Even though it’s still May and Australian winter doesn’t start until June – the uncomfortably chilly days and nights have already began. Instead of drinking coffee, which will only keep you awake on those cold nights – why not try a tea? Black, white or green; caffeinated or herbal, you’re bound to find a type of tea that will comfort you through the coming cold months.
Warming Winter Brews
For when you need an energy boost
ASSAM BLACK TEA – T2
T2 Assam tea is sourced from Eastern India.
Assam tea has a higher caffeine content than most black teas. Assam is often described as robust, full-bodied and strong. A great tea to have in the morning as a replacement to your morning cup of coffee. It won’t give you as much of a buzz as coffee would, but the boost is more subtle and the flavour is excellent. Assam tea always goes excellently with milk and sugar (or honey) – which makes it a winner in my books.
For when you need something reliable
If Assam is too strong for you, you can always rely on English Breakfast tea to be the perfect middle ground. English Breakfast is the essential daily tea – it’s what I crave every morning, and it’s delicious however you take it. Enjoy with milk and sugar or drink it black, if that’s what you’re into. My favourite English Breakfast tea blend is the organic loose leaf tea from T Totaler (stores in Newtown and the Galeries + online linked above).
For when you crave something spiced
Chai is the Indian word for tea, but because none of our teas are like Indian chai – we refer to chai as black tea with a classic blend of Indian spices. My favourite chai comes from Chai Walli (linked above), but there are so many different brands out there to try. If you’d prefer a non-traditional chai latte – the tastiest powder mixes I’ve come across are the ones from Arkadia and Bondi Chai.
Also – If you don’t like black tea but you love Indian chai spices – you don’t have to miss out;
Higher Living’s Green Tea Chai is a low caffeine chai mix which you can drink without milk and it has all the flavour of a classic chai without the caffeine from black tea.
For when you’re feeling unwell
Growing up, my family’s go-to congestion clearing flu tonic would always be a ‘hot honey & lemon’ which is made up of a spoonful of honey and a generous squeeze of lemon juice stirred into hot water. In my own household, our flu fighting tea is usually some kind of zesty lemon and ginger tea.
The tea I’ve linked above from Bees Knees Teas is my personal favourite, discovered at Sydney Tea Festival a few years back. The Lemongrass & Ginger Tea I love is a loose leaf tea – but if that isn’t your style, try the ginger tea bags from English brand Higher Living, which you should be able to find at your local supermarket or health food store.
For something to satisfy your sweet tooth
There are a lot of great flavoured teas for all the dessert lovers out there (myself including). Flavours like vanilla and caramel blend excellently with black tea, and even some green tea. You can find a range of sweet flavoured teas from two of my favourite tea shops – The Tea Centre and T2. Both the Creme Brûlée Tea (T2) and the Cream Tea (Tea Centre) both have obvious notes of sweetness – but the creme brûlée tea also has a nuttiness from the addition of hazelnuts, whereas the tea centre’s brew has mostly caramel and vanilla flavouring. Both are excellent, and enjoyable to drink with milk and no sugar.
For enjoying without milk
FRENCH EARL GREY TEA – T TOTALER (loose leaf)
STOCKHOLM TEA – THE TEA CENTRE (loose leaf or tea bags)
Black tea, rose petals, marigold flowers, bergamot. French Earl Grey is a beautiful floral tea blend that is pleasant to drink without milk. With all the power of black tea with the additional flavour and health benefits of all the pretty flowers and herbs in the mix. If you enjoy a regular cup of Earl Grey, this shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for you. Try it out if you’re looking for a black too that isn’t too harsh to drink without milk and sugar.
Hopefully my tea knowledge helped you pick your next brew and reminded you that there’s many great drinks (with added health benefits) other than coffee to help keep you warm this winter.
If you’ve got a go-to winter tea that I haven’t mentioned, leave me a comment below – I’m always on the lookout for new tea to try.