writing

Tea for Moi?

This year, the holidays bought to me an advent calendar full of tea forte teas. This post tracks my thoughts as I sip each one of these little treats, one for each day leading up to the big day.

Day 1 – Caramel Nougat Black Tea – Sweetened with brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Delicious tea to end the day by the fire…okay, it’s an electric box with a “flame” light pattern…but that’s what works in Florida!

Day 2 – Strawberry Apple Herbal Tea – Sweetened with sugar. Light and crisp, tasted like apple cider with a hint of strawberry. I could see drinking this on a sunny spring day.

Day 3 – Citrus Mint Herbal Tea – Sweetened with sugar. Not for me. The mint tingles the tongue, but the citrus doesn’t shine through.

Day 4 – Cherry Marzipan Green Tea – Sweetened with Sweet-n-Low. (I hear screams of noooooo!?) Prior to today, I have only had green tea in ice cream. Today’s flavor was good, but wouldn’t be a regular for me. It balanced nicely with some sweet treats from Starbucks however.

Day 5 – English Breakfast black tea – Sweetened with brown sugar and a little sweetened condensed milk. This is one of my standard go-tos for tea at breakfast; just as good for after dinner.

Day 6 – Cherry Blossom green tea – sweetened with cane sugar. Light taste and pleasant smell. Still not a fan of green tea though.

Day 7 – Ginger Lemongrass herbal tea – sweetened with cane sugar. The ginger is strong with this one. I enjoyed the first few sips, but the burn of the ginger got to me. Good palate cleanser after a sweet dessert.

Day 8 – Raspberry Ganache black tea – sweetened with brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Dessert in a cup! I enjoyed this with a slice of cheesecake, but to be honest, I could have just enjoyed the tea.

Day 9 – Jasmine Green green tea- sweetened with sugar. I love flowers, don’t get me wrong. I even love jasmine rice. But no, just no. I felt like I was about to inhale a floral bouquet and tasted soap as I brought the cup to my lips. A couple drops made it to my tongue, then I slowly took the cup away. This is not a tea for moi.

Day 10 – Earl Grey – Added a drop of vanilla, brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk to make it into a London Fog. Yes!!! This is almost like my daily tea from another tea company. The bergamot is stronger in this variety, but not to an overpowering state.

Day 11 – Black Currant black tea – sweetened with sugar. Lovely gentle taste of currant. Not tangy, as currants can be. May consider as an occasional tea. Enjoyed with a nice little slice of stollen for the holiday.

Day 12 – Belgian Mint – did not try. I know I do not enjoy mint tea, so I will be passing this pyramid on to one of my tea lovin’ coworkers.

Day 13 – Blueberry Merlot herbal tea – sweetened with sugar. This tea brews to a merlot color. It has a nice berry taste; I wouldn’t equate this to a typical tea, but it is a nice alternative for a fruity drink.

Day 14 – Apricot Amaretto herbal tea – sweetened with sugar and sweetened condensed milk. I want to like this tea, but I don’t. I believe the amaretto flavoring is off a bit.

Day 15 – African Solstice herbal roobios tea – sweetened with sugar. Hints of berries and rose. The rose is not too overwhelming but it is definitely there. I prefer to see and smell fragrant flowers, not really drink them. Good tea if you like that kind of thing.

Day 16 – Winter Chai herbal roobios tea – sweetened with brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk. The winter chai has hints of vanilla..now I know! That’s how I order it at Starbucks! This variety has a bit more spice (ahem, kick) to it.

Day 17 – Green Mango Peach green tea – the journey through teas this season just confirmed for me I do not care for green tea. I really wanted to, but I’m opting to save this for a green tea aficionado at work.

Day 18 – Masala Chai – sweetened with brown sugar, vanilla, and sweetened condensed milk – Chai tea was one of the first teas I enjoyed when I started drinking tea. It is still a favorite way to relax and decompress after a busy day shopping or working!

Day 19 – Sweet Orange Spice black tea – sweetened with honey – holidays in a cup. The cinnamon and clove was bright and fragrant. I’m not a crazy spice girl, but at the holidays, this was a real treat to improve my spirits.

Day 20 – White Ginger Pear white tea – sweetened with sugar – enjoyed the hint of pear, but I can’t get past the ginger….

Day 21 – White Ambrosia white tea – sweetened with sugar. The package says coconut and vanilla…I need to go to a tropical isle where it’s warm and sip on this by the lapping waves on the beach! It’s a gentle tea, pleasant and not overpowering.

Day 22 – Peach Brûlée- sweetened with brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Peaches and Cream…what could be better? It’s peach cobbler in a cup with a hint of tea.

Day 23 – Chamomile Citron – sweetened with brown sugar. Smooth and calming. Nice way to end the evening while wrapping presents.

Day 24 – Harvest Apple Spice herbal tea – sweetened with brown sugar. Smells like a spiced up apple pie as it brewed. Tastes like a warm apple pie…and I love apple pie!!! Great way to finish off my advent calendar of teas.

I hope you enjoyed reading my taste journey. Now the year is coming to a close and new adventures will soon be upon us. Have a wonderful 2023!

writing

Tea Ritual

On a quiet morning, in a small cabin aside a secluded lake, she wakes. Still in her nightgown, she runs her fingers through her hair to straighten it from her slumber. Her short hair is wild from a crazy night. A whisper of sound comes from her feet as she shuffles into the kitchen.

She opens and fills the kettle with fresh water. She sets it down on the burner and turns it on. While it boils, she gathers her supplies to make her wake-up concoction.

  • A tin of loose leaf Earl Grey Crème
  • A tea pot to steep her luscious tea
  • A strainer because no one wants to swallow the leaves
  • A sugar jar full of brown sugar for a bit of sweet
  • A bottle of sweetened condensed milk
  • A teaspoon to measure it all up
  • Teacups for her and her guest

Her teapot serves three to four cups. She opens the tin of tea and raises it to her nose. She inhales and savors the citrus and bergamot flavors. She carefully spoons out 4 teaspoons worth of tea into the strainer, then places the strainer into the teapot.

The kettle begins to boil and whistle. She’s quick to remove it from the stove so it won’t wake her guest. She opens the spout and pours the water over the strainer into the teapot, filling it up until the leaves are freely floating.

She sets a 5-minute timer to let the tea brew on her phone with a quiet chime, and makes her way to a chair facing out the window, looking at the lake. As the tea’s aroma takes over the small kitchenette, her mind wanders off to the wilderness outside. She watches a pair of squirrels running and jumping between the trees. One of her two cats jumps up on the chair across from her and looks out. He starts to make a quiet mewing sound, indicating he spies a bird. She looks in the direction of his eyes and sees a Steller’s Jay standing on the bush, eating small berries.

The chime begins to ring, so she rises and returns to her tea making. She removes the strainer and flips the leaves into the trash, then places the strainer in the sink. She pours the hot brew from the teapot into the two footed mugs and inhales its calming scent once more. She places the teapot back and covers it with a small cozy, then turns to the sugar and sweetened condensed milk.

She spoons in a heaping teaspoon of brown sugar into each cup and gives them each a stir. She then measures a heaping teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk into each cup and stirs until it is almost fully dissolved. Everyone seems to love a little dollop at the bottom of their mug so she doesn’t mix it in entirely.

She disappears down the hall to deliver her morning treat to her guest.