Afternoon Tea Time

My work week starts much the same as many of my friends.  I wake up early to shower and shave and soon after, the coffee is brewing.  I usually enjoy my quiet time with a cup of coffee and then I’m ready to hit the road.

I spend a lot of time sharing my coffee addiction with others of like spirit but what many do not know is that my first love of hot beverages has always been tea.  Years before I began drinking coffee I was boiling tea.  In my teen years growing up in Illinois I used to go take an afternoon two to three times a month to dig up sassafrass roots from the ground so I could clean them and make tea from them. (Thank you Foxfire books!)

Of all the bag teas I buy, my favorite kind has to be “Earl Grey” which is a black tea usually combined with lavender essence and the oil of the citrus fruit bergamont.  While coffee usually whiles away my morning (and sometimes late evening) hours, my tea time usually occupies my mid-to-late afternoon and early evening times.  I usually keep a box of Earl Grey tea in my coffee shelf at home along with one other flavor I’m trying out.  

Imagine my surprise while I was away on business in Illinois and I ambled in to the local Starbucks and noticed their new “Tea Lattes”.  Starbucks has always had tea but never really pushed it.  Most coffee shops do.  I was waiting on a friend so I decided I would give the “London Fog” latte a try since it’s base was Earl Grey tea.  I was pleasantly surprised by the taste; not too overpowering but enough to satisy your tea cravings.  A few days later I tried another one and asked the barista about the mix.  Earl Grey tea of course, along with vanilla syrup and some steamed milk added.  The tea bag used is Starbucks’ tea of choice, Tazo, in the full leaf bad variety.  It made for a pretty strong brew after it was done steeping.  Starbucks is putting a lot into this campaign to reposition itself.  The increase in gourmet coffee shops, not to mention the McDonalds’ chain offering high quality coffee beverages at a lower price and with drive through convienence, has forced the Seattle coffee chain to make some changes.  Pushing the tea beverages makes sense.  While very good, they are a bit pricey.  I went online to see if anyone else had came up with a home brew recipe for the new beverage and sure enough, I found one.  You can check it out here.

I love both coffee and tea.  I’ve been making a concentrated effort though to get more black and green teas into my diet since my dietician said it would be better for me in the long run.  She lets me have coffee but told me to cut down a bit to protect my blood pressure.  Since that time, my love of tea has come back to me and now, I look forward to a mid-day fix.  You might want to try one of these “London Fog” latte’s and see if you don’t like it as much as I do.  Try the recipe and see if you can make one as good at home!

Here’s to an afternoon tea time!

Afternoon Tea Time

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