Hot tea drinks may be a staple in British lore, but in the colonies we have lost the fine art of concocting hot teas. If you are in search of a winter tea that does the tango with your palate, bubble tea, bush tea, white tea, Masala Chai or cinnamon tea might be just what you need.
Not Usual Among Hot Teas: Bubble Tea
Bubble tea hails from Taiwan, where it is served hot or cold. Make it your favorite steaming winter tea by combining hot black tea with cooked tapioca pearls, condensed milk, and honey. Personalize the tea to your taste buds by adding agave syrup instead of honey for sweetening; remember that this substance is significantly sweeter than commercially available honey, so add it in very small increments.
Taking a Page from the Playbook of Alexander McCall Smith: Bush Tea
Bush tea has become famous among hot tea drinks because of the central role is plays in the activities of the “Ladies’ Detective Agency” set in Botswana. Aside from its sudden literary fame, bush tea – or Rooibos – packs a major punch when it comes to antioxidants. Prepare and enjoy it just as you would black hot teas.
White Winter Tea Enjoys Balmy Temperatures
Add about a teaspoon and a half of white tea to six ounces of water that is no hotter than about 180°F (water boils at about 212°F). White tea is a very special beverage and the hotter temperatures may eradicate the flavorful mix of taste sensations and create an average or slightly unpleasant brew. Of course, if you are living in sunny Southern Cal, steaming hot drinks are most likely not your cup of tea anyways, so this one would be perfect!
The Most Versatile Among Hot Tea Drinks: Masala Chai
Combine a robust black tea, whole milk, any number of spices, and a sweetener. For a winter tea, consider adding cinnamon, anise, and ginger. Nutmeg is another possibility, although depending on the strength of this spice, you have to carefully adjust your measuring. Consider adding brown rather than white sugar when preparing hot teas falling into the Masala Chai category.
The Ultimate Hot Winter Tea: Cinnamon Tea
Among hot tea drinks, nothing says winter tea like hot cinnamon teas. All you need is a stick of real (not the dollar store version) cinnamon and a cup of boiling water. Crumple the stick into small pieces, put it into the cup, add boiling water and you have one of the easiest hot drinks you can imagine.