6 November 2013

New tea discovery


Dear diary,

You know how much I love tea: I make ice tea with lemon juice in the summer and lots and lots of hot tea during winter.

Last winter I alternated between the classic Earl Grey, the recently discovered very fragrant and strong lapsang souchong and the lighter and flowery scented alternative: the lychee-jasmine tea.

As they found a polyp on my right vocal cord and while I'm awaiting the subsequent operation I was recommended not to drink any too hot beverages. I didn't think I could give them up but apparently I'm more strong willed than I thought to be: I patiently wait a few minutes until my tea is lukewarm before I take a sip and enjoy it just the same as before. I was also told to take thyme infusions, so I did, and they are really not as bad as they sounded. I found a local supermarket that sells a mix of thyme, rosemary, eucalyptus and mint, it tastes really nice even without sugar.

At work I take the thyme infusions to soothe my throat and prevent my voice from cracking down, I always keep some cookies in my desk drawer and nibble on them while I type response emails to my customers/taxpayers.

When at home, I don't care that much about my voice so I take regular tea, normally after dinner and sometimes later in the evening. In the weekends I take a huge cup with breakfast and then some more during the day.

It's not that I don't drink enough water because I do, I take up to 9 big glasses of water while at work and maybe two or three more glasses at home. In the past I hardly drank any water at all but when I started working at a pharmacy I learned the importance of drinking enough water. What really convinced me was the fact that water is food for the skin and since I'm so obsessed with skincare it really convinced me to drink more.

I think the meaning of this post is to say that you can make changes in your routine that may appear a big deal but afterwards upon looking back they don't seem to have cost you that much. You only need to take it step by step and try not to make too many changes at the same time. You need to learn how to crawl before you can walk, or something like that.

Next on the list is cutting down on salt, boo hoo hoo, I really don't think I can manage that!

The real reason for this post is to talk about my recent tea discovery: the Chai latte
Chai Latte
I tried it last year for the first time and I loved it, but never thought about it again until last weekend my good friend Tania invited us for a barbecue at her place and offered us a cup of chai latte after supper. In one word: heavenly!

She mixes Twinings Chai Tea bags with a cinnamon stick, two pieces of star anise, two pieces of cardamom and some brown sugar. She lets this steep for 5 minutes or so and serves 2 big cups or 3 smaller ones. You can really modify this recipe to your own taste, also by adding more spices, for example: cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, fennel. It is also said to be served with honey instead of sugar but I particularly don't like putting honey in my tea as I need half a bottle to taste any sweetness. I know I said I don't sugar my tea but in this case it's just as important as the other ingredients. Imagine yourself asking for a Moroccan mint tea without the mountains of sugar they serve it with! You would get flogged for sure...

When looking for more information about the chai tea I especially liked this post: Simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chai/

I also read some articles about the benefits of the chai latte, I've listed only a few:

- Black tea: rich in antioxidants, prevents cardiovascular diseases and protects good cholesterol
- Cinnamon: balances blood sugar and has digestive properties
- Cardamom: supports immune system, helps detoxify the body and improves circulation
- Cloves: pain reliever, antiseptic and antibacterial
- Black pepper: supports metabolism and circulation, alleviates chronic coldness
- Nutmeg: helps with digestion, eases sciatica and treats kidney and lymph problems
- Star anise: is a good cough remedy and can also be used as a breath freshener
- Ginger: stimulant for the circulatory and the immune systems
- Fennel: treats kidney and ocular problems as well as laryngitis

Thanks to Tania for introducing me to a world of anti-ageing benefits,