Today marks the first PROPER snowfall (i.e. one with big, fat, clumpy flakes that I got to witness). And as such, today’s tea had to be a bit special. It’s cold – although the sun has finally appeared – it’s windy, it’s a perfect day to shelter in place until you’ve warmed up and woken up. And then, a walk in the fresh-fallen snow! But for some of us, it’s not quite that simple… it’s a workday! But I work from home, so I still get to watch the snow out my window and enjoy the day vicariously.
I chose Candy Apple for two reasons. One, the tin was sitting on my desk staring me in the face, and two, I’ve only had it once before, but the spicy apple scent is to die for. Three. There are three reasons. The third is that it’s a long day for me today (3 hours managing the chat room for a B’nei mitzvah service this morning, and then 8 hours at work) and this is one of my rare black teas – needed the extra boost of caffeine!
The scent permeating my office/bedroom right now is of tart apples and sweet toffee. There are a few unusual ingredients in it (blue mallow flowers, pomegranate petals, sweet blackberry leaf) as well as some expected ones (apples, cinnamon). It’s a mellow black tea that doesn’t seem to have the bitterness some flavored black teas get (you sometimes have to oversteep to get the “other” flavors to shine through, which makes the tea bitter). The flavors come through nice and clear without having to overdo it. Oddly though, the apple shines through and the cinnamon is almost unnoticeable. It’s hard to describe the flavor, never having eaten a candy apple. (Granted, I think I tried one once as a child, took two bites, and decided it was not a combination of textures I was going to accept). I honestly can’t tell you if it tastes like a candy apple or not, my only taste of one having been roughly four decades ago. But I can tell you it’s delicious! This is one that would make an excellent iced tea.
I’m trying to incorporate some mindfulness and self-care into this tea ritual for the month of December. Even though I’m usually working while enjoying my tea, it’s more about using that time to think and feel and be. I like to use a grounding technique meant for relieving acute anxiety when I’m doing this. What are five things I can see? Four things I can physically feel? Three things I can hear? Two things I can smell? One thing I can taste? It’s a very calming process whether you’re experiencing anxiety or not. And it never fails to bring a bit of peace to my day. Try it, and hopefully, it will bring a bit of peace to yours as well.