14 Jan How to choose the right tea blend for your mood And help you reach for a cuppa instead of a glass of wine this Dry January
By Kim Havelaar, founder of Roqberry
Tea has come a long way from the days when English Breakfast was your only option. Unusual tea combinations are becoming mainstream and offer so much choice, plus you can drink many teas either hot or cold – depending on your mood, what you’re doing and whether it is blowing a wintry gale outside.
Tea has more in common with wine than you may think. Tea, like wine, has different notes and flavours which can be blended for specific reasons. Certain teas, like certain wines, can enhance particular foods and tea-and-food pairing is becoming very popular.
So what teas can you use to replace your usual tipple during dry January?
Here are a few ideas:
It’s been a long day and you need to sit down with something warm and comforting just to get you feeling relaxed before you start the evening meal and chores. Why not try a sumptuous blend of Sri Lankan Black Tea, real raspberries and cocoa nibs?
Or, if you feel like a glass of something cold and sparkling to celebrate making that sale or hitting that deadline, how about a sparkling cold-brewed combination of South America’s lemon verbena and South Asia’s lemongrass, for a mellow citrus celebration that is stunning iced?
If you are hosting a dinner party and you and your guests are accustomed to a cocktail or two before eating, why not try a tea which combines punchy flavours such as pineapple, desiccated coconut, lemon grass, currants, lime, hibiscus and Papaya? Again, you don’t have to drink it hot, you can serve over ice and even throw in a (non-plastic) straw and an umbrella!
There will also be a blend to replace your and your guests’ usual liqueur at the end of the evening, with flavours such as liquorice, coffee, orange that can be thrown into the mix. Your guests can end the evening feeling warmed in an unusual way… and also able to drive home!
Or perhaps you are missing the mulled wine of the festive season and fancy something warm and spicy to curl up with. In which case you can’t go far wrong with a blend of rooibos tea, spices and elderberries.
Once you have started experimenting with tea blends, it’s likely you’ll start to realise that certain teas compliment foods in much the same way certain wines do. Whether drinking your tea hold or cold, there are definitely blends that work well with sushi, say, or Indian food.
You can even find a tea blend to go with your pudding and cheese courses (after all, you’ll be saving the booze calories so why not?)
Suddenly, spending the month sober doesn’t seem so dull after all!
Whatever it is that might have you reaching for that glass during Dry January, there is sure to be a combination that really is your cup of tea.