Tee Law Tay

Today has been a very productive day and its not even 4pm yet.  What woke me up this morning to get me ready for the day you might ask… well I have this awesome tea from Teaopia called Mattechino.  It sounds like some sort of coffee drink… Cappucino, Cafe Mocha, Latte this Latte that.  I used to drink all those fancy coffees before I found out how great a cup of tea can be.  How great a cup of tea can be! I like that, it has a nice ring to it! How great a cup of tea can be if you just put it on your knee!

Anyway, this morning I made myself a tea latte!  I’ve always gotten those coffee lattes and recently I’ve been trying some tea lattes but I’ve never really made a good one myself at home in my own kitchen.  So without a milk frothier or any sort of fancy latte thing, I created the Nicole latte! Actually, it wasn’t all that hard and I didn’t add anything special to it (yet!) but we can still call it The Nicole Latte for now.

Step 1: Steep double the amount of tea you would normally use for a cup for yourself.  I used Mattechino from Teaopia because it has a Mate base (energy booster!) and a little bit of a chocolatey flavour, just how I like my lattes!  I would recommend a chocolatey or cinnamon or coffee bean tea or any one that you feel will go well with milk, those are just my suggestions.  Also, don’t fill the cup with hot water all the way because you need to leave room for the milk!  Today I used the Magic Steeper to steep my tea so I could make more than one latte.

Step 2: While the tea is steeping, pour about half a cup of milk into a small pot and put it on medium heat on the stove.  Today I used 2%, but I find soy milk froths wonderfully and tastes delicious in coffee and tea.

Step 3: Once the milk starts bubbling, grab a whisk and whisk that milk like crazy for about a minute or two.

Step 4: When the milk is all bubbly and frothy and warm, you’re ready to go!  Pour the milk into about half a cup of tea and drink up!  If you used a Magic Steeper than make sure you pour the rest of the tea out of the steeper into a separate cup and store it in the fridge.  That way you don’t over steep the rest of your tea and you can always make a second cup for when you want another yummy latte or even an iced latte! For an iced latte follow the same steps, just make sure you pour the tea and the milk over a large cup of ice.

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My morning latte cup, one of my favourite mugs because it, well it tells me I’m gorgeous!

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Add some frothy milk and you’ll see how great a cup of tea can be!

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Pink Flamingo Iced Tea

Quick! Stock up on the summer teas because it won’t be much longer until fruity iced teas go into hiding!  Well you can always seek them out of course, but fall is coming and those pumpkin-inspired toasty teas are reading to fall into your lap.  Ha-ha did you get my pun there?

Iced teas are easier to make from loose leaf tea than you may think and they taste delicious.  I find that most people think iced tea can be really watery, but in fact most people are probably used to high sugar drinks that are super sweet and have loads of sugar in them.  So do not expect a sweet sweet drink when you make an iced tea from loose leaf tea and anyway you’re probably already sweet enough if you’re reading this blog;)  However, if you do want that extra sweetness you can always add some honey or agave.

One of my favourite iced teas in the summertime is Pink Flamingo tea!

I must say Pink Flamingos are pretty awesome especially because they can stand on their one leg for so long.  They definitely have those yoga skills I’m working towards…downward dog, swan dive and pink flamingo!  Okay I made the pink flamingo pose up, but you totally want to try that pose now don’t you?  It would probably look something like this guy…

and breathe, and hold for two more breaths…

Anyway, this pink flamingo tea is, I hope you’ve already guessed…PINK!  And what makes tea pink?  In this case it is the hibiscus flower and beetroot in the tea that creates this lovely pink colour when you steep it.  You can drink this tea iced or hot, but on a nice summers day this tea is perfect when it is iced in a tall glass with a little umbrella in it.  Apple, carrot, eucalyptus and orange peel are just a few more of the other ingredients that make up this delicious tea.  For the longest time I was convinced I tasted grapefruit, the combination of these different ingredients creates a unique taste that keeps you wanting more.  The citrus flavour balances out the other ingredients and gives you the right amount of zing you’ll need when sitting under that hot hot sun!  Or make yourself a little drink after yoga, get creative and add a little splash of white wine!
How to make Iced Tea:

First, Use double the amount you would normally use for any loose leaf tea and either (a) use a magic steeper to steep your tea or (b) a stainless steel mesh ball/cup.  After the tea has steeped for a few minutes, in Pink Flamingo’s case 4-7 minutes, you can add some ice and VOILA you have iced tea! In the magic steeper’s case, there is more room for flavours to swim around and you can just pour over a glass full of ice.  Make sure you add a hearty handful of ice because the tea has to go from being super hot to cold quickly.  Since you need to add ice when the tea has been steeped, it is important that you add double the amount of tea so you can get optimal flavour in your cup.  Too watery? Add more tea when steeping next time and if you need that extra little bit of sweetness pour some of that honey/agave in your cup and you’re good to go!

Also, check out my Tea Time board on Pinterest, just click the picture and it will bring you to my board.

Inspired by Pink Flamingo tea, which you can purchase at DavidsTea.

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Infusing

Looking for a way to steep your loose leaf tea?  Have you tried using a paper towel or coffee filter yet?

KIDDING! Please do not use a paper towel or coffee filter…they don’t work!  To be honest, if this is your last resort they do kind of work…a little bit, but not really.  You have to use twice the amount of tea to get the same flavour and if you don’t mind getting chunks of tea stuck in your teeth then be my guest!  Use that coffee filter!

OR instead, head on over to your local tea store, IKEA or a kitchen/home store and pick yourself up an INFUSER if you haven’t already.  And I’m going to tell you WHY you should do so.

If you’re wondering if I’ve used a paper towel or coffee filter to steep my loose leaf tea than yes your assumptions are correct!  I was at the cottage and brought along my tea, but forgot my infuser at home!  So as a hard-core tea addict, I used spare household products that were lying around as a substitution.  It worked a little bit, but my tea was weak and I had little floaty bits of tea all over the place.  If you don’t already have one, or even know about what an infuser is, stay on the line and listen up!

Infuser #1: The Mesh Ball

Hello! I’m a small little mesh ball a little bigger than the size of the circle you can make with your thumb and index finger.  I keep your teaspoons of tea inside me so they don’t float around the hot water in your cup.  My little chain can wrap around the handle of your mug so I don’t fall to the bottom.  I’m one of the classic infusers, but make sure you get the right one.  Don’t get the mesh balls that are too small because there won’t be enough room for your tea to expand.  Your loose leaf tea needs room to move around and fill that cup with lots of flavour!   Also, make sure the ends of the ball close together properly before you buy it in order to keep all the tea inside me.  My purpose is to make sure you’re not sipping on tea leaves so make sure you purchase one that seals up all the way.

Infuser #2: The Stainless Steel Cup

I’m one of the best infusers to use when drinking tea.  Why?  Because I provide the most flavour to your cup of tea!  Like the mesh ball I’m all about giving you optimal flavouring in your cup and I do this the best way because of all the room I provide for the tea.  You can just plop me right into your cup and make sure you hook my little handle on the rim to keep me in place.  I let the tea breathe.  Without enclosing it in a ball, I let the tea leaves expand all over the place giving them room to seep out all their flavour.  I’m easier to clean and I come in a plastic-like version as well as the stainless steal version above.  Sometimes I also come with a little saucer that you can place me on when finished steeping!

Infuser #3: The Magic Tea Steeper

I am calling myself The Magic Tea Steeper because that’s just what I do…magic!  Fill me up with lots of tea, if you plan on drinking a lot the better, and pour some hot water in me and watch what happens!  I’m the best to use when sharing tea with a friend or you want some extra tea without having to re-steep it several times.  I’m a two-cup kind of infuser, I love sharing.  Once the tea has steeped to its appropriate time you’ll be ready to fill up your cups.  Just place the bottom of me on top of your mug and push down slightly.  Lift me up and viola! your cup is full!  If you’re worried about spilling or over-filling, you can put your finger on the bottom and feel for the ring that sticks out slightly.  Push up on that and watch the tea shoot out the bottom…sort of like I’m peeing! Tee-hee:)

These are just a few of the infusers that I use.  Infusers come in all shapes and sizes and are meant to help contain those tea leaves so they don’t go escaping everywhere.  The Magic Tea Steeper is an example of some of the other infusers that you can get so you can share with friends.  You can also get a larger version of the mesh ball for tea pots and share even more!

I also came across this website while I was surfing the web.  It’s just a list of all the cool infusers that people have created to make drinking tea more fun than it already is! Click here and check it out!

Happy Infusing!

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