One of the things I miss most about coffee and tea is the simple, delightful ritual of having a hot beverage that goes well with milk (and cake!). To fill this void, I’ve been seeking out non-caffeinated teas that also do nicely with milk. Here’s what I’ve found so far. Can you add to the list?
Afrikaans for “red bush”, rooibos (pronounced “roy-boss”) is popular in South Africa where it is commonly sipped with milk and sugar. I skip the sugar because I’m just not that kind of girl, and rooibos already has a sweetish taste as-is. I like that it’s low in tannins, saving me from that funny dry-toungue feeling that results from too much black tea (or wine for that matter). Several tea companies sell rooibos, including Tick Tock and Dragonfly. Some even do funky things like combine the rooibos with dried fruit, vanilla, almonds, and all kinds of flavor variations. But nothing beats a cup of pure 100% rooibos.
Ingredients of rooibos tea: 100% rooibos (aspalathus linearis)
I have recently discovered Yogi Tea‘s “Spirit” line of teas, which include Mexican Sweet Chili, Egyptian Licorice, and Moroccan Orange Spice. Do you get the impression that they spun the globe around and picked a location at random to brand these ridiculously named teas? Even so, I’m a fan. The Mexican Sweet Chili is my favorite so far. You can get a free sample on their website.
Ingredients of Mexican Sweet Chili tea: Organic Licorice Root, Organic Cocoa Shells, Orange Peel, Organic Ginger Root,Organic Fennel Seed, Organic Anise Seed, Organic Cinnamon Bark, Natural Tangerine Flavor, Natural Orange Flavor, Organic Cardamom Seed, Organic Clove Bud, Organic Cayenne, Organic Black Pepper
Dandy Blend Faux Coffee
It’s been a few years since I tried Dandy Blend but it certainly left an impression. This is what I wrote about it in August, 2005: The Herb Bar, true to its name, also has an entire room of herbs and teas. I was blown away. I sampled an amazing coffee substitute called Dandy Blend, made with roasted roots of chicory, dandylion and beets and roasted grains of barley and rye. An impressive beverage, though I think I’d rather miss the caffeine kick (a kick in the head is more like it, but how else could i possibly manage my current stint as a morning person?). It’s funny reading old stuff like that. Particularly the bit about my “stint” as a morning person. Here I am, three-and-a-bit years later, writing blog posts at 6a.m. on a Saturday, and without the aid of coffee OR Dandy Blend (but I do have a pot of rooibos by my side).
Ingredients of Dandy Blend: soluble extracts of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root and beet root.