So, thecatisacritic asked me to ramble to you all today about the perfect cup of tea.
The perfect cup of tea varies, of course. It depends on my mood. When I was growing up, my grandmother always had a tin full of various Celestial Seasonings flavors and we would boil water and try out a new flavor each time, sometimes go through more than one a night, and even less often, more than one per cup. My favorites growing up were my perennial yerba maté—we were doing Wisdom of the Ancients back then—and Roastaroma, which is essentially chicory tea. I still love chicory and now I use it in my own blends.
Yet and still, I buy those old flavors I loved so much over the years: the holiday teas, Bengal Spice, zinger teas, the new rooibos flavors. Sometimes, I just like the comfort.
Growing up, I often drank cold yerba maté from the fridge (we brewed up pots of it at a time), but after I left my insurance job due to tendonitis, my grandfather would bring me cups of steaming hot maté from time to time, and I was hooked. I'm often cold, so cold tea has completely lost its appeal for me. I'll buy bottled Guayaki if I'm out and about, but I always drink that at room temperature or heat it up. In short, the perfect cup of tea is piping hot and sipped for pleasure, warmth, and whatever additional benefits it may provide.
As mentioned, I make my own blends now. I drink supertea daily for health and it's my standing go-to: equal parts pau d'arco, stevia, thyme, and yerba maté. When I want to get warm and want to save my supertea, I tend towards peppermint chamomile, gingermint, chicory spice tea in various ratios, and rooibos with flavor of the day additions. And every once in a while, I still do pull out tea from the fridge and pour it in a cup to drink it cold—just not often. It's a granddaughter/grandfather thing, this hot tea stuff.