Pumpkin spice, move aside…
This autumn, we're thinking of some interesting tea-based drinks that don't fit the typical mold of seasonal sips. Sure, cinnamon and nutmeg are always delicious in your hot cup of tea, but it's about time that we get more creative with our cold-weather beverages. Trade your jitter-inducing café latte for a tea-based latté or another tasty drink that will never bore you.
Two Leaves and a Bud Tea writes some helpful tips on how to create the tea latte of your choice:
"To optimize the flavor or your tea, it's helpful to understand what steep temperature to use for different teas. Delicate leaves like white and green tea should be steeped in below boiling water at 170 to 185°F, to prevent burn resulting in bitter notes. Oolong teas need a medium boil at 180 to 190°F. More robust teas like black and herbal can use fully boiled water at 208 to 212°F. A digital thermometer helps to gauge the temperature of the water, or you can keep an eye on how rapidly the bubbles break the surface when it's being heated to make a prediction."
Using this technique, you can always wing it if you don't feel like following a specific, step-by-step recipe! Use whatever you have in your pantry and apply the flavors that please your senses the most.
We have omitted ingredient lists below, but click each link for all the ingredients for each recipe and more fun tea content! Visit Heavenly Tea Leaves to check out our vast variety of loose leaf teas and pyramid tea sachets that can be used as the base of each of these delicious beverages! See our favorite fall sips:
Black Tea Latte (in just 5 minutes!) via Jessica Gavin:
Are you a traditionalist? If so, a black tea latte may be as far as your journey away from traditional hot tea takes you. But that's okay, because this latte is simply delicious. Using a quality black tea like our Assam, you can turn a watery beverage into a more substantial fall drink, in lieu of hot chocolate or eggnog.
Steep 1 oz. of loose black tea in 1 cup boiling hot water for 5 minutes (using a strainer or disposable tea bags). This will yield a concentrated tea for the latte. Warm milk in a medium sized saucepan, you want the milk near boiling but not rapidly boiling. If you have a milk frother, you can use it to create foam for the lattes. Add ¼ cup tea concentrate, ¾ cups milk, and foam (if available) to your mug. Add sweetener and toppings if desired. Enjoy with your favorite biscuits!
Rooibos Vanilla Spice Latte via Two Leaves:
Rooibos is a fantastic fall-time tea in that it's rich in polyphenols and said to help boost your immune system. Plus, it tastes great when drunk warm. This recipe especially enhances rooibos's deep flavor thanks to touches of exotic spices and a dash of honey.
Place one serving of rooibos tea in ½ mug of boiling water for 5 minutes (use strainer or disposable tea bag), then remove the strainer pr tea bag. In a separate container, heat milk & 1 tsp. of coconut oil. Add 1 tsp. of honey and ¼ tsp. vanilla extract and stir. Froth the milk mixture to perfection and pour over fully brewed rooibos tea to fill mug. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Autumn Spiced Apple Tea via The Mostly Homemade Mom:
Reminiscent of the hot apple cider we all know and love (and especially prefer after a long day of pumpkin picking), this strong and cozy tea is ideal for snuggling up next to the fireplace. Sip on this one while you're contemplating stocking stuffers and other holiday presents!
Bring water, cloves, and cinnamon sticks to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in apple juice (and sweetener). Turn the heat back on to low and simmer until heated through. To serve, place two apple slices in the bottom of two mugs. Pour hot tea over apples, being careful to strain out cloves and cinnamon sticks. Serve with additional cinnamon sticks in the mugs if desired.
Matcha Latte via Japan Centre:
Matcha is concentrated green tea powder from Japan that's good for your body and great for your soul. When turned into a creamy latte, its assertive and leafy flavor profile is mellowed and complemented beautifully. Showcase your matcha and please crowds with this easy recipe, which gives the option of frothing regular milk or alternative milks if you're dairy-free, plus the choice to make it hot or iced:
Spoon the matcha green tea powder and sugar into a mug or cup. Add some warm water and whisk until it is a smooth dark green paste to ensure no lumps form. Warm the milk in a small saucepan and pour into the mug until nearly full. Use cold milk for an iced latte. Use a whisk to mix the paste and milk together until smooth and light green in color. If you so wish, you can add a few sprinkles of matcha green tea powder on the top for decoration. Or add ice for an extra cold iced latte.
Cafe Chai Latte via Heavenly Tea Leaves:
This is a signature chai tea latte recipe from yours truly – the team here at Heavenly Tea Leaves. This drink of Indian origin is traditionally had at breakfast due to a high caffeine content (because it's based in black tea) and strong and spicy flavors (think cinnamon and cloves). But we say, when its fall, you always have an excuse to drink a chai latte. So without further ado:
Boil a 3:1 mixture of milk to water (Make sure to use whole milk for the best results!). Pour masala chai into the mixture and heat on a medium simmer for about 10 minutes. Add sugar to taste (you can begin by adding 1.5 teaspoons for each cup of liquid in your mixture), along with a sprinkling of nutmeg and cinnamon. Using a ladle and tea strainer, pour out the masala chai latte into individual cups, straining out the tea leaves and extra particles; serve hot.
Golden milk via Epicurious:
This is one of the health-promoting recipes that has been trending the most this year, and for good reason. It packs a strong-willed antioxidant punch without sacrificing flavor (or sheer beauty, thanks to its bright yellow hue). This concoction will leave you wanting more, no doubt.
Whisk coconut milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, honey, coconut oil, peppercorns, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have melded, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon.
Mint tea punch via AllRecipes:
If you're still in the mood for a crisp, refreshing tea drink rather than a hot latte, you're in the luck – this recipe for mint tea punch is just the surprise to your palette you're looking for. With the perfect balance sweetness, depth, and vegetal character from the mint, your Thanksgiving guests will definitely be asking for a second helping.
Place the loose leaf peppermint tea and mint sprigs into a large pitcher. Pour boiling water over them, and allow to steep for about 8 minutes. Add sugar until dissolved, then stir in the orange juice and lemon juice. Pour in the cold water. Pour through strainer into cups with ice cubes, garnished with orange or lemon slices.
So, next time you conjure the flavors of the season, you can use some of these recipes (or your own) to create something interesting and new. Use premium, gourmet loose-leaf teas from Heavenly Tea Leaves to take your cup from good to exquisite and enjoy your autumnal drinks in good company.