As I walk into my mom’s house, my kids run through the door — trying to be the first to get a hug. And it’s one of those good run-and-jump hugs that almost knocks my mom over every time they do it. She squeals and kisses their cheeks as they smile from ear to ear.
We all start to settle in. I take my seat at her kitchen counter to start telling her all about my latest happenings: what funny thing my son said last night before he fell asleep, what plants of mine are thriving, and what assignments I have due in school.
But before I begin any of this, she asks, “Would you like a cup of tea?”
And this, right here, is my hug.
She opens her cabinet to pull out box after box — Oolong, Earl Gray, Green, Ginger, Mint. And there are boxes behind boxes — loose tea leaves, traditional rectangle tea bags, and even those fun tea bags that cinch when you pull the tab. No kidding, she even has tea that turns into a flower when you put it into the cup.
There’s no need to say it, but my affection for hot tea comes from my mom. And if you are a tea lover, I’m sure your love for a cup comes from a special person in your life too.
But enough about me.
Let’s Talk TEA!
In 2016, the U.S. Government named January 12th National Hot Tea Day. Yeah, this amazing concoction has its own special day.
I could sit and list all the teas, but you can only imagine how long that would take. So instead, here is some basic history and information for tea beginners, then I’ll share more about my favorite teas. (Here I go, talking about myself again.)
Hot tea has been popular since the 2nd century B.C. from the Han Dynasty in China. A long time ago, y’all. So it’s a no-brainer that this stuff is good. People have been drinking it for 2,000 years and have come up with some pretty amazing variations on how to drink it.
Basically, there is tea that comes from a tea leaf, and then there is herbal tea that comes from different types of herbs. Both are considered tea and both are very yummy, although herbal tea usually doesn’t have caffeine. Keep that in mind when you are making breakfast tea after a long night awake with the kiddos. (Fun Fact: The caffeine from tea is easier on your body than the caffeine from coffee. So, if you are someone who is sensitive to coffee, give tea a try!)
Now, when it comes to making tea, everyone does it a little differently.
My Favorite Teas
- Chai Tea: Chai comes from the Hindi word for “tea” — it’s a black tea that is mixed with amazing herbs like cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger, and pepper. I like to steep my Chai tea bag in a cup of hot water (almost boiling but not quite). I add honey in early so it has time to melt and blend with the tea. Next, I add in Oat Milk — you can use any milk you want, but this is my go-to. If you want to try something a little sweeter, check out the Chai Tea concentrate or powder (Trader Joe’s!) that comes pre-made with extra sweetness.
- Rooibos: I make this tea just like my Chai. It’s a little darker and has such a wonderful, robust flavor. It comes from a South African plant, so no caffeine. I love sipping this one at night before I sleep.
- Ginger Tumeric Tea Latte: I make this one for my son almost every day. I get the tea bag from the store and make it just like I would my Chai or Rooibos. It’s a beautiful pale yellow color. He lets it cool and drinks it through a straw — very sophisticated, huh?
- Green Tea: This is one tea that I like to drink just as it is. I often steep it and then pour it over ice just to help the flavors come through a bit more. This is a great afternoon tea when you need a little boost of energy but you don’t want the heavy coffee.
“When your day seems topsy turvy and as stormy as can be, there’s nothing quite as tranquil as a nice hot cup of tea.”