Wellness Dept.

Inspired herbal tea pairings to spice up your life

[dropcap]Whipped coffee is all the rage now. Just three ingredients for the DIY quarantine beverage that’s taken the internet by storm during the pandemic. But what about coffee’s serene sister, herbal tea? Isn’t this the ideal time to up your gourmet tea game and pair your favorite flavors with scrumptious, mouth-watering pastries? You’re likely still homebound, working and carrying on with the business of life in the face of an uncertain future. That calls for a cuppa. Or three.[/dropcap]

Despite the name, herbal teas are made from dried fruits, flowers, herbs and spices rather than tea leaves. Like wine, herbal tea can be paired with different flavors to bring out its unique qualities. Here are our recommendations for perfect pairings.

Lemon balm tea has a light, lemony taste and promises several health benefits, including enhanced mood and mental performance. Some studies suggest that lemon balm tea may improve antioxidant levels, heart and skin health. It’s also supposed to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Add a dollop of honey or a dash of Stevia and sip away. Complement your herbal goodness with a homemade or store-bought blueberry scone. Sparingly sweetened, studded with fresh blueberries and lemon zest, this traditional British pastry is a superlative companion for lemon balm tea at breakfast, teatime or anytime in between. Clotted cream and strawberry jam are optional.

Hibiscus tea is made from the vivid flowers of the hibiscus plant. It’s pleasingly pink and refreshingly tart. In addition to its bold taste and striking color, hibiscus tea features antiviral properties and may help lower blood pressure. If you’ve got fresh mint growing in your herb garden, drop a leaf or two into your hibiscus tea for a cool aftertaste and a fresh aroma. We’re suggesting an equally bold flavor pairing with dark chocolate. The bittersweet bite of the chocolate balances the tangy flavor of the tea. Whether you choose a chocolate chip muffin, a decadent truffle or le petit pain au chocolat, you’re in for a treat.

Chamomile tea is famous for its mild flavor and soothing effect. We like it best with a Norwegian butter cookie. Serinakaker are similar to shortbread with a rich buttery texture and a sweet crunch. The key here is to balance the delicate taste of chamomile with the creamy flavor and smell of butter. Maybe this one is for bedtime or when you’re catnapping in your comfy Stressless Sunrise Power recliner, because chamomile is renowned for its soporific effects. Chamomile is also believed to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and liver-protecting properties.

Whether you’re a novice or an herbal tea connoisseur, rest assured your decaffeinated beverage of choice tastes best in your favorite piece of Stressless furniture. Just sip, sigh and sit back. Ahhh!