It may seem reasonable that one may be a genuine coffee drinker OR a hot tea drinker. But not really both. I don’t know. Can you be both? Are the two REALLY dichotomous hot beverages? There is a widely accepted generalization, at least here in the Western world, that there are two main camps of hot beverage consumers — coffee or tea — and never the twain shall meet. Hmmm … let me explore this on a personal level.
I subjectively believe that there is space in my heart (and druthers) for both hot coffee AND hot tea.
See, it depends upon my mood. And my environment. And probably the weather, at times. I absolutely LOVE my coffee first thing in the morning. I prefer a medium roast, sweetened with sugar and lightened with half and half. And I can honestly say that I feel a little sideways if I skip my morning coffee. If I am looking for a boost (either psychological or physiological), then coffee is my main squeeze . Coffee helps me when I need to be awake, and motivated, and productive. Hello, work. 😉
But sometimes I just crave a steaming hot cup of tea. When are these times, you ask? Well, in my opinion, tea is a more sophisticated hot beverage. So, I might choose hot tea if I want to relax , be soothed and contemplate life. Maybe I am curling up with a pleasurable book. Or I might be sitting and chilling on my porch. Or maybe I feel a little sickish, and tea would comfort my throat, stuffy nose, or tummy. I especially appreciate a cup of tea which was brewed from herbs I grew by my own hand, picked at the peak of flavor — mint, chamomile, lavender or sage. (Note to self — consider planting a herb garden this spring. I sure do miss my garden at the house.)
I am definitely able to enjoy hot tea in a variety of preparations. Right now in my cabinet I have an assortment of Twinings Black Tea. There is also organic peppermint, some other herbal teas, white tea, green tea, and your run-of-mill regular and decaf black teas. My preparation of choice depends on my mood (again), and the reason for my tea. For soothing and comforting my mood on a chilly day, I will choose a flavored black tea, prepared with cream and sugar. For curing what ails me, I will then pick regular black tea, sweetened with sugar and honey, with a decent squeeze of lemon. I like herbal teas plain, or with a bit of honey. Sometimes lemon in those, too. And occasionally, if I am feeling particularly crappy with a bad cold, I will make a hot toddy. The internet yields a variety of names as well as preparations for making a hot toddy. Basically, I prepare regular black tea, with sugar, honey and lemon — and add a shot of whatever brandy I have on hand. It helps. It really does. 🙂
So, January is Hot Tea Month! And that is just fine with me! Here are some ways that we can celebrate Hot Tea Month:
- Try herbal teas if you are used to drinking only regular black tea.
- Try cream and sugar in your tea if you are typically a lemon and honey tea drinker (or vice versa).
- Buy some quality loose tea (mountainroseherbs is a great site) and a tea ball to enhance your tea-drinking experience.
- Give the gift of tea. Bless someone with a variety of special teas and a cute mug.
- Investigate ways to use teas externally — cool, used tea bags on tired eyes, a weak tea solution as an astringent for your face, a or a tea soak for achy muscles. The internet is loaded with ideas.
Prepare your favorite brew. Relax. And enjoy a cup of tea. What better time than January? ❤