Last night and this morning it was very cold where I live. I don't know the exact low but it was forecasted to be around 17 degrees F, and it felt like it. Not only was it the coldest night of the year so far, but it well over 10 degrees (F) colder than the coldest night we have had up until this point, making it feel like a bit of a shock. Living in the city now, there are fewer natural things that I was able to photograph to capture the cold; without any visible ice or frost, this is the best I could come up with:
Bare branches against a blue sky often evoke the association of cold for me, as the coldest days in winter tend to be the clear ones.
I sometimes check the weather in different parts of the country, to get a sense of perspective. I was surprised that it was significantly warmer this morning in Minneapolis, which tends to average about 15-20 degrees colder than Philly in the month of January.
Tea when it is cold:
When it is very cold, I tend to want to drink a greater volume of hot liquids just to stay warm. This includes tea. However, because I don't like consuming additional caffeine, I tend to brew the tea more weakly. Often I achieve this by using a larger brewing vessel. Usually, my default mugs to make tea in hold about 12 ounces of water. On cold mornings, such as this one, I often prefer a larger mug...in this case, one that holds about 16 ounces, or two cups. I have one mug that I bought recently that I drank from today:
This mug was produced by a local potter who sells his pottery at the Clark Park Farmer's Market in West Philadelphia, every saturday. I really like his work, and it is very reasonably priced. His work is very clean and neat looking, yet simultaneously earthy and organic. Much of his work has a pattern of overlapping colors, blending to produce even more colors, produced by dipping the work in glazes covering part of it, and then repeating at a different angle. I hope to return to highlight more of his work because I think he has some genuine artistic flair; this simple photo doesn't really do justice to his creations.
Another thing I do on cold days:
Another thing I do when it's very cold is to stretch tea one infusion beyond when I would normally steep it. For example, if I would normally steep an oolong (western-style brewing) twice, before discarding the leaves, I steep it a third time, and enjoy the last infusion for its warmth, even if it is somewhat bland.
Do you drink more tea when it is very cold?
Do you drink more tea when it is very cold? Do you just deal with the additional caffeine, or do you brew the tea more weakly like I do? Or do you drink other hot liquids like hot fruit juice or herbal teas?