Tea Time

Fall finally decided to show up here in Charlotte, NC this week.

Hoodies and sweaters were pulled out of closets, socks and slippers donned for the first time in months, and denim could be worn comfortably.

Oh denim. I've never understood people who wear jeans in Southern humidity. They're like sweaty straightjackets for your legs and torso. Skin was meant to breathe, y'all.

So with a chill in the air, one must make certain adjustments in all areas of life, from the closet to the kitchen. Gin & tonics are replaced with red wine. We buy apples and dried fruit for cereal instead of berries. And I trade daily cold drinks of seltzer for my favorite comfort of the cooler seasons - tea.

Scott & I share an affinity for tea, and we have our rituals. "Tea and Books and Bed" is a totally innocent affair that involves piling up with reading material and decaffeinated brews. You do have to watch Scott with tea - one drowsy moment can result in a messy spill, turning a quiet, relaxing moment into a chaotic cleanup.

We like our tea paired with McVities Dark Chocolate Digestive biscuits, which hardly sound appealing but they are tasty. And they make great chocolate bar/graham cracker substitutes for S'Mores but perhaps that's another post for another time.

Decaf Earl Grey and Chai are staples for the HTT crew, as are a wide variety of Celestial Seasonings teas. If you missed it, Celestial Seasonings rebranded last year and did away with their whimsical animal box art, and some of us just didn't think that was a good idea. So they brought the old packaging back. Now the delightful pajamas-clad bear cozily nodding off in the armchair is back on the Sleepytime Tea box, the Princess and Dragon returned for the Tension Tamer design, and all is right with the world.

I mean, really - boring botanical art, or adorable snoozing bear? 

A cup of tea is not to be rushed. Unlike its Starbucks counterparts, tea should not be gulped while on the run out the door. Slow down. Sit a while. Sip. And enjoy.