Remember last October when I said that fall was my favorite season?
Strike that from the record. I’m promoting winter to be my favorite time of the year!
While fall has so much to offer, I only ever find that peace of mind and quietude I’m always chasing during the cold, short and dreary days of winter that are filled with candle lights, wool socks and the smell of wood fire. It’s divine.
Life seems so much more simple in the winter; everything slows down and I rarely feel like I miss out on anything if I stay home to read rather than hit the town. Because I hit the town hard any other time of the year…. not 😉
Thanks to my December Tea Advent calendar that I had ordered from Germany (24 different teas, one for each day leading up to Christmas), I found my perfect winter tea: Rooibos. I have had Rooibos before but for some reason, it never made a huge impression on me – until now. One sip last December and I was head over heels!
Rooibos, or “red bush” tea is completely free from caffeine and typically grown in South Africa. To me, Rooibos has just the faintest vanilla flavor, mixed in with aromas of pipe smoke and honey. It’s a combination I find irresistible
It gets better, though, because Rooibos happens to have astounding health benefits, similar to green tea.
Rooibos tea contains heaps of antioxidants, minerals and contributes to healthy skin and hair thanks to high levels of zinc and alpha hydroxy acid. You can even apply rooibos tea topically to combat acne or rashes – though I haven’t tried it yet.
What I love most about Rooibos tea (other than the heavenly flavor of it) is the fact that it has calming properties. Since its naturally caffeine-free, it won’t affect your sleep and is said to help with insomnia and manage stress.
Even though Rooibos is unbelievable without any added flavoring, I like to add some spice to it to highlight some of its natural aromas.
How to brew the perfect cup of Vanilla Spiced Rooibos tea:
Place 3-6 teaspoon of loose leaf organic Rooibos tea, 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract (or 1/4 piece of a vanilla pod, sliced lengthwise), 1/2 star anise and 1-2 cloves in a teapot and pour 3 cups of filtered, boiling water (212F) over it, cover and steep for 4-6 minutes, strain and enjoy!
Friends, I’m off to the mountains. I need me some snow and freezing temperatures; both are hard to find in my neck of the woods… Eastern North Carolina is not known for its rough winter weather. Y’all stay warm!!