Tap tap, hello? Is anyone there? I'm feeling more than a little sheepish about how much time has gone by since I last posted. Let's put the blame squarely at my son's feet - born last June - and on the publication of my book - out last September. Forgive me, reader! With patience, I will try to get back here with some regularity.
Let's start with my new favorite tea. My brother-in-law bought it for me for Christmas and it is sort of marvelous.
First of all, it's loose tea, not bagged, otherwise I probably would have gotten rid of it without looking at it twice. Second of all, it's caffeine-free. And third of all, and probably most importantly, it has little cocoa nibs in it. Yes, indeedy.
To brew it, you put a few spoonfuls of the spicy mix in a pot of boiling water and let it simmer for 15 minutes. It looks rather unpromising at first, but as the minutes tick by, the water starts to go a deep reddish-brown color and a wonderful aroma fills the air. Strain the tea into a tea cup and top off with a splash of milk and a little bit of honey (I find chai always needs some sweetener, though I take all my other tea without sugar).
What you've got, then, is a richly flavored, warming chai tea with a subtly chocolate bottom note. It's really delicious and very satisfying, especially if you're trying to kick an afternoon cookie-and-hot-chocolate habit. Ahem.