As a child, I remember my mother drinking tea on a daily basis. As an adult I preferred coffee until about 15 years ago when I discovered that there are so many different flavors of herbal teas – organic and decaf teas that soothes the soul. I love the smell of lavender, so this was one of the first teas I tried. The aroma was soothing and it always relaxed me. I love cinnamon and, of course, there are many different cinnamon flavored teas sold by many companies. Celestial is one company from which I purchase a variety of teas. My favorite is black tea. I add a hint of cinnamon (I believe it lowers cholesterol) and drink daily; sometimes in the morning then before bedtime. Don’t be afraid to use those china tea cups and saucers that you only have out for display.
Green teas are popular for cleansing. I try to drink a cup on a regular basis for that purpose. My mother retired and was having major problems with getting enough sleep, so she drinks a hot cup of Sleepy Time tea every evening and says it helps her rest. Chai tea is very popular; mostly in the Middle East. It’s a very aromatic, strong, spicy tea that comes in many different flavors sold in bag form of loose leaf. I love to buy tea in its loose leaf form because you can use as much or as little as you like. I also use a strong tea as a potpourri. Yes, you can buy loose form teas to heat up in a pot on the stove and it will send a nice aroma throughout a room. Some people make a simple home-made Chai tea by using cinnamon sticks for sweetness, fennel seed, fresh ginger and black peppercorns which gives it its spiciness.
Another one of my favorite tea is Orange tea. It reminds me of when I was a child eating a juicy orange while the juice ran down my arm. So many teas can be paired up with so many foods. I always like a cup with something as simples as crackers or a sandwich. Like wine, there are some teas that just go better with certain foods. With so many flavors; I would suggest putting your taste buds through a test with each tea you decide on. Strong teas pair up well with soft in flavor foods.
Need something calming? Try a Chamomile or Lavender tea. Constipated? Green tea is good for keeping you regular. If you feel a cold coming on, try a ginger tea twice daily. I hear mint tea can be just as calming as a 15 minute yoga session. Peppermint tea can calm the nerves and that throbbing headache.
An assortment of teas in a nice basket makes a very nice gift for a tea lover, like myself. One of my favorite things to do (especially in the Fall and Winter months) is to curl up in bed with a hot cup of herbal tea.
By Lisa J. Stevens
Author of Woman-to-Woman