Today, I have a wonderful lady here as our Featured blogger... she is one of those people you actually can almost "hear their voice" as you read their blogs! There's a sweetness to her that is just irresistible and you find yourself having to go back to her blog time after time!
I am very blessed and feel encouraged when reading her honest/genuine posts! I am sure you'll feel the same way! So ... instead of just going on and on about her let me just go directly to the introduction... her name is Laura and she is Pruning Princesses, in short Laura is a Jesus follower, a tea aficionado, a wife, an only child, and a mother to two girls. She writes about raising girls on her blog,
Now... I'll let Laura do the talking:
I hate coffee. The smell is fabulous. I never could acquire the taste. If it hadn't been for that tea party in Boston, America might never have became a nation of coffee drinkers!
Winter in the Midwest necessitates that each resident has a favorite hot drink. Mine is tea. At first, I was tentative. Tea is deceptive like its cousin coffee. It can smell much better than it tastes. The first tea I loved was called Licorice Spice by Stash. It was sweet and smelled like it tasted. The aftertaste was subtle and pleasant.
After my first baby I became a tea snob. Once a week my dear husband would give me the morning off from mommy duties. My favorite spot to unwind became a tea shop (not a drop of coffee in sight) near the capitol building in Des Moines called Gong Fu (the art of tea). Two peers had traveled the world searching for the best teas and learning about them. They passed their knowledge onto their customers.
I learned that green and white teas should never meet boiling water. And they shouldn't sit in the hot water for more than 2 minutes. They taught me that to decaffeinate a tea, pour the hot water over the tea, wait 10-20 seconds and dump the water out. Most of the caffeine will come out in those seconds. Use the same tea leaves and repour the water and enjoy decaf. I learned about the smooth clay cups used in India to serve chai. In India, the cups are thrown on the ground and broken when the drinker is done. Somehow food and drinks are better with story and expertise to enhance them. We moved from Des Moines a year after my new found love of green tea began.
As a mom, I've passed on my love of tea to my two girls. They are 8 and 10 but love tea. In drinking tea together, we've all expanded our list of favorite teas. Almost every afternoon we have tea time (so very British of us!). We switch it up regularly. Some days we do smooth mint teas, others we try American fruit teas like raspberry or peach. And recently after reading a fabulous young adult lit book called The Tea Shop Girls (so many tea facts packed into an appealing YA book for girls), we've been loving black teas like English Breakfast or Earl Grey with a little cream and sugar.
I try to keep my girls away from teas with caffeine, but their favorite tea is a white tea (which has 1% of the caffeine found in coffee) Sharing my drink love with my girls means we all squeal when are in a city with a chain store called Teavana. There are always 4-5 tea samples around the store and all their teas are loose (meaning not in a bag). Our favorites so far are Youthberry White and Jasmine Green. But good tea is useless if you make it wrong. And my girls know how to make perfect cup of tea. Let me share.
- Find a quality tea. It doesn't have to be loose, but fresh loose teas have the best flavors and they are beautiful (full of dried leaves, fruits, and flowers). Start heating your water. Know your tea. Read the brewing directions on the label because all are not equal (the first tea lesson I had to unlearn). If you can, use a clear mug, watching the color ooze is exciting.
- If you have green or white tea, let the water boil and then cool to 180 degrees Fahrenheit before using (fill your tea cup with boiling water add an ice cube or two and the water is ready for tea). Overly hot water will turn green and white teas into bitter concoctions that you won't enjoy.. And with these teas, don't let the tea sit in the water for more than 1-2 minutes for green and 2-3 minutes for white. The girls and I always add 2-3 drops of liquid Stevia to sweeten our tea though others prefer honey or rock sugar.
- If you have a herbal or black tea, the water temperature can be boiling. The soaking time does not matter except according to your preferences, usually 4-5 minutes is best.
- And if you are looking for an easy Chai recipe, try this one.
I know Paloma loves her coffee as do her readers, but now you can make a cup of green tea without a bitter taste. It might surprise you.
Thank you so much Laura for sharing some tea with us!!! Don't forget to stop by Laura's beautiful blog and get to know her better at: Pruning Princesses- Raising Girls to Love God in a World that doesn't , make sure you say "thanks" for the cup of tea she shared with us today!
Have a great weekend!
© Paloma K.