My Favorite Teas for the New Year

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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?

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Angie says:

    “…quiet is it’s own form of rebellion”

    Boom. Love this. And I’m going to invest in a tea kettle!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Flourishing Antiquity says:

    I love your tea and book recommendations! I’m drinking a lot of coffee but when I go for tea I’m drinking Harney and Son’s Sweet and Spicy. It reminds me of the restaurant Good Earth that was around when I was a child in the 80s and early 90s so not only is it yummy but it reminds me of carrot cake and birthday lunches with my grandma.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      Oh! Do you remember “good earth” tea? Was that connected with the restaurant? Seth and I used to get “good earth” tea and we loved it. But we haven’t been able to find it in years!

      Like

  3. I love talking about tea! I am very much a “coffee person,” but I do love curling up with tea as well-a friend once mentioned to me that caffeine-wise, coffee gives more of a jolt while tea follows more of a slow, gradual pace; perhaps that is how it can be so cozy to linger over. Currently, I’ve been enjoying Savoy Tea Co’s “Bedtime story” tea in the evenings-it’s a blend of peppermint, chamomile, and a couple other herbs. And not tea, but I have to share since I’m loving it-I’ve very much been enjoying some new coffee my husband bought me-an Ethiopian Light Roast (it has some very delightful blueberry notes) from Humble Habits, a company run by Byzantine Catholic monks in Wisconsin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      Ooh.. Bedtime Story sounds delicious! And I should totally check out Humble Habits – I’m always in need of more coffee!

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  4. So very lovely!

    I have been warding off the tension with blends of lavender, mints, and yarrow. Some days I think I should bathe in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      Yes! All the soothing teas! Bathing in those herbs sounds so good right now!

      Like

  5. Warm The Heart of Winter says:

    Masha, what a lovely recipe. I wish I could get hawthorn berries. I may have to resort to purchasing online. Do you grow them on your farm? I am so excited to read your updates and to see how yall are fairing in the silent cold that is Maine in January.
    I have found so much health and intent in making my own tea infusions and have found a new love. I use a blend of nettle, black oolong, rosebuds, fennel, orange peel, and mint from the garden it is very soothing and makes a wonderful wake me up tea midday. also good for low moods. I love that you love tea as well. Enjoy your week and Month’s end with the family. Tell Seth Hello for me and I am so looking forward to Lent.
    Adagio tea company makes some wonderful ones as well and they are very quick to deliver.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      I wish I grew them! I bought mine. I transplanted a hawthorn from my in-laws this year, but unfortunately it didn’t take. I’m ordering a few younger trees this year though, in hopes of having a healthy, home-based supply of berries! Your teas sound so good! ❤

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  6. John has been into smoked chai lately, and I’ve been drinking honey roibos tea with lots of milk and sugar — so sustaining! Wish we could join you in your starlight reveries. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      Oh wow! Smoked chai sounds amazing!!! I wish you could join me too! I feel like a few late light conversations are long overdue!!!

      Like

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