I learned a few days ago that January is known as National Hot Tea Month! And let me just tell you, there are few things I love more than a hot cup of tea and a good book, or as in tonight’s case, a new episode of Downton Abbey.
Ever since I lived with my good friend, Molly, I’ve been hooked on hot tea. In fact, it’s become a crucial part of my everyday routine and one that I look forward to and is comforting for me.
There are hundreds of different types of teas. Black, Green, Herbal, Oolong, White, Chai, Red, caffeinated, decaffeinated, loose leaf…you get my point. Some like milk in their tea, some like cream. Some like sugar, some like honey. Then there are people like my mother-in-law that puts it all in no matter the tea, and if you have vanilla, that will go in too! Haha! Really I think it’s whatever tastes right to you. Some like it absolutely pure, without any additives. As a general rule of thumb for myself, I don’t put milk or cream in my herbal or green teas.
This is my sweet little vintage elephant creamer I got from my mother-in-law. Isn’t it precious?
As you can tell from my pictures, I prefer Twinings Tea of London. I also like Harney & Sons, but it’s a little more expensive, and hard to find, so if I order it, it’s usually for a special tea or as a gift.
Every morning when I wake up, I can’t get my tea water going fast enough! I have a coffee maker (for my husband) that also has a hot water hookup as well. Before we got that, I just used a good ‘ol tea kettle on the stove. It’s best to use filtered water when you’re making hot tea. In the mornings I drink Twining’s Irish Breakfast. It’s a black tea that has a nice crisp flavor. I steep one teabag for about 5 minutes (I like mine fairly strong, if you don’t, I’d only leave it about 3 minutes). Then I take out the tea bag and add creamer or half & half, and one packet of Stevia.
I love to watch the creamer swirl in with the dark tea, it takes on a beautiful creamy tan color. My favorite creamers to use are Coffee Mates Sweet Cream or International Delights Cold Stone creamer. YUM! If I’m wanting something not quite as sweet, I use Land O’Lakes half & half.
When I’m home on the weekend and I know I’m going to have more than one cup, I like to use one of my tea pots. I’ve been collecting teapots and tea cups for the last few years. I also like to use loose leaf tea. I have several different cute infusers that have been given to me by my sister. It takes a little extra time to do loose leaf, and sometimes the leaves slip into the tea, unlike when using a teabag, but it’s fun just to do it as it was traditionally started.
I feel like there are so many things I could continue talking about with tea. I just love the ritual of it, the comfort of making a nice cup of tea, sitting down to a good book and just stealing a few minutes away to myself. When I’m stressed, a nice cup of tea will ease my tension.
To wrap it up, every evening my husband and I have a cup of Twining’s Nightly Calm green & camomile tea. We only let it steep for about 2-3 minutes, or it gets pretty bitter. Then we add at least a spoon full of honey, stir it around and enjoy. I look forward to tea time every night!
Just remember, anytime is tea time!