Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Five Winter Warmers

Despite living in Auckland, the pre-dawn hour at which I rise has been nothing short of freezing.  I can't imagine what it's been like further south.  My tea consumption has gone through the roof in an attempt to stay warm with hot liquid going down the inside and something warm to wrap my hands around.  It got me thinking about the sorts of teas that come in to their own over the cooler months, stepping out of the normal winter = cinnamon routine.  Below are my top five picks for winter 2012.  Anna - The Tea Lady

Anticyclone herbal tea is a great amalgam of herbs, flowers and spices.  Key ingredients that make this tea good for winter; aniseed (an expectorant and carmative) , fennel (carmative, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic) and peppermint (for lung and sinus congestion, muscle spasms and inflammation).  The addition of manuka honey can only enhance these benefits.

Green Mint 
 flavoured green tea in a league of it's own.  The flavour is beyond peppermint, decidedly mentholated and packs quite a punch.  Ideal as a decongestant, Green Mint will clear your sinuses before the cup has drained. This really is the liquid version of a Fishermans Friend lozenge.

Fireside Heat  is more of a classic winter herbal tea, think fruit version of mulled wine.  Key ingredients that make it so delicious being almond, spiced orange and cinnamon.  Make this a little stronger than normal, add red wine and a few slices of orange, wham, alco-tea winter treat.

Smokey Earl Grey evokes all that is good about a winter fire.  The bergamot flavours are nice and strong, keeping in balance with the smokey nature of this brew.  If you like Lapsang Souchong I feel confidant you'll enjoy Smokey Earl Grey.

Bengal Chai
 is last but by no means least on my hit list of Winter Warmers.  This is no ordinary chai but a recipe I picked up from a chai vendor on the streets of Calcutta as it was called back then. This chai is all about thermogenic spices - the ones that heat you up, namely ginger, cardamon and pepper.  They're warming, work as a digestive and give the metabolism a good rev.  This tea is made to be brewed as 'proper' chai; boiled with milk, water and sugar or honey.  Each pouch comes with it's own recipe card or you can click here for Bengal and other chai tea recipes.