As the temperature begins to dip even more I’m always reminded how much I love that winter is a time for slowing down. Rather than hectic, never-ending days, these early sunsets make get to sleep earlier, and shorter days mean I prioritise, rather than try to do everything. Cold weekend mornings become decidedly more lazy, with slower yoga sessions, and warm, hearty breakfasts that feed my body and soul (baked oatmeal? Yes, please!). Warm drinks are a must– wether my essential cup of coffee in the morning, a few cups of tea through the day to keep me going, or a turmeric latte (or occasional hot chocolate) to wind down in the evening. Not to mention favourites like mulled wine and spiced cider!
A warm drink in the winter is often the perfect opportunity for a bit of a pause, wether in the middle of the day, or as I try to relax in the evening. While a cup of tea is lovely any time of year, there are a few I especially crave as the air gets chillier. Not only are they comforting and warming, but each has a few unique benefits of its own from immunity support, to anti-inflammatory properties, a cup of tea can be a great way to practice self care. One study even found that keeping your neck and throat warm can help you fend off colds! If that’s not a reason to keep warm with a cup of tea (and a cute scarf!) I don’t know what is.
This is by far one of my favourites, especially for colder months. I like to steep longer than recommended to get a stronger flavour, and then add a tiny bit of agave or raw local honey. It’s wonderfully calming, and is my go-to for when I’m feeling stressed, wanting to wind down in the evening, or if I have an upset stomach. I’ve also used it to make a really lovely hair rinse to bring out natural highlights– but that a topic for another post.
A classic immune-supporting tea, Echinacea is great for both fending off, and reducing the symptoms of a cold, so I like to brew a cup at least a few times a week in the winter. If you’re curious to know more about echinacea’s many benefits, this article is a great resource, and also has some brewing tips to get your best cup. Sometimes I like to brew a blend of echinacea and chamomile for an extra herbal blend that balances some of the astringency echinacea can sometimes have. Echinacea also makes a really delicious hot toddy (just brew as normal, then add a bit of lemon, raw local honey, and a shot of whiskey).
The blend of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and other spices is perfect for winter! It’s delicious on its own, but is also great with a bit of warmed coconut milk for something a bit more indulgent. Black tea is a great source antioxidants, and the added spices are a great way to support your immune system, especially if you steep them at home.
While this one isn’t technically a tea, it’s just as lovely and warming. It’s recently seen a boom in popularity, but has been around in South Asian cultures for centuries as a health drink. Turmeric not only tastes delicious, but also has some pretty potent anti-inflammatory properties, and may reduce the severity of viral infections (aka the common cold). There are tons of recipes for turmeric tea/ turmeric lattes, but this one is a great place to start.
While these four are my favourites this time of year for their amazing taste and wellness-boosting properties, there are plenty of others that are just as delicious and good for you. Really, any way you manage to add a little bit of self care to your routine, either for a five-minute tea break midday, or by incorporating a lovely turmeric latte into your evening routine you can make the most out of this slower time of year, and recharge your batteries a bit before the busy time around the holidays.
What is your favourite warm drink in the winter? Do you have a favourite recipe for a hot toddy or chai tea latte? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!