T-Time

T-Time. Not the kind you need clubs for. I’m talking about refreshing tea that is flavorful and iced and always seems to be in my hand during  the hot days of summer. We need to drink lots of fluids but water doesn’t satisfy the taste buds. Tea has enormous possibilities, as I’ve learned over the years. Look beyond the household staples and find a good decaffeinated tea to start with and be creative.

To my basic decaf tea, I’ll sometimes add a sprig of fresh rosemary to the brew. It’s savory and holds up to summer meals. Or, for a bit of citrus flavor, instead of adding a lemon or orange slice, I’ll pick a few leaves of lemon verbena – pictured below – from a plant in my courtyard and add it for a subtle bit of flavor. So delicious for a mid-afternoon respite. Mint, rose hips, lavender with chamomile…the choices are endless.IMG_3004

Lately, I’ve been brewing mint tea in bags. What a burst of flavor! This morning, I added green tea to the mint bag. I find green tea a bit bland, but appreciate its healthy attributes. Putting green tea in the mix is like hiding vegetables in the lasagna for the kids! It’s good for you, it’s in there, but it’s overshadowed by the primary flavor.

A good decaffeinated tea with lots of character won’t keep you up at night or dehydrate you and will eliminate or diminish the need for sweeteners. Who needs sugary soft drinks?

When I put the kettle on for my morning coffee, I fill it to the top to have enough boiling water to make the day’s iced tea. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to make it.

Visit your farmers’ market and local tea shops, or grow your own herbs and spices, and open your taste buds to some new and interesting combinations. Enjoy your T-Time. No clubs needed.

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