Adding Ginger To Your Tea

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This time of year Kat likes warming flavors to soothe and comfort. I’ve written about warming teas before, but I thought I should focus on one of her most favorite flavors: ginger. Dearies, do you enjoy ginger in your tea? If you’ve never had ginger tea before, it’s a must! It’s a zingy, versatile flavor that goes well with both green and black tea. It’s also lovely with rooibos and tulsi!

You can really take just about any tea and add some ginger flavor either with fresh or dried ginger. Kat loves fresh ginger and always has some in the kitchen. If you have some time, her favorite thing to do is peel and slice a 1-inch piece, and boil it in a saucepan with a cup of water for 5-10 minutes. You can leave the ginger steeping in the water as long as you like, especially if you like it super spicy. She then will add in a teaspoon or two of loose tea, steep, and then strain. Or she’ll strain the ginger water into a mug with a patiently waiting teabag. Add in a dash of honey and/or lemon, and you’re good to go! A deliciously warming cup of tea.

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There are times when we run out of fresh ginger, or just need our ginger tea fix as quickly as possible. On these occasions Kat reaches for HyVee ginger tea. Kat just loves this tea and always has a box in the cupboard. It’s quite convenient and steeps up the most delicious, spicy cup of tea. It is herbal so it has no added tea, just pure ginger goodness! Kat drinks this tea in the evening, uses it as a base for masala chai, and even adds it to baked goods. It gives a ginger zip to anything you add it to.

As I mentioned, ginger is an important component of masala chai. It’s one of our favorite beverages to make this time of year! Check out my previous post for recipes and ideas. Stay tuned, I’ve also got a masala chai hot chocolate recipe coming soon!

So Dearies, while the leaves start to swirl and the temps drop, reach for some ginger tea! It’s just lovely this time of year.

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DIY Spring Tea Smoothies

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Dearies, Kat told me that when she was little Char used to assure her that March ‘comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb’. So even though it feels like winter will never loosen its grip, that milder weather is just around the corner. Once the temps begin to rise, Kat likes to switch from warm breakfasts to refreshing smoothies after her early morning yoga classes.

What better to celebrate spring than with a vibrant green smoothie? Kat combines green tea, mint, and greens?

-1 cup steeped green tea

-1 small, ripe pear

-3 large kale leaves (ribs removed)

-3-4 mint leaves

-1 cup crushed ice

– At least 1 tbs honey

– A few squeezes of lemon, to taste

Brew the green tea and allow to cool (you can do this the night before). You then simply place everything in a blender except for the honey and lemon, blend until smooth. Add honey and lemon to taste.

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One of Kat’s newest smoothie creations she calls her ‘Ginger Chai Energizer’. She uses Tea India Ginger Chai Tea Latte mix to easily get a flavorful smoothie. Here’s her recipe:

-1 cup brewed Tea India Ginger Chai Tea Latte mix

-1/4 cup coconut milk (or almond milk)

-1/2 of a banana

-1 cup frozen cubed mango (optional, but so delicious!)

Brew the tea in a cup of water, and allow to cool (again, you can do this the night before). Combine with the other ingredients in a blender until thick and smooth.

It’s also easy to make your own smoothies with matcha! In a blender you can combine ½ cup yogurt of choice (lately Kat has been using coconut yogurt which is great for vegans), 2 tbsp honey, 1 tsp of matcha and ½ cup ice. You can also add any fruit or greens of your choice.

These smoothies are sure to get you up and out on a gorgeous spring morning! Do you have any go-to tea smoothie recipes? I’d love to swap!

The Tea Trends of 2015

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Dearies as you know, I’m a technically savvy teacup. I may be a bit of an antique, but I know how to get around the internet! One of my favorite things to do is read about emerging trends. I like to keep up with this ever-changing world of tea! Since the new year has begun, I was curious to see what the tea trends were for 2015 and what’s still hot for the new year. Here’s what this old teacup discovered:

Interesting blends: It appears that interesting tea blends using more than just black tea have become quite popular. Natural fruit flavors and pure herbal teas have proven to be very popular. I’ve noticed turmeric making a frequent appearance, especially during cold and flu season. Turmeric is very earth on its own, and Kat has done some research on just the right recipe to balance the flavor with a bit of sweetness. Here’s how she’s currently making her turmeric tea:

1 cup milk (of any type) or water

2 tsps of dried turmeric

1 tsp of dried ginger

Lemon and honey to taste

Dash of black pepper (optional)

Simmer the spices with the water or milk until everything is incorporated. Kat also likes to add the honey in while the brew is very hot. Drink and enjoy!

Matcha is still a popular trend: It seems like the world has gone crazy for matcha this year! If you look at social media it appears that everyone is drinking, baking, and cooking with it. I’ve heard Kat’s friends talk about how they are perfecting their matcha whisking skills in order to have the perfectly frothy morning bowl of the energizing tea. Kat has been to ‘Matcha Meditation’ classes where they’ve discussed how to be mindful when preparing and drinking your tea. She’s had cups of matcha and matcha lattes in many different cafes. This is definitely a trend that I can get behind. Matcha is tasty, energizing, and so versatile!

Tea Cocktails: Cocktails infused with tea has been very popular this year as well, and the trend looks as if it will continue. I’ve read endless articles suggesting tea cocktail combinations. I’ve even posted a few of my own (remember this?)! There are now tea mixers on the market that you can purchase so you don’t even need to steep your tea yourself. You simply add the pre-made mixer to your spirit of choice. Kat has been to a few bars in the area that have created their own tea infused cocktail creations. She was delighted to see tea on the cocktail menu!

What other tea trends have you noticed popping up? It’s definitely going to be an exciting year for tea!

Calming Teas

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We’re making it through the holiday season, which is the busiest time of the year for Kat. For weeks she’s constantly on the go, shopping, cooking, baking, and attending events. This year she was determined to stay calm and relaxed throughout the holiday season. It wasn’t easy, but with the help of some extra yoga classes and lots of calming teas, she was able to stay centered. Her co-workers are even asking if she went on vacation while they weren’t looking!

 For Kat, any quiet cup of tea can be calming, but there are some that are so relaxing, it’s as if she had a mini-massage. For that spa-like feeling, she reaches for herbal teas. Dearies, you don’t need to have an actual spa day with treatments, candles and gentle music. A simple cup of tea will work wonders for your stress level. Here are the herbal teas Kat loves most:

 Chamomile: The soothing taste of chamomile is very nostalgic for Kat. Her mother used to give it to her as a child, when she wasn’t feeling well, or was particularly anxious. With just a few sips of this tea, the mellow sweetness helps loosen her muscles and melt away the stress of the day. Kat was recently gifted a beautiful chamomile tea from Dorset tea. It has Chamomile, lemograss, and raspberry flavor. Her British friend sent her this tea since she knows Kat loves a good chamomile. The added lemongrass and raspberry makes it the perfect tart yet mellow cup, relaxing and flavorful. A tea that evokes a springtime walk through the English countryside.

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lemon balm: Kat started growing lemon balm in her garden last year, and it has started to take over the herb patch! It looks a bit like mint and has a subtle, soothing lemon flavor. Kat had so much lemon balm that after some research she realized she could use it for tea! She simply adds a bunch of leaves to her teapot, steeps in boiling water for about 15 minutes, and enjoys. The taste is gently lemony, sunny, and peaceful.

 lavender tea: the soothing scent of lavender brings Kat right to the spa. It must be because the scent can be found in many relaxing spas in lotions, wraps, and oils. There’s good reason for why it’s so ubiquitous- as soon as you smell it, you start to get a tranquil feeling. When you steep a lavender tea the aroma permeates the kitchen and creates a lovely calm atmosphere.

 So dearies, breathe, close your eyes, take a sip and imagine the place that brings you a feeling of peace. These teas have worked well to help Kat unwind and keep calm. One of Kat’s resolutions this year is to take even more time to unwind. She’s decided to keep these teas on hand all year round to help when she’s feeling a bit stressed.

Dearies, this post contains my opinions and observations on teas that taste great, and what Kat finds relaxing. So if you have any medical questions in relation to relaxation, calm, etc., always ask your doctor.

 

The Joys of Ginger

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Ginger is just the perfect spice for the holidays. It’s zing and warmth adds flavor to beverages and baked goods. You’ll find it in cookies, cakes, pies and cocktails. Of course, I thin the best form to enjoy ginger is in tea! Ginger tea is not only flavorful, but it tames the tummy after too many holiday treats. It even helps to soothe your throat if you’re feeling a bit rundown after all the holiday shopping and festivities.

When Kat wants an immediate cup of ginger tea, she reaches for HyVee Ginger Herbal Tea. This tea is perfect for an afternoon or evening relaxing cup, since it is completely caffeine free. She always has a box on hand during the holidays. The zippy ginger flavor feels more festive with the additional peppermint, cinnamon, and fennel notes in the tea. There is even a sweet floral hint of chamomile that helps with relaxation. The flavors make her think of sitting in warm slippers on a snowy night.

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Kat often carries this tea in her purse while she’s doing her holiday shopping. Taking a break with this tea helps melt away the stress from the bustling crowds. Kat first had this tea when she visited an old college friend. They spent hours catching up, reliving precious college memories, and sipping this warming tea. Kat always thinks of her friend when she brews up this tea. She often shares this tea with friends when they are feeling a bit under the weather. Adding a drop of honey to the tea makes a soothing brew for achy bones and sore throats. A squeeze of lemon also helps ease sniffles. Making a warm cup of comforting tea to a friend who is not feeling her best is an act of holiday kindness. The tea feels like a warm, loving hug.

Making a pot of fresh ginger tea is a lovely accompaniment to those adorable gingerbread cookies at your holiday gatherings. Pairing the tea with rich dark chocolate is also a flavorful snack to add to your holiday table. Ginger pairs with creamy desserts, and would be an interesting complement to a cheese plate. It also works well as a palate cleanser. Kat sometimes serves little cups of ginger tea after dinner, but before dessert. It gets the palate ready for those sweet bites.

Be sure to add some ginger tea to your holidays this year! What do you think you’ll pair it with?