My name is Liz and I’m a tea-aholic. There: I’ve said it. And I don’t mean to mock AA meetings, just to echo. I probably, in reality, do have a slight problem. I get tetchy if I don’t have regular cuppas, and I have been known to develop a headache if I haven’t had my first cup of the day early enough. In fact, when I was sorting out a logo for Libro, I nearly went for a tea-related image … Anyway, although I’m not at the high level of tea expertise and variety achieved by my colleague Katharine O’Moore Klopf, I do have a large selection of teas in the kitchen cabinet, and I’ve realised that I use different teas for different times, different moods, different kinds of work …

Earl Grey

The LyzzyBee standard. This is my red label or builder’s tea. I start the day with a cup of Earl Grey, it’s my tea of choice when out and about, and when I was working in an office and it seemed a bit silly to stock the whole range, this is what I stuck with. A cup with breakfast and yes, teabags do travel with me to foreign climes, just in case.  I go for the Sainsburys Taste The Difference teabag in general, although I am given other brands and like them too. The Twinings one has apparently recently changed recipe, and there are some interesting variants, for example the lavender and jasmine ones. Stop press: I tried these and didn’t take to them, and had to pass them on to another tea-drinking household!

Lady Grey

A Twinings tea and my favourite for during the day, standard variety. It’s like the Earl, but with more citrus – refreshing on a warm day, cheery on a cold one.


I bought this when I was looking for an alternative to the Lady Grey – it’s another supermarket one, bought when I felt a bit guilty about spending out on tea (I don’t any more). Although it is sold as being light and delicate, I find it more oomphy than Earl Grey, and so it’s useful when I need more of a pick-me-up, or to be dragged through a difficult project.


For some unknown reason, I like to sip a Chai when I’m transcribing. Really, only then in a work context. Why? No idea! I drink it outside work, and tend to manage to avoid the compulsion to type out everything I hear, which is useful.

Spicy Tea

Beloved of Paul Magrs’ Brenda and Effie, my friend Ali got me some Taylors of Harrogate Spicy Christmas Tea leaves the other year and I love it and will be sourcing more. Sometimes it’s nice to go for the tea leaves – and I have a nifty in-cup strainer bought at Whittards so I don’t need to crack out the teapot every time.

Lapsang Souchong

I really, really have to be in the mood for this smoky tea – but when I am I have to have gallons of the stuff. I don’t think I’ve ever combined it with Libro work, though …

Peppermint, spearmint and green tea with jasmine

I have the odd flare-up of IBS and peppermint/ spearmint tea really soothe that. I had the green tea with jasmine in my library office drawer and had forgotten about it. It is, like all jasmine tea, oddly redolent of Savlon, but it is nice and calming. I might look at that for a mid-afternoon cuppa in future.

So there we go. Tea keeps me focused, it gives me exercise going down and up two flights of stairs every time I want a cuppa, and it keeps me hydrated and Libro running. What’s your favourite work tea?