My whole life long I have been a tea lover. It started small when I was very young with a sip here and there of my parents’ weak, sweet, milky black tea. As I grew older, I drank the same tea of my own, gradually adding more and more sugar in my younger years and then becoming sensible and weaning myself off sugar altogether in my self-conscious teenage years. Every day from as long ago as I can remember, began with a cup of tea.
As much as I have always loved black tea with milk, it was not until recently that I have been able to enjoy (and not just tolerate) a cup of herbal tea. A friend’s mother used to always drink Twinings blackcurrant tea. I could never understand how something that smelled so good could taste so average. As the years have gone by and my caffeine tolerance has gotten lower and lower, I made it my mission to enjoy a cup of herbal tea and somehow I have made this work. At first I added just a touch of sweetener (honey or sugar) and this really helped to bring out the flavor in the tea. Now, I am proud to admit, I can drink a cup of chamomile tea straight with no sugar and no other flavoring, and thoroughly enjoy it.
Yesterday I hit a new milestone. I made homemade mint tea. I went into the yard, foraged for mint leaves, poured hot water over them, added honey, and let it steep. And that’s it! That’s tea! I refrigerated the concoction and served it to my family over ice later in the day (it was a hot one) and it was delicious. Now my mind is whirling with all the other tea possibilities: lavender tea from our lavender bush, combination herb tea from our herb garden, all served with or without lemon and sugar. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention yesterday’s even more satisfying milestone: I drank a cup of blackcurrant tea. And thoroughly enjoyed it.