Saturday Morning Tea

This morning’s tea was actually started last night. In honor of my visit to the Rhode Island Polymer Clay guild meeting today, I steeped up some iced decaf chai tea to share with the group. I talked about this flavored spice tea and made the hot tea version here.

First, I started with two 10-cup Chatsford teapots. I love these teapots. They come in 4 different sizes, each with a plastic and very fine mesh infuser basket. This largest size is perfect for steeping tea for a crowd.

Taking into consideration the later addition of ice and possibly milk and also because I wanted the tea to be extra spicy, I used a heaping teaspoon of leaves and spices for every 6 ounces of water. After inserting the basket into the teapot, I spooned the tea into each teapot’s infuser basket and then added cold water. You want to add water up until this line. Any higher and the tea leaves could possibly spill into the teapot through that notch opening and defeat the convenience of the basket. Place the teapots in the fridge and wait til the next morning.

This morning I removed the baskets. Now how simple is that?

I saved an empty gallon water jug and just poured the tea from both teapots into the jug.

I placed the jug into a cooler with a small plastic bucket of ice, a bit of milk in my Kleen Kanteen and agave for sweetener and I’m ready to go!

At the meeting, my dear friend, Judy, will be showing us how to make ATCs using polymer clay, paint, rubber stamps, colored pencils and glitter. You can see her tutorial here. A fun Art Day!

“When indeed shall we learn that we are all related one to the other, that we are all members of one body?” ~Helen Keller

Advertisements

Christmas Morning Tea

The sun is rising on this beautiful Christmas morning. A ring of newborn pink kisses the horizon as the sky starts to glow. A few rays of sun light up the hills as a curl of smoke rises from the neighbor’s chimney. As the world wakes up outside, there is such a peaceful quiet as I sit here before the fire and enjoy the first cup of the day, a spicy black tea called, appropriate to the moment, Hearthside Chai.

A black tea blended with cinnamon, ginger and cardamom seed, as a traditional chai has but then there are some interesting additions – licorice and cacao.

A warm spicy aroma greets me as I gently lift the lid of my glass teapot after a 4 minute steep in boiling point (212 degrees F) water. Where the steeping guidelines call for 1 teaspoon per cup, I find that too strongly spicy for my taste so I use 1/2 that amount of leaves.

The sweet licorice flavors the cup as the other spices blend together to create a rich delight to the senses. Depending upon what spice predominates as you spoon your leaves into pot or cup, the flavor can vary from warm cinnamon to spicy ginger to exotic cardamon.

This tea is very warming, both to body and spirit. A perfect tea to start this festive day.

Today, my daughter and I will be flying to Michigan to spend holiday time with my family so there won’t be any Saturday morning tea this week. I look forward to joining you next Saturday so we may share a cup to toast the New Year.

Until then, dear friends…

Peace and joy to all on this merry Christmas day!

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold,

everything is softer and more beautiful.

~Norman Vincent Peale

Saturday Morning Tea

fullmoonset.jpg

As the full moon set on this frosty morning, I rose out of bed and wrapped myself in a big fluffy robe to greet the day. A perfect morning for something spicy to warm me up, I simmered some Chai in a pan on the stove while I made breakfast.

chaispiceleaf.jpg

Masala chai is a traditional Indian blend of black tea and spices – cardamon seed pods, cinnamon pieces, clove, ginger and black pepper. An Indian gentleman once told me that they would add the black tea leaves to the sweetened milk and then go to their spices and throw this and that in to simmer. So, each family had their own recipe and that could vary from day to day.

chaispicesimmering.jpgchaicuppa.jpg

I used Chai Spice blend and added a couple of spoonfuls to a cup of organic 2% milk. I simmered this mixture for 10 minutes and then added sweetener to taste. This results in a very spicy cup so it is one of the rare occasions where I will add sweetener to my tea. It smooths out the sharpness of the spices, especially my extra spicy version. Demerara sugar is unrefined with a high molasses content and works especially well.

Mmmmm, delicious!