A Simple Cup of Tea

breakfasttea

For decades now tea has been a cornerstone of our family life. It is through tea we help mark and create our daily rhythms. We begin each morning with a simple cup of tea, with a bit of honey and soy or dairy milk. This wakens us to the tasks before us and carries us forward into what must be accomplished during each morning. My personal early morning choice is always a black tea, usually with some fruity addition: blackberry sage, ginger peach, or perhaps blueberry. This subtle jolt of caffeine agrees with my system and tastes. The simple act of drinking a cup of tea each morning establishes a certain pace, rightness and rhythm. All is well. Now, into the day.

Lunch arrives and is no exception, though my choice for midday honors my extreme sensitivity to caffeine. Now we are turning the corner toward evening, and so this is the perfect time to include a healthy dose of iced green tea. While green tea does contain caffeine, it just over half what coffee contains. I find this a better choice for midday. Delicious, refreshing, nurturing and a big plus towards maintaining the excellent health with which I am blessed.
Greentea

To make this selection super easy I have a practice of making a big pan of hot green tea once each week. I simply bring to boiling about ten cups of water in a stainless steel pan, add high quality green tea, and let it steep. While it’s still warm I add some honey for sweetening. Then I allow the tea to cool to room temperature, then store this same pan in the frig for the week. This gives me a goodly amount for each day at lunch. When the pan is empty I immediately make up a new batch. I love the practice of having certain things “all made up” beforehand, and green tea is thankfully on that list. The blessing of green tea on hand is always deeply appreciated. And did I mention how much you save by making up your own? Healthy and smart.

I have added a new image to my Green Tea Ritual, deepening my appreciation of green tea at its source. This is what green tea fields look like. Isn’t this amazing?
greenteafield

While I am not a person who drinks tea at “teatime” as the English do, or even after dinner, as some are inclined, I do take stock of myself before bedtime to see if I might benefit from a cup of chamomile. I am reviewing myself with two things in mind: have a relaxed enough as the evening has unfolded that I am ready to get a good night’s sleep (or was I not prudent and spent a bit too much time on, say, Twitter when I should have been unwinding from a day’s work)? And, secondly, has my last contact with food been thoroughly digested or could I use a little help? Hmmm. If I could benefit from either of those two conditions chamomile is indeed in order.
cupchamomile

I have a very long association with chamomile and so does our culture, from two directions. The early settlers brought English (or Roman) chamomile with them to the New World. And the Spanish took manzanilla (or German chamomile) with them to Latin America. Manzanilla is very common in Mexico, just as chamomile has become fairly common in America. If you haven’t tried it, do. I can speak from long experience that it will help with any indigestion. And if you can’t sleep, get up and make yourself a cup of chamomile (being careful to keep light levels very low so you don’t destroy what melatonin your body has already produced), and sip it and I guarantee you you will go to sleep in a bit. On rare occasions my dogs will awaken me in the night, and thank goodness I can rely on chamomile should I have trouble getting back to my deep sleep. So I am a huge fan of this herb and am known to have whispered, “Thank you, God, for
chamomile,” into a dark night more than once.

In thinking about tea I contemplated my garden as a source. There are herbs, mostly rosemary, lavender and oregano. But the only herb I have growing that I think of as a tea is a small bunch of mint.
mint

I chose a spot what would allow it to expand, as I had always heard that mint is invasive, but, be it a hybrid or what, it has not done that. However, I was happy I’d given it a closer inspection, given that it was going to have its picture taken, as I realized this one has now at last sent out some runners, so I’m hoping for a good mint source perhaps by next spring. Fingers crossed. Its tasty. I will say that. I tried a leaf. And I’m sure you likely know that mint is also a good source of digestive aid, not unlike chamomile.

I am hoping through this simple post that you will think about including more natural teas in your daily lives, or will share with us what ones you’ve turned to. I could write about the more medicinal qualities of herbs, but not today. My focus here was simply to suggest the inclusion of the simple cup of tea.

Love and garden blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

12 Responses to “A Simple Cup of Tea”

  1. What a delightful post, Kathryn! I enjoy iced tea but I’m clearly not the afficiendo you are. A friend did turn me on to something you might like, it’s Jasmine Downy Pearls from Peets. It’s green tea scented with jasmine.
    Cheers!
    Kathlene

  2. Hi, Kathlene! Thanks for the tea recommendation–and the visit! Love, Kathryn xoox

  3. Hi Kathryn. I was late coming to tea, despite being English – I only began to drink it when I first visited Himself’s parents and I didn’t have the courage to say I didn’t like it!!!

    I LOVE green tea and Earl Grey – no milk, naturally. I’m currently also drinking Lime&Ginger tea and Cinnamon, Cardaomom&Ginger tea – scrummy and refreshing.

    Enjoy!
    Nutty

  4. Indeed a lovely post, dear Kathryn. Like you, I always have a batch of (though unsweetened) green tea in the frig (often steeped with mint), my drink of choice with a huge wedge of fresh lemon during the day (besides lemon water) . However, I love the jolt of freshly ground Starbucks French Roast in the morning … several cups, in fact :) Beginning late autumn and throughout winter, especially on chilly days, I treat myseft to a cup of afternoon tea on the sunporch … Earl Grey studed with a lemon clove, a favorite. I designed my kitchen with a tea cupboard, filled with many choices including herbal. After reading this delightful post, I will lovingly think of you, dear one, each time I enjoy … a simple cup of tea.

  5. Hi, Liz, Gosh, now I’m wondering what sorts of tea I could buy in the UK that I can’t get here! Surely they know their teas! Cinnamon, cardamom and ginger is a chai influenced tea. Must be yummy (scrummy even better!). Funny that you didn’t drink tea until meeting the in-laws! Sounds like such a British sort of story. Love it! And, of course, I should not be assuming the Brits all fancy their tea! lol! Kathryn xoxo

  6. Joey! So good to see you here this morning! Why am I not surprised you, Queen of the Kitchen, would have iced green tea on hand? :) And, yes, mint is a lovely addition. We did that this summer. I will try the green tea with lemon. It sounds refreshing on a hot day. Earl Grey with a lemon clove. Wow. Must try. A tea cupboard sounds lovely, as does your sentiment of sharing tea from opposite sides of the country. Thanks, dear. Kathryn xoxo

  7. The idea of drinking green tea is growing on me. I have not cared for it in the past, but we all change. Soon! Thanks for the lovely post.
    Hugs,
    CurtissAnn

  8. Good afternoon, CurtissAnn! Green tea might be an acquired taste. You could try making a Southern version of it with a lot of sweetening. Green Sweet Tea. Or, try with mint, as Joey suggested. That really is refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. And apparently it’s very good for us! Antioxidants. Kathryn xoxo

  9. Yes, I Love Love Love a delicious cup of tea!! My fav is chai, the recipe for which you very kind-heartedly shared with your readers. Green tea with peppermint is also yummy; especially refreshing on a hot day!
    Wonderful post and suggestions!

    Love you,
    Antonia
    xoxox

  10. Hi, Sweetie! Yes, you do love your tea! Probably as much or more than I! So happy you have that good habit. And, yes, that green tea w/ peppermint this summer was very yummy and appreciated in the heat!
    Love, Mom xoxo

  11. Such a wonderful post, Kathryn! Lovely linens and teacups, too — isn’t “the ritual” of tea a huge part of the enjoyment?

    I come here, I read, and I never leave without a smile on my face. What a gift. xo

  12. Hi, Nancy! Yes, the instruments of delivering tea to ourselves and loved ones are part of the beauty of the process. So true. Your very kind words are incredibly endearing and appreciated. Thank you so very much. Hugs! Kathryn xoxo

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