Today, December 15, is International Tea Day. Growing up Canadian, tea was a part of my every day life for as long as I can remember. My grandmother and I had afternoon tea every day after school. She’d put the kettle on and get out her dainty tea cups with matching saucers and make sure she had Madelines (half dipped in chocolate, of course). Together, we would pop in bags of Red Rose (a Canadian brand that I will always, always hold dear to my heart) and I would tell her about my day at school and she would tell me about what she did that day: usually a combination of trying a new recipe, going to the store, and chatting with some of her church friends.
Every time I go home to Canada I make sure I bring home a box of Red Rose to enjoy throughout the year – but whether it’s Red Rose or not, I think of my grandmother with every cup I make.
Since we’re in the thick of December, I wanted to share some of my favorite Winter teas with you (and yes, I have a whole new list for summer). Some of these you can pick up at your local grocery store, and some will require a trip to Teavana (or David’s Tea if you’re in Canada).
5. Tazo Organic Red Apple Cinnamon
Tazo was the original tea brand carried at Starbucks and this one in particular was a great low-calorie alternative to my winter favorite: Starbucks’ Caramel Apple Spice. It’s caffeine-free which makes it great for late night, and with a dash of stevia is reminiscent of an apple pie.
4. Bigelow Decaffeinated Earl Grey Tea
Maybe it’s the British influence in my Canadian upbringing, but I’ve included two different Earl Grey’s in this list. This one by Bigelow is widely available and perfect for you teaophiles who prefer something with more body than a fruity herbal tea. It’s a lighter blend when compared to a traditional morning Earl Grey (or English Breakfast) but is such a great way to wind down after a long day. My hand to god, this is as comforting as a bowl of Macaroni & Cheese. I take mine with a generous splash of almond milk and some stevia.
3. White Ayurvedic Chai Tea
Second to my love of Earl Grey is my adoration for various forms of Chai tea. This White Ayuredic is a bright and playful blend. You’ll still get those notes of cinnamon and clove, but it’s a bit lighter and sweeter than your traditional chai. If you’re looking to expand your Chai-palate, give this one a try. *excellent mixed with #1
2. Earl Grey Creme Black Tea
If every morning could start with a cup of Earl Grey Creme, the world would be a harmonious place. This is great for those of you who have dairy sensitivity – the inclusion of vanilla and marigold leaves is inspired! Each cup is silky and warm and mimics a hint of dairy. I add a splash of almond milk to this too (husband goes all out with actual cream) and my usual teaspoon of stevia. I love this as an elevated version of a typical Earl Grey. If you’re wanting to try something different or new and you’re comfortable with English Breakfast, Orange Pekoe (which is typically your Lipton tea) and regular Earl grey, give this a shot.
1. Dosha Chai Rooibos Tea
And my absolute favorite winter tea – the tea that I could drink cup after cup and not be sick – is Dosha Chai. This is strong and spicy and cinnamon-y and vanilla-y and basically perfect. I’ve been known to call this ‘Christmas in a cup’ because of the warmth and sweetness in every sip. It reminds me of sitting by a fire with my Husband, playing cards, listening to Michael Buble, and watching the lights on the tree twinkle around us. This is rich and bold and bright – fantastic for your afternoon tea ritual. I love adding cream to mine and some stevia to sweeten it up. *up the flavor by mixing with #3
There you have it! My top 5 favorite winter teas. I hope you enjoyed this little list! Let me know in the comments below what your favorite tea is – what should I be trying?