Mad Hatter: Would you like a little more tea?
Alice: I haven't had any yet, so I can't very well take more.
[ The LivingThruGrace Crew threw a beautiful tea party with teas, & treats including gluten free ones, and water because they know that tea can dehydrate ( those that are caffeinated. Mattie the Hatter their friend who lives in another town, 'Wonderland' :D lent the ladies her special tea table! ]
I can profess my adoration for tea until the cows come home :D Yes, tea has always been a place of quiet peace and yumminess for as long as I can remember. I don't know of a culture that doesn't have some sort of tea ceremony built into it. If you too are a lover of all things tea, then you understand the passion for it and the value it adds to your life. You've experienced how tea brings people together, aids in healing the body, perks up a dull rainy or snowy day. Oh, and please don't even get me started on tea pots! But, that's for another blog post! :) However, there are people who do not like tea [ or so i've heard! LOL ].
[ New friend and crew member Janine is the tea party host and welcomes everyone and tells them to have a tea drinking' good time! ]
[ Some of the ladies really went all out and dressed to the nines! London couldn't wait to show off her pink puff dress she bought from where else...London! :D ]
[ Clawdie took her friend's advice and is enjoying a big hearty green apple with her tea and treats because apples are great for lung support and her recently diagnosed asthma. Willow's polka dot dress takes us right back to the 1950's, it's gorgeous! Frieda is going for a giant blackberry with her tea! ]
Perhaps tea has been associated with bland cups of liquid with a little sweetener tossed in when you've had the flu, or something you only witnessed 'little old ladies' drink while exchanging life's gossips :() Maybe you've only experienced tea as that luke warm, bitter cup in a diner or gas station. Oh, but just listen...or read; tea can be so much more! Tea is amazing for your whole body as well as your mind and spirit, and I'm here to try and convince you to have another cup but learn how to take it to the next level!
[ Clawdie admires the chandelier Maddie Hatter lent for this tea time occasion. ]
[ Ann, offers Clawdie some almond milk for her tea because she's now off all dairy for her asthma management :) ]
There once was a time where the variety of teas available were limited or unheard of. But, now we live in such a global world and that affords us the chance to try tea from any part of the word you desire. [ See, fun already :D ]
Travel to Japan for a cuppa antioxidant rich Matcha Tea, a tea made from the whole ground tea leaf. ( y'all know about my love for matcha!) How about a trip across the pond to London for a cuppa piping hot Earl Grey, or to India for a spicy cuppa Chai Tea rich with body healing spices like cinnamon, black pepper, and nutmeg! There are so many ways to prepare teas and within this blog site, [ in the Books Tea & Coffee
section ] together we will explore them all!
[ Here are a few of my teas, my favorites along with a variety of flavor additions that can be added. ]
Today let's go over the many ways to add flavor to enhance tea, and the choices are as varied as your tastes! First, there are again so many choices of teas that if you don't like one try another, I'm willing to bet that you'll find at least a couple that your tastebuds favor! In future tea blog posts I'll get into each kind of tea and it's tastes and nutritional impact, and we will travel around the world making teas the way they're made in different parts of the world! Fun! :D
[ Milks are a great choice for certain teas that are strong enough to withstand it and still keep their flavor like Bold Black teas, - English & Irish Breakfast Teas are two of my favorite to have with milk ( Plant milk-Almond or Coconut). Gunpowder Green Tea to name a few. ]
In the photos above I've placed several 'flavor enhancement' options to add into teas. Starting with milk of your choice, Milk Tea as it's referred in many parts of the world is a cultural favorite. In England, Scotland and Ireland the most familiar teas for 'milking' are as stated above. In India it's Chai Tea that's made with milk ( and lots of spices!), Tibet is known for it's Butter Tea, and yes butter is added ( How can one go wrong with butter? :D ), Nepal is known for it's Yak Milk Tea and in Hong Kong, it's "Pantyhose Milk Tea"( because it's strained though a mesh that looks like pantyhose!). It goes on and on and the idea is that milk is a very popular and tasty addition for teas!
Sweeteners, many people and cultures enjoy their teas sweetened. I'm a occasional participator in sweet teas but since I've grown up drinking tea black, and without sugars, I really don't mind it sans sweetener. Honey is the classic sweetener for many teas and has the added benefit of adding the nutrients in the honey. Honey in tea is a great throat soother!
These days many people prefer to use alternative sweeteners. In my blog post titled The Scoop On Natural Sweeteners, I go into detail on the in's and out's of natural and artificial sweeteners. Stevia as a popular choice for teas as it has no impact on blood sugar or calories. Stevia also comes in an extract form which are flavored with vanilla and other 'fun' flavors that may add quite a flavor boost to your tea. Personally, i've tried stevia and it gives me a headache, and I just prefer some form of real sugar in my tea if I'm adding it in, it just tastes better. ( I use coconut sugar) I find even though stevia is natural ( provided you only buy Pure stevia) imparts an unnatural sweet taste to the tea.
Agave is too a popular sweetener of choice, but again, make sure you're getting pure agave because many on the market have been watered down with corn syrup.
Cinnamon is another way to sweeten teas without adding any other sweetener, as it is already a naturally sweet spice and oh so good for you! Not only has it been a large part of alternative medicine for years, it's good for regulating blood sugar, boosts brain and colon function, protects against heart disease and a host of other benefits because of it's anti-inflammatory properties.
[ Little balls of sunshine! :) ]
Other delicious add in for teas are Orange and Lemon Peel, this adds a bright citrus punch as well as the vitamin C and immune boosting benefits of the citrus!
[ This is a little blend I made up on my own and its delish! I boiled filtered water 2 cups with a few Whole cloves (with spices who had more flavor than ground), a teaspoon of fennel seed, a few sprigs of parsley, and the pieta-resistance...Lots of chopped fresh ginger root! I added in ( forgot to take pic) some honey at the end. :D ) It can be fun to make up your own tea recipes, you don't have to buy any if you do not choose.
Simmered herbs and spices, and fruits can make beautiful and health giving teas. :) ]
The outcome was a light golden colored spicy tea (extra ginger!) that was a pleasure:)
Ginger, is the superhero of spices and a delicious addition for teas. I especially like it with my green teas (not matcha, just plain green teas). It adds a spiciness and brightness that nothing else can :) Ginger is a warming spice so it's great anytime you need to warm up from the inside out. The anti-inflamatory properties of ginger are heralded around the world alone with it's other health boosting powers like relieving digestive issues, nausea and motion sickness, and both ginger and onions [ Please don't add onions to your tea! :D ], have an anti blood clotting ability so they're great heart healthy foods. Ginger's known for it's assistance with respiratory health ( Yay asthmatics!) because it works to keep the bronchial system from being inflamed and helps to break down toxins in your organs and help cleanse the lympatic system (which pushes out toxins).
Mint is a taste addition and one that will open the nose because it has cooling effects which act as a mild decongestant. Yippie!! This is a great add in for Asthma and for Allergy seasons of spring and summer. Mint also strengthens the immune system aids in relaxing muscles and promotes better oral health. In fact you can try adding any other herb to your tea, (if you haven't already purchased an herbal tea or in lieu of), which are Super for your Health, but check the ingredients as some herbs can trigger allergic reactions, including medicine interactions. If you're unsure, check with your doctor or pharmacist. Camomile, which is a great relaxer and stress soother is a No-No for me because it triggers my asthma.)
Fennel and Anise and Cardamon are spices that will add a punch to teas, though if you're unfamiliar with these spices, you may be hesitant with our first taste of these as they each have a very 'distinct' flavor. Fennel has a licorice like flavor (which I adore :D ) and aids in digestion, helps with weight loss and acts as a natural antacid. Anise which looks like a little star is great addition to tea as it helps to soothe inflamed joints and strengthens the immune system, it also acts as a decongestant. ( I have to try this one! )
Cardamom is the secret ingredient that gives Chai tea it's distinct flavor., it's sort of peppery. As a pepper fanatic this is one of my favorite spices! It's the world's third most expensive spice and is related to ginger, so we know nothing but goodness comes from that! This spice support for the gastrointestinal tract, as well as a cancer fighter and helps to keep cholesterol levels balanced. You really can't go wring when adding in spices to your teas because not only are they full of natural flavor, but the nutrient factors are off the charts!!
Nutmeg is also a healthy spice addition for teas and the body. this sweet and earthy flavored spice is known for it's ability to soothe indigestion detoxify the body boost skin health and reduce insomia, plus increase immune function. Such power from these God given spices and herbs. May tea drinking be done with a quiet gratitude for it's wealth...
[ When it comes to tea, get to jammin' out! :D ]
The Russians are known to sweeten their tea using Jams. This sounds delicious and I will be trying this one this weekend! adding jams into tea was done because tea itself, wasn't considered a drink alone beverage, so even the upper class would bring in additions like jams, syrups and milks.
Extracts (natural ones of course) are a great way for non tea drinkers to add in more flavor. Extracts can range in flavors like chocolate [ I think this would be fabulous in a Rooibos tea with it's it's naturally sweet and malty flavor! ], and orange to almond and vanilla! Extracts can usually be found in the backing or spice section of your market.
Vanilla, aaah the ultimate flavor; at least in my humble opinion :D !! Vanilla extract, beans, or paste ( the paste has a stronger flavor than the extract), in it's many forms imparts a heavenly flavor to anything and that includes tea LOL! Even better, vanilla is loaded with antioxidants that protect us form those disease causing free radicals. In fact, Vanillin is the antioxidant in vanilla and is what gives it it's delicious flavor.
[ Roxanne's excited the girls provided treats for her needs too. London's just happy to show off her dress! ]
There are so many options for add in's for teas that I believe it will be easy of any non tea drinker to come around to the tea life :D From a nutritional stand point, you simply can't lose with whatever kind of tea you choose because they're all filled with health enhancing nutrients and antioxidants that help us to thrive. Tea is a stress soother and even the simple act of preparing tea provides a quiet ritual that can bring you into a state of mindfulness. [Or make it a party with friends! ] Toss away your fears and pick up a tea and add in, and a your favorite cup and drink to your health!
[ Mattie Hatter wants for everyone to discover the bliss of tea! drink up!!! ]
[ London, usually an introvert just can't stop showing off that dress! ]
Clipper teas are known for their clean crisp flavors and their high quality. These organic teas make tea time even more special. I just love their boxes! I find it hard to recycle after I'm done. LOL Maybe I'll create some sort of Clipper Tea art! :O
Connect with Living Thru Grace on social media and continue the conversation: