Simplicity is my favorite thing when it comes to tea. Single herbs taste so complex yet are so identifiable…like familiar faces you can sense even with your eyes closed. I like to keep little cork top jars filled with single herbs in my pantry so I can look at them every afternoon and see which one whispers to me that day. Chamomile. Peppermint. Skullcap. Licorice. Holy Basil. Lemon Balm….the collection usually ebbs and flows with the changing seasons (and admittedly gets a little out of hand in the winter time). In December, I never let my chamomile supply run dry, as this is my go-to tea to serve for a quick cup of tea when company comes around. I’ve never met a single person who didn’t enjoy chamomile. I think it’s because it’s a comfort to everyone, even on a subconscious level.
There’s something really special to me about holiday company. I love having folks in and out of my house in December. It’s a communal respite from the chilly, bitter air outside and it makes our house feel so good when people stop by or stay over. Leave it to me to always have a hot pot of tea out to serve, and to Greg to prepare endless, delicious food to share. Even though we live in the south, I think it gets plenty cold, and a warm mug of chamomile + lemon tea is liquid aromatic heaven to snuggle into someones hands right after they’ve slipped off their gloves. Winter tea just exudes a subliminal message of, “Come in…..settle in and stay a while….”
I choose a simple chamomile & lemon tea in December because it’s quick and easy and comforting and delicious and I always have the ingredients on hand. Flowering tea is a magical thing in the winter when everything else has gone underground and shriveled up. It’s delicate and subtle with a hit of lemony citrus that excites your taste buds and makes you feel right at home. Medicinally, chamomile + lemon is a powerful digestive aid to both calm and stimulate digestion, easing the often overburdened stomach during the most overindulgent time of the year. This simple, two ingredient tea is perfect for kids to prepare for company too, and I’ll sometimes shuffle the little ones into the kitchen to make the “company potions”, and they feel like little wizards. Never too early to start formulating.
For this tea, just keep a jar of dried chamomile flower on hand along with a few lemons and, if you like, raw honey to sweeten.