January is fast fading away. Our winter weather has finally returned in full force, with deep freezes at night and bright, cold days. I’d love another snow storm to cover all the ice, but for now, we’re enjoying the starry nights and sunny days.
Yesterday, we took the kids ice skating on our beaver pond. The dogs snuffled around the beaver’s lodge and slipped across the ice, while the kids skated and adults huddled around the fire drinking mulled wine. When we finally hiked back home, my whole body felt deeply cold. I made a steaming cup of smoky black tea (Simpson & Vail’s Smoky Siberian) and just sat by the fire warming up for a while.
Teas are such a cozy, essential part of winter! I love coffee, but there’s something extra warming about tea. Maybe it’s the scent, or just the feel of the word “tea”. Whatever it is, I’ve been mixing up teas more often these days.
Not all of them are my own blends, actually most of my favorite winter teas aren’t mine. I like Earl Grey with extra bergamot on snow afternoons at home. Smoky Siberian (a Lapsang Souchong blend) on dark evenings at home, while writing – or hoping to write. It gives all the comforting feelings of Dostoevsky’s letters and has a warming, campfire sort scent. Both these teas do have caffeine, but much less than my usual pot-a-day of coffee.
The herbal blends are entirely caffeine free. My favorite is a combination of hawthorn berries, linden flowers, yarrow blossoms, and chamomile. I call it – and about 5 other variations of it – “Tea for a Time of Tyranny” and drink it whenever I’m feeling extra anxious about the world. I like to mix in a spoonful of our own honey and look around at my little retreat as I drink.
Like E.B. White,
” I get up every morning determined to both change the world,
and have one hell of a good time.
Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.”
But my soothing teas help bridge the gap. Somehow, while drinking them and doing nothing else, I feel like I’ve made good on both my goals for the day. I’m happy, I’m at peace, and quiet is it’s own form of rebellion.
What are you drinking during these long, cold, winter evenings?