Warming Winter Teas

Tea

I’ve recently found myself drinking a lot more herbal tea than usual. I used to be welded to a mug of coffee at all times but have made a concerted effort to drink less in 2014, in an attempt to get more (and better) sleep. I do find hot drinks helpful, both to stop me snacking at my desk and also to keep my frequently freezy hands warm, but as I’m also trying to give up sugar at the moment hot chocolate is sadly out of the picture, and I seem to be missing the tea taste bud, meaning that all black tea tends to taste like hot brown water to me (yes, even tea that would please a builder).

I find lots of green tea a bit dull by itself, so I’ve turned to a blend of green tea and mint to get me through the long work day. There are loads available, although many are made with spearmint, which I think is slightly more mouthwashy than peppermint. My favourite is Rock the Casbah from Eteaket, an amazing teashop in Edinburgh, but I’ve found good teabag alternatives are teapigs and, rather surprisingly, Tesco Finest. Both are made with bigger bits of leaf in silky pyramids which means that there’s more flavour than with a normal teabag (and the used pyramids are less shudder-inducing than teabags. Or is that just me?)

My real find of winter so far has been the Spiced Winter Red Tea, also from teapigs. I drank quite a lot of rooibos tea when I was in South Africa years ago but had forgotten I liked it until I tried this version, which also has orange, cinnamon, and cloves. It smells like Christmas and somehow satisfies any sweet cravings I might have, as well as being slightly addictive. Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, so I’ve been drinking this most afternoons without worrying about being buzzing by bedtime.

Do you have any great herbal tea recommendations?

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