For the Love of Tea

by Terrica Joy in

I have a crazy affection for tea.  Add to it a dash of cooler weather, the holiday season looming, lots of reason to sit and introspect, and my affection intensifies to full blown enchantment.  

Sadly this past summer in Texas was so unbelievably hot that I strictly avoided turning the oven on for cooking, muchless drinking any kind of hot beverage.  The absence certainly made my heart grow fonder.  As soon as the first big cool front rolled thru providing brisk mornings and chilly evenings, Josh and I made a mad dash to Whole Foods to stock up.  A couple of our favorites weren't available, so we ended up trying a few new and let me tell you, I am in l-o-v-e!  In case you aren't familiar, I simply must introduce you.  That's just all there is to it.

First up, this decadent goodness:


Red Velvet Chocolate.  Are you kidding me??!  It's a caffeine-free rooibos blend with chocolate, vanilla, and beet root.  A splash of cream, a little sweetener (I prefer stevia), and man... it's like drinking a warm cupcake!  I'm not kidding.  It's delish.

Moving on!  (If that's possible):


How about a little Double Dark Chocolate Mate?  Yes, please!  I must say it's pretty rich, not like a mug of hot chocolate rich, but not light like most teas.  I love it sweetened with a bit or cream or especially coconut milk.  So yummy.  Great substitute for dessert.

When I'm in the mood for something lighter I opt for this guy:


Sweet Thai Delight.  Hands down a new fave.  Rooibos, cinnamon bark, anise seed and carob pod, with coconut and butterscotch flavors.  Oh my...  It's truly delightful!  I'm certain it was made for me.  A little coconut milk, a little stevia, and I am in loooove. Oh, and it's also caffeine-free! (that's important for pregnant momas to be aware of)

Then there's this:


Rooisbos Orange Vanilla Creme.  Remember creamsicle popsicles when you were a kid?  Yep, that's exactly what this will remind you of, though more like melted in a mug ;-)  It's also caffeine-free, organic, and at $4.99 for 40 bags it's an excellent value, too.  (about 12 cents a cup! Starbucks what?)

And finally, we can't forget chai:


Fire Light Chai.  I'm always up for chai.  I love the spicy flavors.  I'm finding lately that I particularly love rooibos chai blends.  Again this one is caffeine-free and organic, and I always add extra ground ginger and loads of cinnamon, plus stevia and cream or coconut milk.  It's so sweet and spicy and warm and wonderful!  Makes me happy.

And speaking of cinnamon, I usually buy it from the bulk bins because it's so much cheaper, but because they were out I ended up grabbing this little guy:


Oh man!  I'm definitely a cinnamon snob and this is unquestionably the best I've ever had.  Vietnamese Cinnamon, I have a crush on you.  Thinking of you warms my heart.  Makes my salivate.  I love your rich color, your warmth, your decadent aroma, the depth of flavor you add to my steaming cup of morning/midday/evening tea...  I vow to never go back to anyone else.  I will never forsake you. *sigh*

Yes people, I love it that much.  Cinnamon and coconut are my two great loves.  Total bonus that they both stoke metabolic rate.  (I also add organic coconut oil to my tea on occasion.)  

SO!  There ya have it.  I realize they all essentially sound like dessert, and honestly for me they are.  Since I've been pregnant tea has become my go-to as far as sweet is concerned.  Actual desserts and sweets in general have lost their appeal.  Tangy and sour however, well that's a different story.  Or spicy, oh spicy... I could eat salsa or fiery curry or hot dill pickles all day!  (Josh even requested 'his and hers' salsa recently ;-)  He can't handle my demanding heat level, poor guy.)  But the thought of a brownie or worse yet ice cream, ugh, no way.  However after all the spice and tang, a warm cup of dessert-ish tea is quite nice!  I'm loving it.  And it's the perfect compliment for falling leaves and scarves and blankets... atmosphere is half the allure, you know ;-)

So have you tried any of these?  Do you love them??  Any other suggestions you think I'd like?