my life that made this tea I would drink it all the time.

Hot Tea, Samovar Blend.

This is a dark and smoky tea it is very aromatic. It was the first tea I thought of for this list and I haven’t had it for 20 years. I remember it as smoke and oranges and it got me through winter literature classes in central Illinois.

Hot Tea, Green.

Most of the tea I drink is green, it comes in really big boxes. I stash the tea bags in several locations in my class. There is a main tea location, and then a second bunch in the supply closet, and the small group in the workbench drawer with the saws and lollipops.

Iced Tea, Unsweetened Unflavored.

The downside to iced tea is the sheer volume of tea needed to really get my brain going. Working in a classroom, you have to plan a lot of things that most people don’t plan. Drinking Iced Tea feels incautious, daring the universe. I usually only drink this as a soda replacement. My logic is that since I am not drinking the hundreds of calories of sugar water I should drink twice that volume of iced tea. It is mostly melted ice anyway.

That’s it. I am tapped out of tea, is that possible?  I guess I could try some more. I didn’t mention gunpowder tea, but I never really liked it. It was a good tea to serve for an event where everyone wants to talk about the strong grassy odor of the tea, but it never became a beverage of choice. There are other teas I drink, but not often.  I avoid flavored teas, as well as sweetened teas. The sugar doesn’t do much for my brain so who needs it?

These days it seems my main requirement is that whatever I am drinking needs caffeine and it needs to be drinkable at room temperature because I always get busy and lose track of the cup.

Who has some solid tea recommendations for me?


About the author, Sam

Sam is Makerspace coordinator at Echo Horizon School, the nicest little school on Los Angeles' West Side. In the classroom since '02 Sam has taught grades PreK-12. Every lesson is a writing lesson.

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