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 and 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.