Friday, May 18, 2007

Tea For The Weekend Wind-down

It's Friday afternoon. Your work week has felt more like a work week and a half. You've been hopped-up on caffeine for the last five days just to get everything done. You need to wind down, and fast, or else your weekend could be a bust.

As Winnie-the-Pooh would say, tapping his noggin in deep thought, "What to do? What to do?"

"What to do" might well be to make yourself a hot cup of Adagio Tea's Decaf Spice. This wonderful, aromatic, soothing blend of oriental spices almost seems to replace the blood in your veins, mystically relaxing you from the inside out. I've come to think of it as "meditation in a cup" because lingering over this tea has the same effect on me as meditation.

Not too spicy, not too strong, and not a bit astringent, this tea satisfied even me...a die-hard coffee drinker. It holds up well to the addition of milk (or plain soymilk) and honey; tea drinkers who normally add sugar to their tea will find that for Decaf Spice they'll want to use honey instead.

My favorite bedtime concoction uses:
  • 12 ounces of boiling water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Decaf Spice tea leaves
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon honey

To make:

  1. Steep the tea leaves (in an infuser) for 5 minutes. No more. No less.
  2. Pour the vanilla soymilk and honey into a small cup and microwave for 45 to 60 seconds to get the combination warm and frothy. (Do this while the tea steeps to save a little time.)
  3. Remove the infuser from your mug.
  4. Stir the soymilk-and-honey mixture into the tea, and enjoy.

Heating the soymilk and honey gets the two to blend together better, helps keep the tea warm longer, and really brings out the richness of the tea. If you have to have a small munchie with your tea, a simple shortbread cookie (vanilla shortbread, if you can find it) goes well with it.

Some Adagio customers have commented on the review board that they put this tea into the same category as chai. Having had both chai products and Decaf Spice, I'm not convinced of the similarity between the two, and think that Decaf Spice is actually better than any chai product I've come across to date.

Adagio also offers a caffeinated version of this tea, called Oriental Spice, which is just as good and works just as nicely with the "recipe" above. The beauty of ordering from Adagio is that they offer sample sizes of each tea for about $2 a tin; depending on the ratio of tea leaves per ounce of water that you prefer to use, a single sample-size tin will yield 5 to 10 cups. If you turn out to love it, then you can invest in a larger size.