When I was little, my mother would pour a splash of sweetened iced tea into my plastic Fisher-Price tea set — which I'd sip slowly with a pinky in the air. When I was older and had my first unsweetened hot tea, I gagged, I was surprised by its bitterness and had not yet learned any valuable hacks for improving a cup of tea. But fret not, tea hacks are out there. Because sometimes you zone-out and leave the tea bag in for too long, other times you pick a flavor that's too intense for your mood or too spicy or too sweet for your palette. Other times the tea tastes just fine, but isn't packed with enough of an immune health punch... which is particularly important in the upcoming winter months.
Your morning cup of tea is a great opportunity to improve your mood, digestion, immunity, energy, and focus. Make yourself acquainted with beneficial additives and get in the groove of expanding your tea horizons. It will make a noticeable difference in the way you enjoy your tea and feel after drinking it. And let's be honest — tea, coffee, and beer don't taste any better as we get older. It's just that we become more aware of the way they make us feel, and that cancels out the bitter taste. As a kid you don't need caffeine because you don't have a stressful job and you don't need alcohol because you don't need to unwind (or get the courage to send a text message that should not be sent). But now that you're an adult, you have needs! So spiff up your tea and improve your life. Here are eight tea hacks that will improve not only your tea, but you:
Ginger is has an amazing calming effect on the digestive system. If you have a sour or upset stomach, add some fresh ginger to your tea to help settle it. It will also add a super fresh and slightly spicy flavor to your tea.
Mint leaves add a *zing* to your tea. It will wake you up, feel cool and tingly as it passes your throat and please you with a fun mix of sensations. It's also helpful in calming the stomach.
Lemon is packed with flavor. Squeeze a little lemon juice in your tea and freshen up the flavor with some major citrus spikes. Lemon also has vitamin C for that extra burst you need in the morning.
Agave is a great alternative to sugar. It's very sweet, though — sweeter than sugar, in fact, so careful not to overdo it.
Black tea without milk is unfathomable to me. A little bit of milk in a dark tea makes it smoother, silkier, and so much more enjoyable.
Honey is a classic tea additive. It's sweet, transforming the taste from bitter to delicious, and it's also great for soothing the throat.
Want to heat up your tea even more? Add some cinnamon. It will turn the bitter taste into a spicy, palatable taste and help to get your blood flowing.
I wouldn't recommend this for your morning tea, but add a little bourbon to your night-time *adult* tea and just melt into the couch. Bourbon can also work as a couch suppressant when you're feeling congested in the upcoming months.