Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Daily Delight

A coffee drinker, I am not. Not at all. Except mochas made with half'n'half. I'll drink that kind of coffee, but coffee dripped into a pot? I've never seen the appeal. My husband, on the other hand, is part camel (um, a coffee-drinking camel) and even drinks it before bed so that he can relax and go to sleep. Yeah, I don't get it, either. I'm pretty sure it feeds his super powers. Or, I know! He's immortal and needs his elixer like the Jakie Chan in Forbidden Kingdom needed his wine. But Nathan's elixer is coffee.


I don't drink coffee, but I do have my vice:

Mmmmm... What is a winter in Michigan with out tea? UNBEARABLE.

Aditional pleasure in this ritual comes from the lovely tea pot and mugs that my Mom made. It tastes better from a real tea pot than it does from a canning jar.

My Mom used to have tea with a friend of hers from time to time. I remember them arguing about whether the tea should be straight or amended. My Mom was in the "black and strong" camp and her friendwas in the "honey and evaporated milk" camp. She used to go on about how her friend only "scared the water with the tea bag" whereas Mom would let it soak in there for 20 minutes or so. The result was remarkably like... well, like coffee. Black and bitter. But I, as the dutiful daughter, thought that surely Mom must be right and I tried to drink it that way. And I tried to like it. Really, I did.

I know, "to each his own." But here are my rules for making tea:

1)The water must be freshly boiled, but not allowed to continue at a rolling boil.

2)Use good tea. Not from the grocery store. I have yet to find anything even remotely drinkable at a grocery store. And no fruity-froo-froo, either. Here's what I drink and love:

Seriously, if you haven't tried this stuff, you haven't lived. It's deeelicious, as is the orange flavor from the same company. The flavoring is very light, but intoxicating and not fruity or overpowering. Mostly, you taste the tea. Also, do not confuse this with herbal "teas" which are actually herbal "infusions". And I like them in their purposes, but generally, tea from a real tea plant is the way to go. And organic because non-organic tea will concentrate high levels of toxins (from pesticides) and flouride. White tea has the lowest levels of flouride (don't listen to what "they" say, the stuff is poison) which tea plants tend to absorb.

3) Let the tea bag steep no more than 3 minutes! This is an important step because it's not coffee, people! It's not supposed to grab the back of your throat and make your uvula wrinkle in agony.

4)Remove the tea bag. That's included in step 3, really, but I'm trying to emphasize the point, here You wouldn't leave the grounds in your coffee, right? Take. out. the. bag.

5) Pour into a pretty mug. I don't insist on tea cups because I'm don't have any tea cups. And I'm a crunchy, granola momma and I'm "earthy" that way. Also-- no extending of the pinky. That's just silly.

6) Add a blip of fresh, raw cream first, then a drizzle of raw honey.

7) Stir.

8) Sip.

9) Repeat step 8 until the cup is empty.

10) Repeat steps 5-9 one more time. Or two. Whatever.

This is the only thing that gets me through winter days in the frozen North. Of southern Michigan.

That and my daily cod liver oil.

Also, this tea doesn't have enough caffeine to make me twitchy, but it does have enough to banish the fog in my head that I get when my inherited insomnia acts up and my brain won't shut up and let me sleep but prefers to keep alarming me about things I already know I need to do intermingled with thoughts of clever scorpions, naked mole rats and underarm deodorant for horses.

Mmm... time for another cuppa.

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