Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blog Party: Your Morning Cuppa

This months blog party is a fun and unusual one in which all these amazing herb folk will explore and share with us their favorite morning beverages and ritual drinks, ranging from the morning cup of joe, to herbal creations and anything in between, it is sure to be a feast worth waking up for!! Hosted by Tansy at Dancing in a field of tansy

Most mornings I fix myself a nice cup of really fine chinese tea. I'm lucky to live within walking distance to Seven Cups Tea House in Tucson, AZ. There I purchase the finest imported chinese and some japanese teas I've ever tasted, smokey puer tea, to bright floral jasmine pearls, to chinese herbal combinations like Eight Treasures Tea. My favorites though are the oolongs, which land somewhere between green and black in flavor, but have a depth and capacity for unique flavors that I just love. My favorite of late has been the Golden Water Turtle Oolong. Here's the description from Seven Cups.

"This medium roasted tea has a strong dark chocolate aroma but sweet floral aftertaste and flavor that never goes bitter. Compared to other medium roasted tea, which have a heavy concentrated taste, Shui Jin Gui gives you a clean slippery feeling that allows you to appreciate the character of this bush. A story tells of exceptional tea bushes cultivated by monks living high on the slopes of WuYi Shan. A torrential storm washed a few of these cliff-dwelling bushes down onto another farmer's land. The monks wanted the bushes back but the farmer refused. The local court decided in favor of the farmer claiming natural forces had favored him. The bushes grow on two square meters with a constant stream of water following through resembling a turtle thus the name "Water Turtle" was given to these bushes. Although there are still three original bushes remaining, no tea is picked because of the age of the bushes. All Shui Jin Gui was cultivated from these original bushes."

My other favorite cup of tea for morning wake up in a simple green gen maicha, with toasted brown rice. Simple, delicious and suits me perfectly, it never needs sweetening and that toasty flavor lends a heartiness and warmth that green tea alone doesn't quite manage.

But on the days when a cup of tea doesn't cut it, I mean those mornings when I have to be up and at work at 5 am long before the sun is up, I resort to something slightly more stimulating, and more creative!
My famous ChocaMacaMateLatte!
The variations on this are endless, and I come up with something new almost every time I make some, but the the basics are thus:
1 qt jar
2-3 tbsp mate leaves (how strong do you like the flavor and the buzz?)
1 tbsp maca powder
1-2 tbsp Cocoa powder
Milk, cream or non dairy milk of choice. I use almond most often, but coconut is extra creamy and yummy.
Honey to your taste.

Mix all the ingredients, and pour hot boiled water over the whole mess, top with your milk of choice. Stir well, and grab a bombilla and a lid and go!

Clearly this is a buzz buzz buzz of a drink, with two sources of caffiene, mateine, theobromine and numerous other stimulating alkaloids, but the maca powder really smooths out that buzz, makes it last much longer, evens out the plateau, and helps prevent a caffiene crash. I never feel jittery from this combination, but your mileage may vary. More or less mate, milk, or maca may influence your experience, and I definately vary the proportions depending on my morning.

Often times I'll turn this into something of a chai latte with the addition of cardamom, ( which an ayurvedic practitioner once told me protects the adrenals from the caffiene), cinnamon, ginger, black pepper and clove. Or some extra cocoa and some chile powder. Sometimes I throw in some tulsi leaves, or some orange peels. Sometimes I even drop a scoop of coconut oil into the jar for extra goodness.

I definately don't reccomend this as a regular every day drink, but it is yummilicious and works better for me than coffee when I need some even and long lasting energy without the jitters!


Kiva Rose said...

Yum, I'll have to get some maca just to try this, maybe sans maté since it gives me trouble... sounds great though. Thanks!

tansy said...

sounds delicious! i'm gonna have to get some maca and try it too.

crow said...

1. In saucepan put grated fresh ginger—the more the better, cinnamon, black pepper, and water.
2. Bring to a boil
3. Put 2 Good Earth Original tea bags and 2 black tea bags into quart container. Pour water over tea. Don’t take out tea bags; that way it gets stronger as you drink it.

Don’t strain it, chew on the ginger pieces while you drink

WARNING: May cause euphoria.

bluets said...

so what would you drink on a daily basis? i'm trying to find a caffeine substitute but nothing has the same texture (though i haven't tried mate yet).

Marqueta said...

This is a great post! Mate throws me for a loop, but maybe with maca and cardamon, I might dare indulge.



Rosalee de la Foret said...

Wow! I will have to give this a try!

Anonymous said...

oh seven cups is heaven! and that brew sounds crazy-delicious. i think i'll go make some now...

ShanaRose said...

wonderful! the mochamaca sounds AMAZING and just what I'll need this Saturday when I, too, have to be up and out before 5:30. Thanks!

You ARE lucky, too, that Golden Water Turtle Oolong sounds incredible!

"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~