YouTube // Namiko Chen
YouTube // Namiko Chen

8 Varieties of Hot Tea Everyone Should Try

YouTube // Namiko Chen
YouTube // Namiko Chen

Winter means tea. Lots and lots of tea. But that doesn't mean it has to be the same old thing. Fire up the kettle and break out of your Earl Grey rut with these cozy brewed beverages.

1. MILK TEA

Look into any Japanese tea vending machine and you’re sure to spot a few bottles of milk tea, also known as royal milk tea. This sweet, mild drink is made with Ceylon, Assam, or Darjeeling tea and is delicious hot or iced. To make your own at home, follow the recipe in the video above, or, if you’re feeling lazy, just plop an Assam/Darjeeling-blend tea bag in hot water and stir in some milk and sugar. It’s not quite the same, but it’ll do for milk tea emergencies.

2. GINGER TEA

iStock

Ginger tea is the Swiss army knife of winter drinks. It’s somehow spicy, invigorating, and soothing at the same time. Ginger tea is great after a big meal as a digestive aid, and many people use it as a home remedy for everything from nausea to cold symptoms. To make your own, add a few thin slices of fresh ginger root to a pot of boiling water and let brew for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from heat and add honey and fresh lime or lemon juice to taste.

3. BARLEY TEA

Image Credit: Badagnani, WikimediaCommons // CC BY 3.0

Barley tea (known as mugicha in Japanese, màichá in Mandarin, and boricha in Korean) is a wonderful, nutty, warming drink with only two ingredients: roasted barley seeds and water. You can make your own (it's pretty easy) or buy barley tea bags in Asian markets. As a bonus for the caffeine-sensitive, barley tea is naturally caffeine free, which makes it a great choice for evenings by the fire.

4. THAI HOT TEA

iStock

To paraphrase a health-conscious Cookie Monster, Thai tea is a sometimes food. This bright orange drink does contain tea, usually Ceylon, but it’s all the other ingredients—including sweetened condensed milk, orange blossom water, sugar, and coconut milk—that make it so delicious. Although it’s commonly served over ice, Thai tea is every bit as rich and indulgent when enjoyed hot.

5. YERBA MATE

Image Credit: iStock

The herbal tea called yerba mate (mah-tay) is as much a staple of South American households as coffee is in the States. This slightly bitter drink is made by pouring hot water over dried leaves and twigs from the yerba mate plant. The tea is typically brewed in a gourd or gourd-shaped container and drunk through a metal straw called a bombilla. If you’re invited to drink yerba mate in Argentina or Uruguay, it’s polite to drink it as is, but if you’re brewing your own at home, it’s fine to add a little honey or sugar.

6. TWIG TEA

Image Credit: Rama, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY SA 2.0

Speaking of twigs: kukicha, or “twig tea,” is not to be missed. This nutty, light tea is made from the dried stems and twigs of the tea plant—the parts left out of most teas. It’s popular in Japan for its slightly sweet flavor and low caffeine content. You can find twig tea in tea bag form in grocery stores and Asian markets.

7. MAGHREBI MINT TEA

Image Credit: Olve Utne, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Mint tea isn't a true tea, but it is a real delight. Like ginger tea, mint tea is known for its stomach-soothing properties. To brew your own, you’ll need fresh mint leaves, hot water, and a bit of sugar. Traditional Moroccan (or Maghrebi) mint tea is made with the spearmint plant Mentha spicata, but most other mint varieties will do nicely.

8. MATCHA

The powdered Japanese tea called matcha is traditionally prepared by whipping the tea into a steaming, emerald-green froth. Matcha has a mild, grassy flavor, but packs a lot of caffeine. For that reason, the matcha latte has become a favorite at American coffee bars (see the video above for a recipe).

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Kenmore
Kenmore's New Stand Mixer Might Whip the KitchenAid Classic
Kenmore
Kenmore

A KitchenAid stand mixer has long been a home baker's best friend. It out-mixes, -kneads, and -beats most of its competitors, all while looking gorgeous on a kitchen countertop. But in the Kenmore Ovation, the iconic stand mixer may have finally met its match. According to Reviewed, the Kenmore product rivals the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart mixer in terms of performance and design.

The elements of the two stand mixers are basically the same: Both come with three standard attachments—a flat beater, a dough hook, and a wire whisk. The Ovation is heavier than a KitchenAid, which means it doesn't scoot across your counter when it's working dense bread dough. It also takes just as much time to prepare heavy and chunky doughs in an Ovation as it does in a KitchenAid.

Hand pouring milk into a stand mixer.
Kenmore

Kenmore's product also offers some special features that the KitchenAid doesn't have. Instead of struggling to pour ingredients down the side of the bowl while it sits beneath the mixer, you can add them through the Ovation's patented pour-in hole on top of the machine. And the Ovation's glass bowl comes with a 360-degree splash guard that keeps your kitchen and your clothes flour- and batter-free as you mix.

The Ovation does have a few drawbacks: The six-pound glass bowl is hard to move around, as is the 30-pound mixer itself if you ever want to relocate it. But if you're looking for a sturdier stand mixer option, you can purchase the Kenmore Ovation for $350 to $400. Or you can stick with the classics and finally take home that KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart mixer you've been dreaming of: It's currently on sale at Amazon for $240.

[h/t Reviewed]

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TASCHEN
Everything You Need to Know About Food in One Book
TASCHEN
TASCHEN

If you find yourself mixing up nigiri and sashimi at sushi restaurants or don’t know which fruits are in season, then this is the book for you. Food & Drink Infographics, published by TASCHEN, is a colorful and comprehensive guide to all things food and drink.

The book combines tips and tricks with historical context about the ways in which different civilizations illustrated and documented the foods they ate, as well as how humans went from hunter-gatherers to modern-day epicureans. As for the infographics, there’s a helpful graphic explaining the number of servings provided by different cake sizes, a heat index of various chilies, a chart of cheeses, and a guide to Italian cold cuts, among other delectable charts.

The 480-page coffee table book, which can be purchased on Amazon for $56, is written in three languages: English, French, and German. The infographics themselves come from various sources, and the text is provided by Simone Klabin, a New York City-based writer and lecturer on film, art, culture, and children’s media.

Keep scrolling to see a few of the infographics featured in the book.

An infographic about cheese
TASCHEN

An infographic about cakes
Courtesy of TASCHEN

An infographic about fruits in season
Courtesy of TASCHEN

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