Monday, 6 March 2017

Teas for dreaming about the colder months

Much of my social media timelines are currently filled with Northern Hemisphere residents excitedly grasping at any sign of spring's arrival, from cheering daffodils and mimosa bouquets, to longer days and brighter evenings. Here in Australia, we are slowly heading into the cooler months and I am impatient for the end of summer and its blistering heat - yet we're currently in the first week of autumn* and the forecast is predicting temperatures of above 35°c. To console myself, I've put together a list of some of my favourite wintery teas to remind myself that the cold, and all the loveliness it brings with it, is not far away, and to wish for autumn's swift arrival.

The overpowering smokiness of lapsang souchong is undeniably an acquired taste and one that took me a while to appreciate. Happily I've finally learnt to enjoy it in the same way that I adore the smell of smoke emanating from a fireplace - there is something so cosy and comforting about it. This is definitely a tea reserved for the cooler weather but in the right circumstances (rainy day, blankets, good book), it is divine. I have to credit the lapsang souchong from Taylor's of Harrogate as having converted me.

While I tend to drink more green tea in the summer as its lightness and refreshing properties seem more appropriate, I do have two favourite green teas that I like to rotate in the cooler months and are particularly cosy. Kusmi's Label Impérial is a spicy, orange-y tea that is almost Christmassy in flavour.  The tin, like all of Kusmi's teas, is ornately beautiful, but that is by-the-by. Another similar tea is Clipper's Green Chai Tea, which is as delicious as it sounds and is the perfect union of two of my favourite teas.

Finally, it would be amiss of me to not mention perhaps my favourite tea of all time: Mariage Frère's French Breakfast Tea. I rarely drink tea with breakfast in summer as it's too hot, but I'll be reaching for this tea as soon as the temperature drops. It has very subtle caramel and malt notes, just enough to give a bit of sweetness without being too heady; it is, as Mariage Frères describe it on the tin, an elegant and refined tea. The perfect gourmand treat to start my day.

What are your favourite teas, wintery or otherwise? Please let me know.

*Fun fact - in Australia, the first day of the month marks the beginning of a new season, unlike many countries that wait for the equinox or solstice.
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