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For the Love of Tea

January 20, 2010

Come along inside… We’ll see if tea and
buns can make the world a better place.
~The Wind in the Willows~

I can’t think of anything as nurturing as a cup of tea, cradled lovingly in the hands, with the steam rolling up into your senses, promising to make the world a better place.

Tea is one of the oldest and most revered of drinks in the world. It dates back at least 5,000 years. The legend has it that when a Chinese emperor was out traveling around the country side, the party stopped to have a bite to eat. This very clever fellow had decreed earlier in his reign that all water be boiled before drinking, so the royal party set about boiling their water. Some leaves from a nearby tree fell into the water and voila! Tea was born. It soon spread around the east like a warm blanket and was eventually elevated to an art form by the Japanese.  Those globe trotting Europeans got a hold of it in the 14 century the rest is history.

Any culture you look at, tea has made its loving foot print. It represents slowing down, enjoying the moment and breathing. Tea is a sanctuary in itself, warm, inviting and soul fostering. Making your own tea raises the ritual to another level. Tea is also a good way to drink your recommended 8 glasses of water. You can get all the ingredients for these teas at your local health food store. Remember there is no exact science here, just your imagination limits you.

My personal fav is Chai tea. Chai comes from India where the word simply means tea. The aromatic spices in this tea warm and stimulate the digestive system while nourishing the body and soul. Making your own chai is fun and rewarding.  Here is my personal favorite chai recipe. This is for one quart of tea.  I use the spice mixture sometimes for a second quart and it works fine, just a little diluted. Refrigerate any left over tea.

Yogi Chai Tea

1 quart of filtered water

1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns

2 teaspoons whole cardamom seeds

3 inch stick of cinnamon, broken

3-4 whole cloves

1 inch piece of fresh ginger cut into a couple pieces

2 teaspoons of black tea, can be decaffeinated, or use Rooibus tea, (see note)

¼ cup of 1% milk or vanilla soymilk

2-3 tablespoons of honey

In a saucepan of choice, bring water to a boil and add the spices.  Reduce the fire and simmer for 30 minutes as your house fills up with the warm scent. Turn off the heat and add the tea leaves, let steep for 10 minutes.  Strain the tea and pour into teacups and add a 1/4 cup of milk and the honey per cup. Store the leftovers in the fridge to use the next morning. Enjoy!

Note~ Rooibus is a tea from South Africa that contains no caffeine yet has a rich, heady flavor. It is very beneficial for your health too!

Artic Aggie’s Chi Tea

This tea was created by my sister-in-law. It stimulates the chi in one’s system and is great for colds or whatever ails you!

¼ cup mint preferably wintergreen

¼ cup chamomile

¼ cup rosehips

¼ cup lemongrass

¼ cup alfalfa

Mix well in an air tight jar and use 1 heaping tablespoon per cup of tea. Steep 10 minutes in very hot water, strain, then cozy into drinking the warmth.

I really love this last one for its spicy flavor and stimulating effects.

Spiced Orange Tea

½ cup of lemon balm leaves

½ cup of spearmint leaves

2 tablespoons of orange peel, dried

2 teaspoons of whole cloves

Combine all ingredients in an air tight jar and shake until well blended. Use 1 heaping tablespoon per mug of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes or so, then strain and float a slice of orange in each cup, for fun and flavor!

Bender Brew

Tom Bender created this tea many years ago and shares it here with us.

1/3 part mint (both peppermint and spearmint in no particular
1/3 part chamomile
1/3 part rose hips

Place mixed ingredients in an air tight jar and use 1 heaping tablespoon per cupa of love.

Mulled Tea

For two mugs of hot tea

2 ½ Tablespoons of tea of your choice

3 cloves

3 allspice berries

2 teaspoons of coarsely crushed cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon of grated orange rind

1 tablespoon of honey

Two slices of an orange

Steep spices and tea for 10 minutes then strain. Add the honey then float a slice of orange in your mug for beauty and taste.

Oh, I just get excited thinking about these biscotti! They are soooo good and marvelously lower in fat and calories!

Cranberry chocolate chip biscotti

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Biscotti

2 ¾ cups of whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup of white sugar

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 to 2 tablespoons of orange juice

1 teaspoon of vanilla

3 large eggs

½ cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt in a bowl and whisk together. Combine zest, orange juice, vanilla and eggs in another bowl and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix till just blended. Add the cranberries and chocolate chips and mix again till just blended. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into a log. Place on cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Then cool 10 minutes or so till you can cut into the log. Cut the roll diagonally into slices. Place the slices back on the cookie sheet and bake for another 10 minutes or so till the desired texture is obtained.  Remove from oven and, if you can wait till they are cooled, eat them, with tea of course!

Nutrition information, 98 calories and 1.8 g of fat, 1 gram of fiber.

Restaurant note: If you haven’t had a chance to try “La Tea Da” in Tillamook make the time to go do it! Great teas, wonderful scones and delightful tid bits that aren’t a bit low fat, but the spurge is worth it! The attention to detail and the wonderful atmosphere make it a place to celebrate special days.

Enjoy your cozy tea

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2010 9:12 am

    Wow I love all your pictures, yes tea is very comforting and your recipes sound delicious, I love the look of the biscotti as well yum!

  2. January 23, 2010 9:17 pm

    What a beautiful quote, tea, words, and blog. The biscotti look fantastic as well.

  3. April 25, 2012 4:46 am

    Reblogged this on T Talks Tea and commented:
    Tea thoughts and some wonderful sounding recipes!

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