Quitting my Diet Coke habit and trying to drink fewer lattes has left me with few options for a daily boost, especially since I will never indulge in energy drinks. So I've taken my tea drinking to another level, indulging in a variety of teas on a daily basis to not only get caffeine, but also add other nutrients teas offer.
A long time ago I wrote an epically long blog about tea, how to make it, what to use, etc etc. Well, I think it would be easier to feature a tea of the week with plenty of pictures and simple instructions. Plus I want to promote the drinking of this delish beverage as much as possible.
Disclaimer: At the moment I get all of my teas from Teavana since that's what I know and trust. However, I'd love any recommendations for Loose Leaf brands as I hope to incorporate more varieties into my daily tea diet.
First up we have Javavana Mate (MAH-tay) that goes for $7.20 per 2 oz. at Teavana:
Yes, the "Java" in Javavana indicates coffee as this is a coffee-flavored tea with chocolate, cappuccino, and vanilla flavors as well. The energy boosting stimulant in mate tea is equivalent to the caffeine boost from a cup of coffee without being addictive or making you jittery. Plus it curbs the appetite, so it's a great tea to add to a weight loss plan.
Because it's the perfect latte substitute, I add coconut milk and a teaspoon of German rock sugar.
Rock sugar is made from beets, 25 calories per teaspoon, and is a great natural sweetener that enhances the flavor of tea without changing it.
Hmmm... how to describe the effect....
Have you ever smelled a fruit tea that has a strong, fruity aroma, but when you drink it the flavor is a watered down version of the scent? Well, the rock sugar makes the tea taste like it smells... if that makes sense.
You can also use rock sugar in coffee, baking, etc.
Javavana Tea Lattes are what I love in the mornings while I'm trying to wake up:
Or in the middle of the day when I'm dragging...
Iced Javavana Tea Latte
Add 6 teaspoons of Javavana loose leaf tea and 1 tsp rock sugar to a Perfect Tea Maker (or something equivalent). Fill halfway with hot water and let steep 6 to 12 minutes. The longer it steeps the stronger the flavor. Empty the tea maker over a pint glass full of ice.
Add coconut milk (or any milk of your choosing) to taste. I add 3 tbsp of coconut milk OR 1 tbsp skim OR 1 tsp heavy cream. Mix well as the dissolved sugar will be on the bottom. Enjoy!
**To make this hot, Teavana will recommend half the amount of scoops and an almost full tea maker of water. However, to me that dumbs down the flavor, so I say stick with the same amount of scoops and fill the tea maker, leaving a centimeter of space.
**Remember, you can adjust the flavor to make it stronger or lighter depending on your taste. Don't be afraid to experiment-- it's just tea!!!