Autumn Teas

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Dearies, do you have a favorite time of year? There is something I love in every season, but cool breezes, bright sunshine, and vibrant leaves gently floating to the ground just makes me feel happy, warm, and fuzzy. This time of year Kat takes endless walks in the woods, and sometimes she’ll tote me along with her. I love listening to the leaves swish as she walks while the birds merrily chirp all around us. I’ve been gathering our favorite fall teas to keep on hand in the kitchen. A sip of these in the morning or after a hike is the perfect way to enhance a beautiful fall experience. Here are a few of our favorite fall teas.

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Masala Chai- Newman’s Own Organic Chai. Wake you up and warm you up! Kat has tried many masala chai blends over the years, and she just loves the balance in this one. The organic ingredients of ginger, cinnamon, black pepper cloves, and cardamom are exactly what she looks for in a good chai. These are actually the same ingredients she uses in her homemade version. Often times there is too much cardamom or cinnamon in chai, but the flavors here aren’t too spicy or strong, they all play happily together. Kat likes to steep this tea nice and strong for about 5 minutes, and then adds a few dashes of milk and a tablespoon of honey. Kat loves that she can easily find this tea at her local Stop & Shop, and never worries about running out. She finds this tea comforting and invigorating, and craves it quite often!

Cranberry- of course cranberry flavor is associated with fall! There are many teas that have added cranberry to their blends. It adds a pleasing tartness that is easily balanced with a dash of sweetener. Sips of cranberry tea will bring you to an inviting holiday table with leaves gently falling outside the window. Cranberry teas are bright with a fun combination of sweet and tangy notes.

Cinnamon- cinnamon is always a staple in our house during the cooler months. It’s warming and perfect for all sorts of dishes and drinks. Kat bakes with it, adds it to her morning oatmeal, even swirls a bit in her black tea. You can find it in endless blend combinations, or just add it yourself like Kat does.

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Rooibos- rooibos has an earthy flavor that’s perfect for this time of year. It also has a red hue reminiscent of the falling leaves. Rooibos is perfect any time of day since it doesn’t have caffeine. You can add other flavors to it or drink it straight up! You could get creative and make a cranberry or cinnamon rooibos blend all on your own. There are many rooibos blends out there, so definitely give a few a try this season.

I do hope you’ll let me know what your favorite fall teas are! Do you enjoy any specific flavors or particular types of tea?

Maple Flavors In Tea

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As the weather gets a bit chillier, the flavors in Kat’s food and drink slowly start to change. She adds warming spices, citrus, and maple syrup! I remember a very long time ago when Char took me on a maple sugaring adventure. We learned how to tap the trees to slowly collect the sap (I was very impatient!) and we visited the sugaring shack to learn how to process that liquid gold. The smell of boiling maple syrup was heavenly. The day was so chilly, and it was almost impossible to sit on my saucer since it was so cold! But we warmed up with a little tea picnic. Char was brewing a lovely cinnamon tea, and decided to add a bit of the maple syrup she had just purchased to sweeten it up. What an inspired idea! Char loved it so much that she shared this sweet wintertime secret with Kat.

Kat decided she could take the maple flavor a step further, and create an even more satisfying sweet drink. For a delicious tea infused with maple syrup, Kat makes this lovely sweet treat:

1 Cup brewed black tea

1 tbsp maple syrup

Whipped cream to taste

½ tsp vanilla

Dash of cinnamon (powdered or freshly ground)

Brew the tea and mix in the maple syrup and vanilla. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle on a bit of cinnamon. If you are unable to sit and gaze at the fall leaves, this drink will take you to a mountain vista bursting with fall colors.

You can add a touch of maple syrup to just about any tea for that hint of autumn sweetness. Kat is particularly fond of adding it to rooibos when she’s craving something sweet after dinner.

If you are looking for a tea that already has the maple flavor added in, Kat likes to indulge in “Oh Canada” from DAVIDsTEA. I love the adorable maple leaves! The scent and flavor is completely of maple- sweet, and earthy. It brings to mind a walk in the woods. You can imagine the smoky smell from campfires, and hear the swish of wind rustling the leaves. A friend of Kat’s brought this tea over as a hostess gift, and she was taken with the appearance right away. The scent and flavor of the tea sealed the deal. She brings this out any time she’s craving that maple flavor.

Kat craves maple flavors as soon as the temperature starts to drop. It just makes everything feel cozier. When I smell maple, I imagine thick wool sweaters and warm fuzzy socks. Also, pancakes! Putting a drop of the sweet stuff in your tea is sure to keep you warm all season long.

Taking Tea Outdoors

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I’m a teacup that has been on the go. Char used to carefully stow me in her suitcase on her world-wide adventures, and Kat has taken me jet-setting as well. But sometimes I need to stay at home, especially when rugged outdoor activities are involved. For steep’s sake, I wouldn’t want to risk a chip or crack! There are times like this when Kat has a few other trusty vessels to use.

This time of year, Kat is always on an outdoor excursion. Hiking, apple picking, and leaf peeping. There is so much to do, and she still needs tea to fuel her day. Here are her tips for taking your tea outdoors:

First thing you need to do is get a good tea travel vessel. First, decide on material. Stainless steel is durable, and not too heavy. Double walled glass tumblers are effective and look beautiful, but can be a bit delicate. If you are going to be doing many activities, you may want to stay away from a glass tumbler. Whatever you choose, be sure to get one that has a good seal. You don’t want leaks! Kat’s tumbler is always in her backpack, and any leaks would cause quite a mess. It’s also sad to lose even a drop of tea.

You’ll want a vessel large enough for the amount of tea you’d like to drink. Kat has a few sizes at the ready. A 12 ounce thermos is perfect for a few sips of tea over a short period of time. Kat usually prefers at least 16 or 18 ounces to make sure she has tea for the duration of her outings. There are even larger sizes that are great if you want to bring tea for a small group. If you are purchasing your tumbler online, be sure to read as many reviews as you can and learn the best product for your money. You can also get one that is made to sip right from the top, or there are versions that have a detachable cup.

Once you have your tumbler, you can either brew the tea right in side, or make it in a separate pot and pour in to take with you. Some come with tea infusers or have infuser attachments you can purchase, so you can put loose leaf tea right in there and remove when steeped so the brew doesn’t get bitter.

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Sometimes I will get to participate in her outdoor activities, mostly when it’s a civilized picnic. Kat usually brings her trusty tumbler filled to the brim with hot water, and a few convenient teabags. This way she can make freshly brewed tea for her picnic! You can take enough teabags to brew per cup, or take a small teapot to brew in. If you’re not worried about decorum, you can brew right in the thermos.

These days Kat is carrying orange spice black tea from Private Selection in her tumbler. She’ll either steep it at home and sip it throughout the day, or put a few of the individually wrapped teabags in her backpack to brew up when she’s ready to drink. The warming spices of orange, cinnamon, and clove are perfect paired with an autumn outdoor activity. The sweet and spicy flavors enhance the fall colors and golden sunshine. A co-worker actually gave her a box of this tea as a birthday gift this year. Kat is known as the tea drinker in the office, and she often gets new and interesting teas to try as gifts. As soon as she tasted this tea she knew it would be perfect for fall gatherings and invigorating afternoon walks.

Dearies, now you know there is no need to leave your tea at home! With the right equipment you can take your tea anywhere you want to go. What outdoor activities are you planning for?