Recently, there’s been a fair bit written about various delicious teas that might suit your fancy at this time of year: some herbal infusions, some ginger flavoured, and many others. This flavour palette is one that many people enjoy during autumn and winter, and is considered seasonal. There is certainly some logic to it—fruits such as apples and oranges are in season, and the spices favoured in these teas are warming spices that help your body’s heating system do its job on a cold wintery day.
But what is it that you tend to gravitate towards during the dark, cold months? Everyone has their own preferences, and sometimes what you crave during a certain time of year doesn’t fall under the umbrella of traditional seasonal flavours—for example, I know someone who really enjoys coconut flavoured teas when the weather is cold. I know lots of black tea drinkers who tend to go for heavier, stronger black teas when the days are shorter and colder. Or maybe you don’t respond to seasonal changes at all in your tea drinking: I have another friend who more or less only drinks Japanese green tea. When the weather gets colder, he doesn’t waver, and continues to drink what he drinks all year round.
This got me thinking about my seasonal tendencies in winter. I do enjoy the traditional seasonal flavours such as cinnamon and ginger, especially in the form of masala chai. But how much of my enjoyment of masala chai is about the seasonal spices, and how much is about the milk that I like to add to it? I have noticed recently that I am also favouring other teas that I add milk to. For me this means almost exclusively black teas (both flavoured, such as Earl Grey, and unflavoured, such as Keemun), the one exception being Vanilla Rooibos. Tea with milk has a little more substance to it — it is a little creamier, and a little more filling. It makes sense that I am gravitating towards milky teas in winter; on a cold day, when I am burning all of my energy to try and stay warm, this is exactly what I need to keep me going. Although I drink black tea with milk regularly at any time of the year, during the colder months, my ratio of tea-with-milk to tea-without-milk definitely shifts in favour of the former.
What are your seasonal tendencies this winter?
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