Comfort tea…

Right now, I’m sipping at some “sick” tea (blend of chamomile, ginger and honey), wishing this headache would take a hike. Right now, I’m thinking this must be the worst tension headache in history, because it’s hitting me EVERYWHERE: behind my eyebrows, the back of the head, the top of my scalp in the front of my head, just all over the place. I feel like my eyes are poached.

And of course, I had to run out of Excedrin today. *Moan.

In the meantime, since I have been a connoisseur of tea and chocolate, which helps me get through each and every day, here’s my take on some of my favorites, and how I like to make a cup of each:

Earl Grey: This is normally my morning coffee, when I’m too tired to stand. Because regular coffee, the black stuff or even a sip of espresso, will give me possible arrhythmia or just mild irregular heartbeat, I prefer to brew myself this stuff to get me to stay awake the entire day. And one cup of this stuff will keep me wide awake for at least 12 hours.

How I like it: Refrigerator cold water in the microwave for 1:50 (or water that’s hot to the touch), poured over a spoonful of sugar and tea bag in an 11 ounce coffee mug. When I’m in public, it’s usually two “Sugar in the Raw” and one regular sugar, or just four sugars added first. Brewed one to two minutes, stirred. I generally prefer Tazo or Bigelow brand of Earl Grey, but my favorite is Twinnings, the tea blender from England, who knows how to mix black tea leaves with Bergamot oranges perfectly.

Island Mango from Capital Teas: This is the very first blend of loose leaf tea I’ve ever tried at my WTC friend’s place, and she gave me a whole bag of this as a birthday present this year, which came with my very first tea strainer. I told her this must have been one of the most expensive gifts I’ve ever received, but she said she got a very good discount on it, and she is a frequent customer of theirs. The thing about this tea, the water has to be boiling for a couple minutes when you make it; you can’t just brew it in the microwave. And the strainer is not dishwasher or microwave safe.

Here’s how I get this perfect: 10 ounces of water in a saucepan, heated to a rolling boil, keep boiling it for two minutes, pour it over a tablespoon of tea in the strainer, close lid and let it brew for eight minutes. Pour over a heaping spoon of sugar (or two sugars) in 11 ounce mug, stir. Not too sweet, and just enough tang.

Stash’s Chocolate Mint Oolong: This tea blend is my all time favorite, because every time I make it, I feel like I’m drinking a warm peppermint patty, minus the calories of a mint hot chocolate at Dunkin Donuts. It’s an awesome way to get my chocolate fix without breaking my diet or breaking the bank. If you go to the tea section of Wegman’s grocery, they have the biggest selection of flavors from Stash tea blenders of Portland, Oregon, and they have this wicked flavor, a box of 18 tea bags, for $2.50.

How I prep it: Pretty much the same as I make the Earl Grey, but steeped for up to four minutes. I also use only a spoon of sugar, or just two sugars, and sweeten to taste.

“Sick” tea at BB’s Cafe, Towson Public Library: When I was sick with a mild throat problem in June of this year, I found out from the cool girls at the library cafe that they have a special concoction of tea for sick people. It’s normally made with half of their Rishi green tea with mint and the other half ginger, but I still like the ginger mixed with their chamomile and honey.

Here’s how I ask for it: I usually get a small cup of it for $2.75, for that’s all I can handle, and all I can afford. I go easy on the ginger and make it mostly chamomile because the Rishi ginger tea is pretty strong. Add about a tablespoon and a half of honey, stirred, and a couple ice cubes if it’s too hot. I can smell the tea as they’re making it, which is one of the most pleasant tea smells ever.

Swiss Miss and Godiva hot chocolate: One year when I was still dating him, my ex boyfriend gave me the rest of his Godiva dark chocolate powder since he wasn’t a big fan of hot chocolate and he didn’t drink the stuff because chocolate gave him headaches. (I strongly believe that to be a myth.) I made the stuff last as long as possible by adding a small spoonful of Godiva to my Swiss Miss cocoa, which tasted divine. I will warn you, Godiva is expensive as it is rich and robust, almost like Starbucks’ espresso. So how I make my hot chocolate with both brands is still a craft I’ve perfected.

How to make this: Heat seven ounces of 2% milk in the microwave for a minute and a half. Using a 10 ounce mug, pour hot milk over the Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation powder from the envelope. Add a rounded tablespoon of Godiva dark cocoa powder, stir until perfectly even and dissolved.

And that’s my take on my favorite comfort drink for Twitter!

Ok, I think I’m done with the internet for today. I… need… sleep…

-The Lady in the Blue Box

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