Saturday Morning Tea

Rooibos Chai Dry 07-19-14

Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s good to be back sharing my love of tea with you!

It’s a steamy morning here in New England with temps forecasted to tower into the 90s today. It’s the perfect weather for a frosty glass of iced tea. A couple of years ago, I shared my iced Chai latte recipe with you and here it is again, for your enjoyment. If you’re experiencing the same heat wave, stay cool!

One of our favorite activities for a lazy afternoon when I’m visiting my family in Michigan is to go to the bookstore and browse the stacks, my parents with their decaf Cafe Mocha and me with my Chai Latte (5 pumps!), iced in the summer and hot in the winter. As you probably know from reading my tea posts over the years, my tea preferences tend to be straight tea leaves rather than the flavored kind but there’s just something about the combination of the spices in Chai that I find yummy and comforting. So, why limit my Chai enjoyment to the occasional trek to the bookstore or cafe when I can make my own right at home?

Rooibos Chai Steep 07-19-14

As I like to drink my iced Chai latte in the evenings as well, I’m using Rooibos Chai as my “tea” choice. In this selection, cardamom, citrus peels, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, star-anise, and cloves have been mixed in with the Rooibos. I started my iced Chai journey last night by adding one tablespoon of Chai to 8 ounces of cold spring water. To make my measuring easier, I mixed my ingredients in a small Pyrex measuring cup. I placed the measuring cup in the fridge and then removed it this morning when I was ready to create my latte. You want to steep your tea leaves in cold water for at least 6 hours and then strain into your favorite glass.

Rooibos Chai Strain 07-19-14

In talking to an Indian gentleman I used to work with, Masala (“mixture of spices”) Chai (Hindi word for tea) is traditionally made in a big pot on the family stove, simmering an assortment of aromatic spices on hand with black tea leaves and buffalo milk. With cardamom usually being the primary spice, Masala Chai can also contain cinnamon, cloves, ginger, peppercorn, star anise and nutmeg. As chai, or tea, has been historically considered a medicinal beverage in India, the addition of warming Ayurvedic spices adds to its healing properties.

Rooibos Chai Milk Agave 07-19-14

I like to add milk, agave nectar and ice to my Chai. How about you?

Rooibos Chai Glass 07-19-14

Mmmm, so refreshing!

I hope that you’re cooling off during these hot, hazy summer days with an iced cuppa.

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”   ~John Keats

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Saturday Morning Tea

Rooibos Chai Dry 07-19-14

Good morning, dear tea friends! This afternoon I’m flying out to Michigan to visit my family for 2 weeks. One of our favorite activities for a lazy afternoon is to go to the bookstore and browse the stacks, my parents with their decaf Cafe Mocha and me with my Chai Latte (5 pumps!), iced in the summer and hot in the winter. As you probably know from reading my tea posts over the years, my tea preferences tend to be straight tea leaves rather than the flavored kind but there’s just something about the combination of the spices in Chai that I find yummy and comforting. So, why limit my Chai enjoyment to the occasional trek to the bookstore or cafe when I can make my own right at home?

Rooibos Chai Steep 07-19-14

As I like to drink my iced Chai latte in the evenings as well, I’m using Rooibos Chai as my “tea” choice. In this selection, cardamom, citrus peels, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, star-anise, and cloves have been mixed in with the Rooibos. I started my iced Chai journey last night by adding one tablespoon of Chai to 8 ounces of cold spring water. To make my measuring easier, I mixed my ingredients in a small Pyrex measuring cup. I placed the measuring cup in the fridge and then removed it this morning when I was ready to create my latte. You want to steep your tea leaves in cold water for at least 6 hours and then strain into your favorite glass.

Rooibos Chai Strain 07-19-14

In talking to an Indian gentleman I used to work with, Masala (“mixture of spices”) Chai (Hindi word for tea) is traditionally made in a big pot on the family stove, simmering an assortment of aromatic spices on hand with black tea leaves and buffalo milk. With cardamom usually being the primary spice, Masala Chai can also contain cinnamon, cloves, ginger, peppercorn, star anise and nutmeg. As chai, or tea, has been historically considered a medicinal beverage in India, the addition of warming Ayurvedic spices adds to its healing properties.

Rooibos Chai Milk Agave 07-19-14

I like to add milk, agave nectar and ice to my Chai. How about you?

Rooibos Chai Glass 07-19-14

Mmmm, so refreshing!

I hope that you’re cooling off during these hot, hazy summer days with an iced cuppa. See you in 3 weeks!

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”   ~John Keats

 

Saturday Morning Tea

Iced-TeaDry062709

It’s that time of year again. The official start of summer, a time we New Englanders cherish and dream about when the frigid winter winds are howling outside. One of my favorite summertime treats is a glass of frosty cold iced tea. So, to kick off this holiday weekend and the start of summer, I’m resurrecting my post on how to prepare iced tea for you all to enjoy.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, dear tea friends!

IcedTeaPrep062709

I make iced tea with the “cold brew” method. It’s so easy to make iced tea this way. Gather up your supplies either in the morning before work or in the evening before bedtime. This will give the leaves sufficient time to steep either all day or all night.

You’ll need a container, a tablespoon and some tea leaves. For my iced tea, I use a glass pitcher I purchased at Target and some organic green South African Rooibos. I’ve written about this herbal before here and here.

IcedTeaPrep2062709

Spoon your tea leaves into your pitcher, using one tablespoon for every 6-8 ounces of water. Next, pour your water into your pitcher. I recommend either bottled spring water or filtered tap water. Hard water can definitely affect the taste of your tea.

IcedTeaSteep062709

Now all you have to do is place your container in the fridge. That night or the next day, strain the tea into another container to remove the leaves. I use a large Pyrex measuring cup to strain my tea into. Then I clean the leaves out of my pitcher and pour the tea back into it. You can also use an infuser or tea filter papers to put your loose leaves into, making cleanup easier.

IcedTeaGlass062709

There are so many variations with iced tea creation. You can put lemon or orange slices in either while the tea is steeping or after you strain it. Or, you can fill your glass halfway with iced tea and then pour some flavored seltzer water in for a fizzy iced tea. The possibilities are endless!

IcedTeablueberries062709

I’m enjoying my iced tea plain with ice and a bowl of fresh blueberries on plain yogurt. Mmmmm…. I’ve been exploring ways in which I can remove sugar from my diet because I believe there is just way too much of it in the food we buy. Even my Stonyfield Farm yogurt cup, while it’s very delicious and organic, has sugar added to it. So, I’m now buying plain yogurt and mixing it with fresh fruit, depending on what’s in season.

Whatever your plans are for the long holiday weekend, stay safe and have fun!

Saturday Morning Tea

TeaFlowersDry030913

Good morning, dear tea friends! My morning tea today is an infusion from the Camellia Sinensis plant, however, it is not from its leaf but from its beautiful white flower.

CamelliaSinensisFlower

Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen

These tea flowers are from Nepal, plucked from tea bushes in full bloom and then sun dried. The blooms turn yellow as they dry.

TeaFlowersSteep030913

I steeped the dried flowers for 8 minutes in boiling point (212F) water. As I lifted the infuser from my glass teapot, I was greeted by the scent of honey and flowers.

TeaFlowersWet030913

The golden liquor tastes quite sweet with notes of buttered corn and honey. I also detected faint nuances of caramel and citrus fruit.

TeaFlowersTeapot030913

Tea flowers do contain caffeine, about 1/4 of what is found in the leaf, making them a perfect choice for caffeine sensitive tea lovers. The infusion is full of flavor yet mellow and soothing, a great before bedtime beverage.

TeaFlowersTeabowl030913

I’m loving that blue sky reflection in my teabowl. We got another 20 inches of snow dumped on us yesterday but spring is right around the corner (we hope!) and the melting has already started.

If you ever get a chance to try a cup of infused tea flowers, I highly recommend it. Have a great week!

“Arthur blinked at the screens and felt he was missing something important. Suddenly he realized what it was.

“Is there any tea on this spaceship?” he asked.”

~Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Saturday Morning Tea

Good morning, dear tea friends! This morning I’m venturing off the tea path and onto the herbal path. In my cup is an herbal that is grown in Australia, called Lemon Myrtle.

As you can see, the leaf is chopped very fine, and causes a murky look to the steep. I think I’m going to use my filter papers the next time I make this. I used boiling point (212F) water and steeped for 6 minutes.

Found in the sub-tropical rainforests of Queensland, Australia, Lemon Myrtle is a tree that may be cultivated in a home garden where it will grow to about 1 1/2 – 2 feet. It grows a lot larger in the wild.

The aroma is fresh and lemony with a vegetal whisper. The flavor is quite lemony and tart with a smoothness that I wasn’t expecting in a citrus beverage. Personally, I might add a little sweetener to lessen the tartness.

Lemon Myrtle is a wonderful source of citral essential oil, known for its anti-microbial action.

This is a great caffeine-free herbal tea to enjoy when you don’t want the kick of caffeine!

As always, thanks for visiting and sharing a cup of tea with me. Next week I’m going to share a cup of a rich, chocolate-y China black.

Have a great week!

Saturday Morning Tea

Iced-TeaDry062709

It’s that time of year again. The official start of summer, a time we New Englanders cherish and dream about when the frigid winter winds are howling outside. One of my favorite summertime treats is a glass of frosty cold iced tea. So, to kick off this holiday weekend and the start of summer, I’m resurrecting my post on how to prepare iced tea for you all to enjoy.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, dear tea friends!

IcedTeaPrep062709

I make iced tea with the “cold brew” method. It’s so easy to make iced tea this way. Gather up your supplies either in the morning before work or in the evening before bedtime. This will give the leaves sufficient time to steep either all day or all night.

You’ll need a container, a tablespoon and some tea leaves. For my iced tea, I use a glass pitcher I purchased at Target and some organic green South African Rooibos. I’ve written about this herbal before here and here.

IcedTeaPrep2062709

Spoon your tea leaves into your pitcher, using one tablespoon for every 6-8 ounces of water. Next, pour your water into your pitcher. I recommend either bottled spring water or filtered tap water. Hard water can definitely affect the taste of your tea.

IcedTeaSteep062709

Now all you have to do is place your container in the fridge. That night or the next day, strain the tea into another container to remove the leaves. I use a large Pyrex measuring cup to strain my tea into. Then I clean the leaves out of my pitcher and pour the tea back into it. You can also use an infuser or tea filter papers to put your loose leaves into, making cleanup easier.

IcedTeaGlass062709

There are so many variations with iced tea creation. You can put lemon or orange slices in either while the tea is steeping or after you strain it. Or, you can fill your glass halfway with iced tea and then pour some flavored seltzer water in for a fizzy iced tea. The possibilities are endless!

IcedTeablueberries062709

I’m enjoying my iced tea plain with ice and a bowl of fresh blueberries on plain yogurt. Mmmmm…. I’ve been exploring ways in which I can remove sugar from my diet because I believe there is just way too much of it in the food we buy. Even my Stonyfield Farm yogurt cup, while it’s very delicious and organic, has sugar added to it. So, I’m now buying plain yogurt and mixing it with fresh fruit, depending on what’s in season.

Saturday Morning Tea

Hello again, my dear tea friends! This week I’ve stepped off the first flush Darjeeling path for just a bit, in fact, completely off the caffeine path, and am enjoying an herbal infusion in my cup this morning. I’ve recently noted that it’s been awhile since I’ve shared an herbal with you and wanted to do that. This particular selection is an herbal which I have shared with you before, however, in iced tea form. Today I’m enjoying it prepared hot.

Hello again South African Green Rooibos Superior Organic.

South African Rooibos is a bush grown in the Cedarberg mountain region of South Africa. The leaves are harvested and processed much like the tea plant, creating both “green” and “red” Rooibos. The Afrikaans word Rooibos means “red bush”. When the leaves are allowed to oxidize (similar to black tea), they turn a beautiful reddish brown. Left in an unoxidized state, the leaves are variegated flecks of light olive, yellow and brown.

Even though it is “green”, you can steep it in boiling point water (212F). I steeped the leaves for 8 minutes. It’s very forgiving and doesn’t become bitter if left to steep too long. The wet leaf looks much like the dry leaf – small, chopped up needle-like pieces.

The infusion steeps up to a beautiful amber. The aroma and flavor remind me of a very mild Ceylon black tea. Very smooth and sweet yet brisk and flavorful with hints of toast. This is a fabulous choice for those tea lovers looking for a caffeine-free infusion that tastes like tea. It’s not exact but the similarities are definitely there.

This Rooibos is my current favorite for the evening and, just between you and I, it’s perfect for dunking cookies. 😉

As always, thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

“What you love is a sign from your higher self of what you are to do.”

~Sanaya Roman, Writer