When you live in a place where the climate typically reaches the 70s and 80s year round, it’s easy to forget about seasons. Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in February, I see women in their bikinis lying out under the golden sun and shirtless men playing volleyball. Being a native Southern Californian, these sights are just everyday living in a sunshine state like California. So how do I remember that it’s February–a month into winter, a season that in most parts of the world reaches low temperatures of negative degrees Celsius? The answer is tea!
I drink tea daily, and during these winter months, I notice that I start to transition my tea selection to chai blends. This season often invites ailments such as the flu and cold, but the ginger in chai, is generally known to combat respiratory inflammation and pain. For centuries, ginger has been used in many cultures as a natural cure for the flu and cold. It is also believed to reduce all symptoms associated with motion sickness.
Winter, an essentially frosty and cold season, hails comfort from a spicy and aromatic tea. The spices commonly found in chai– ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, gently soothe the throat during colder days and nights. Together, these chai spices create a pungent flavor for the palate, which soothes, balances and warms the body.
Chai or chi is the word for tea in many countries. Traditional chai is a spiced milk black tea from India made up of a strong black tea, heavy milk, various spices and a sweetener. For a take on India’s customary chai, Tali’s Masala Chai by Art of Tea presents a fair trade and organic-certified blend with the quintessential balance of sweet and spice. Using organic Assam black tea anchored in savory spices, this chai can be enjoyed as is or with milk and a sweetener.
But if you’re looking for something more unique, Art of Tea’s new winter-inspired White Winter Chai is my new chai favorite this season. This signature blend is composed of organic white tea, black peppercorns, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, cardamom, star anise and natural flavors. The beautiful star anise is frequently used as a cough remedy by Asian herbalists. The addition of fennel to this chai blend suggests medicinal properties since fennel is widely used to treat kidney and ocular problems. White Winter Chai’s lighter and milder flavors succumb to a sweeter tone that is comforting and warming.
For non-caffeine drinkers, cozy up with a cup of Art of Tea’s Rooibos Chai. This caffeine-free blend or tisane allows you to enjoy and reap the same flavor notes found in a traditional Indian chai. Grounded by South African rooibos and gently hand-crafted with Indian spices, this unique concoction is a nice alternative to chai without the caffeine.
For more teas and tisanes to comfort you this winter season, check out Art of Tea’s selection of Winter Inspired Teas.