Fall is just around the corner, only about a couple of weeks away, and it’s a time when my tastebuds crave certain teas, including a few with added flavorings (something I usually avoid). But such anticipation can make time seem to crawl by slowly. And that makes me cry out, “Hurry up, Fall, I need those special teas!”
We’re supposed to have temperatures in the low nineties for the rest of the month. So it seems that Nature is not being very cooperative in my desire for that seasonal change as our tilting planet travels along its orbit around the Sun. At least not in our part of the country. You folks in the Northeast are very likely enjoying those cooler temps that go along with the bursts of color washing across the landscape as the tree leaves lose their chlorophyll. Such a display that it inspires “leaf peeping” expeditions from near and far.
Having grown up in an area that had four seasons clearly delineated, my internal calendar clicks over to Fall as soon as school is back in session or the beginning of September, whichever is first (school seems to start earlier every year, which muddles my insides a bit). That “click” turns over my tastebuds, too, and points them toward certain flavors: pumpkin, crisp apples, corn dishes, squash, and spices like cinnamon, cloves, thyme, sage, and cardamom. Any tea with these flavorings added draws my interest, too.
Top of the list is what many in the U.S. call “Chai Tea” (a bit of a misnomer since “chai” means “tea”), usually a black tea with an array of Indian spices. I like to fix this in a saucepan instead of steeping in a teapot. Two cups of boiling water, two teaspoons of CTC Assam, and a half teaspoon or so of “chai masala” (the Indian spice mix for tea). I put all in the saucepan, bring the water to a boil, and let it go for a few minutes. Then, I add a cup of whole milk, bring it back to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer another minute. One of the best things about this tea is its adjustability, where you can add more tea or more spices or more milk to get it just the way you like.
Other teas perfect for Fall that I can’t stand to wait for:
- Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea – Loose Leaf — While pumpkins are mostly used to create Jack O Lanterns, they can also be used to concoct delicious soups, desserts, and dishes. Made using a blend of black teas and South African rooibos, this delicious tea is made using natural pumpkin flavoring and spicy notes of cinnamon. A tea that’s absolutely perfect when served hot with milk and sugar. For the best brew, steep in water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 2-5 minutes.
- Apple Spice Flavored Black Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches — This tea has the lively fruity flavor of fresh orchard apples with delicious cinnamon notes. High grown Ceylon tea from estates at more than 5500 feet above sea level. Product of Sri Lanka.
- Cinnamon Naturally Flavored Black Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches — Mildly spiced with a refreshing cinnamon flavor. A naturally flavored black tea. High grown Ceylon tea from estates at more than 5500 feet above sea level. Product of Sri Lanka.
- Apple Spice Flavored Black Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches — Lively fruity flavor of fresh orchard apples with delicious cinnamon notes in a naturally flavored black tea. High grown Ceylon tea from estates at more than 5500 feet above sea level. Product of Sri Lanka.
- Granny Green Apple Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches — Deliciously refreshing, just like the real thing! This all natural fruity flavor is perfect for any time of day.
Lots more choices out there, but I like these since, except for the last one, I can add milk and sweetener and have a “dessert in a teacup.” One of the wonderful things about Fall. Of course, I could instead have pumpkin pie or apple tarts or cinnamon buns and enjoy them with a nice cup of straight Assam or Ceylon black tea or even some Keemun Panda or a nice Kenyan black tea with that dash of milk and sweetener.
Yes, Fall is a fabulous time of year for us tea lovers. Enjoy!
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