Did you know that January is Hot Tea Month? If you’re a tea enthusiast, this is the perfect time to tip a cup of steaming pekoe or experience the smoothness of chocolate chai for a celebration centered on a brew wildly popular across the globe. To go beyond your normal tea-drinking activities, consider the following suggestions for how to enjoy the rest of Hot Tea Month:
Try an Exotic Tea
Step outside your boundaries. If you’re a loyal black tea drinker, try sampling green, white or red varieties. You might just find a new favorite. Pay a visit to a local tearoom. For example, Shaharazade’s Exotic Tea Room located at Shepherdstown, West Virginia, offers a host of specialty teas, such as Kyoto Cherry Rose and Mango with pieces of fruit and sunflower petals.
Make Your Own Herbal Infusion
Herbal teas use herbs, spices, flowers and other plant parts to create a brew perfect for people looking for a caffeine-free beverage. In many circles, herbal infusions are used for medicinal purposes. To make your own, choose one or more herbs. Add 20 grams dried herb or 30 grams fresh herb to a warmed teapot. Fill with 500 milliliters of boiling water. Replace the lid and infuse for 10 minutes. Strain some of the infusion into a cup and sweeten with a teaspoon of honey, if desired.
Buy a New Tea Set
From Chinese themed jade teapots to artisan crafts, tea sets come in an array of decorative sizes, colors and shapes. There are no limits to the creative construction and embellishments of teapots and teacups from around the world. Search eBay, Amazon and other online sellers for new and used treasures for teatime.
Make teatime in January a special event with your favorite cookies, biscuits or biscotti. Settle down with an assortment of sweet treats and take time to ponder the coming year. Archer Farms has a delicious powdery chai tea biscuit perfect for a cup of strong black tea.
Tea for Two
Reconnect with loved ones over tea for two – the perfect bonding experience between mothers, older daughters and sisters. Bring out your finest teacups and create a decorative spread. Dole out an assortment of light sandwiches served on thinly sliced bread and cut into triangles – no crusts. Cucumber sandwiches are a favorite, but you can experiment with smoked salmon, watercress or chicken salad. Add shortbread, lemon wafers or homemade gingersnaps into the mix. Offer honey, sugar, lemon, cream and milk to dress up your tea.