Friday, February 12, 2010

For the Love of Hot Tea

Just thinking of a steaming cup of hot tea makes me cheerful. The aroma of fruity and sweet notes is enough to calm my wildest of moods. Many of us bond over a cup of something warm and when it isn't coffee, it is usually tea.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, tea has been a tradition in my family. While my family does not descend from the UK, we still engage in sharing hot tea during family a
nd social gatherings (maybe tea is an Italian thing too?). Even as a child, before my Mom let me have coffee, I was allowed to have tea. I would sit and drink tea and chat with her, my grandma, and my aunts. Drinking tea happened during some of my fondest memories with family. Even now when I visit my parents, the evening ends with a cup of tea and conversation. The same tends to happen when we visit John's family as well.

I have always been fascinated with different combinations of tea. Some people solely prefer the plain black, greens, herbals, or whites. I tend to like them all and even fusing several flavors together. I like earl grey, lady grey, jasmine, green, chai, white, herbal, fruity, and so on. Like I said, I like them all. I rarely sip a tea that I dislike. If asked, I would probably tell you that I am a coffee person, but I also think I am a closeted tea fanatic.

Lately, I have gotten the urge to make my own tea. I am inspired by the different herbs, flowers, and leaves that I come across. I find myself often thinking "that would make a great tea." So, recently when I was feeling a bit under the weather I decided to embark on a tea experiment.

We had recently received organic oranges that still had leaves. I cut off the leaves and washed them. While the leaves were drying, I located a half inch of ginger root, powdered stevia, and whole cloves. I put the kettle on and waited for the water to almost boil. I had recently heard to make a good cup of tea, the water should be poured over the leaves before it begins to boil.

Once I got my water to temperature, I poured it into our french press. Immediately, I could smell the aroma of the ingredients mingling together. I had to waited for the tea to steep. I tried to wait the full five minutes for it to steep as I have read one should with an herbal tea. As I waited, I noticed the water change to a yellowish orange color.

As I sipped the tea, I knew I had found a perfect combination. It was heavenly and this cup was all mine. I shared the rest of the pot with John, and he also gave the flavor rave reviews.

I cannot wait to plunge into my next cup of homemade tea. Now, if only it were spring so that I could use some of my herbs.


Diana said...

I never knew you could drink orange leaves. Neat!

Dilip said...

That's neat! We always have lots of rosemary that you're welcome to. Thanks for sharing.

affectioknit said...

Oh - I love tea - that sounds lovely!