I love how cold weather makes hot beverages taste even better. It always has and it always will for me. I remember when, as a young child, I would come inside from playing in the snow and ditch my cold wet boots just inside the door, leaving chunks of fluffy white snow to melt on the floor into big salty puddles. My sister and I would peel off layers of clothing, icy and sopping wet, and dash to the kitchen in our thermals to beg for hot chocolate with marshmallows. Usually the dehydrated stuff in the packets would do the trick, but sometimes Dad would simmer milk and chocolate sauce on the stove, pour the concoction into little Peter Rabbit mugs, and top it with big melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows.
These days I am more into coffee. And by “into coffee”, I mean can’t live without it, won’t start my day until I find it, and don’t ever pass up the chance to grab a big mug of it, summer or winter, rain or shine, always and forever.
However with the recent snow and sleet activity in central Virginia, I have branched out into tea, cider, and even the occasional hot chocolate with marshmallows. Ever since I bought my new teapot, I have been obsessed with tea in the evenings and sometimes with breakfast on the weekdays. After microwaving water for tea for the last 15 years of my life, I have finally discovered the joy of making tea at the appropriate temperature, and oh my goodness is it so much better. I blame my mother for having a proper tea pot, with which I was obsessed over the holidays. And now I have my very own!
I got a little creative this week and made myself a tea latte with breakfast. It was so delicious that I had to share the recipe. Although the measurements aren’t exact because I kind of estimated. I encourage you to play with the proportions anyway because everyone likes their coffee or tea a different way.
Vanilla Spice Tea Latte
1 black tea bag (I used Twinings English Breakfast which is also great all by itself)
1/4 cup reduced fat milk
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
1. Brew some hot water in a tea pot.
2. Microwave the milk for about 30 seconds, or until just warmed.
3. To the milk, add honey, vanilla, and a dash each of cinnamon and nutmeg. I would guess that I used about 1/8 of a teaspoon of cinnamon and just a pinch of nutmeg. Stir to combine. If the honey will not melt into the milk, zap it in the microwave for another 10 seconds and then try again.
4. As soon as the water begins to boil, pour 6 oz. of hot water into a mug and add the tea bag. Steep for 4 minutes.
5. Remove the bag from the tea (do not squeeze it out into the mug or it may get bitter). Add the milk mixture and stir to combine.
Today it is a little cold but the sun is shining and I’m heading outside to play. Dad won’t be waiting with hot chocolate when I make it back inside, but at least I can count on my new tea pot to help me warm up when I get back. And if I’m lucky I can deliver a little warmth to someone I love too.