As you’re kicking off the new year this January, make sure to do it right: with tea! Each January is Hot Tea Month, and this year, at least to this southern gal, the cold weather proves it’s fitting. No matter how you like it—with cream and sugar, a little lemon and honey, or plain and strong—there’s no better beverage to warm your chilled bones. Well, I take that back. There’s one way to make your tea better: Instead of bagged tea, drink loose leaf!
1. Learn to Make It Right
There’s an art to making the perfect cup of loose leaf tea. Not only do techniques matter, but each type of tea requires a specific steeping time. Watch the video below to learn how to do it just right.
2. Try Different Methods
Don’t get stuck on what’s easy. Sure, you can pour boiling water over the infuser in your cup, but is easy always better? Branch out! Try a traditional teapot or a gravity drip infuser.
3. Forget the Coffee: Drink Tea at Breakfast!
Many people love nothing more than having a nice, hot cup of coffee to wake up. But why not change it up? Put it away for just a day or two, and grab some English breakfast tea. You can brew it strong, and it tastes great with sugar and cream!
4. Explore New Flavors
You’ve had green tea, but do you know what kind? Dragonwell? Jasmine? Gunpowder? Sencha? Heck, that isn’t all of them, nor does it even count those with added flavors. Perhaps you stuck with what you liked, or maybe you didn’t know there were so many options. Now’s the perfect time to try something new!
5. Buy Samplers
The most cost-effective way to test drive a number of loose leaf teas is through samplers. Most tea companies offer sampler packs that are geared toward different needs. There are samplers of fruity teas, holiday flavors, green teas, speciality teas, and top sellers, just to name a few. Most importantly, the majority of these samplers will make quite a bit of tea!
6. Join a Tea Club
It seems like there’s an “Of the Month Club” for everything these days, and tea is no different. For instance, Simple Loose Leaf Tea Company offers a $9/month subscription that comes with four tea types per month: black, green, herbal, and seasonal. Other companies offer different options, such as The Tea Spot’s clubs, which offer seasonal sets of black, green, herbal, or organic teas, delivered quarterly.
With all the options across the web, there is something for everyone’s taste and budget.
7. Cook with Tea
Yes, there are books dedicated to recipes that involve tea. Plus, have you ever been on Pinterest? From London Fog cake to green tea marinade and tons of sweets, there are numerous ways to incorporate your favorite tea flavors into a meal or dessert.
Don’t be skeptical. Just give it a shot! You might be surprised at what tea can add to your meals.