Monday, October 4, 2010
Cooler weather and tea time
Yesterday (and this morning) I woke up to cooler weather and I was so thrilled because of my favorite cool weather treat, hot tea. Even though I drink some hot tea in the summer, it is just not as important as in the fall and winter. When the weather is cool, it is like a reward I give myself, usually midmorning, afternoon and at night. Tea has some health benefits so I feel like I am giving myself a healthy treat.
I know that iced tea is a southern favorite, and I love it, too, but I think one of the reasons southerners don't appreciate hot tea as much is because of orange pekoe tea. Orange pekoe is great for sweet cold tea but there are a world of teas out there and it is hard to imagine not liking one variety or another, hot, if you tried enough of them.
Since I am not a tea expert, I will not even try to give a lesson about the varieties of tea, but I will tell you the teas I really love.
In the morning I love a green tea, usually double green, green gunpowder or green ginger. I'm not as fond of mint varieties. I usually use a few drops of stevia. Sugar is a favorite but I have given it up for health reasons and I like stevia better than other sweeteners.
My favorite afternoon teas are usually Assam varieties. They are bolder black teas and have a strong flavor. I usually use a bit of milk or soy milk and of course, stevia. I like Earl Grey, too, but usually with a bit of milk and sweetener.
For anytime teas, my favorite is usually an herbal tea like Passion by Tazo. I also like red teas, also herbal, and if I am having trouble sleeping I often drink a cup of chamomile tea -- very calming.
My husband will sometimes share a cup of tea with me and he loves chais, especially India Spice Chai by Constant Comment.
Tomorrow, in honor of cooler weather and the season of tea drinking I will begin a give away of cookbook called, "Second Round: Tea-time at the Masters." It's not a TEA cookbook but I think the name is only semi-appropriate, since the Masters is a spring event. I think the cookbook is worth it, anyway.