The next two posts will be about the “Whiskey & Tea” side of A Girl with Curls, and since it’s two o’clock in the afternoon, I’ll start with tea. I am somewhat of a tea connoisseur, I consider myself a full expert on all things cozy—and tea fits into that category. 🙂 There is nothing that puts me in the mood to read, write, or anything-crafty more than a good cup of tea. When I pick out tea it is all about the mood I am, but first the most important step to me is picking out my cup. I will not buy a cup unless it calls out to me aesthetically and fits in my hand perfectly. What can I say? I must be a cup snob. 😉 My cup of choice today was a gift from a friend who brought it back from one of her trips to Russia. I LOVE this cup. It is larger than a normal teacup and the rounded sides fit perfectly in my hands. It is also beautifully hand-painted. The next step is putting on the water to boil and picking out my tea. I love a wide variety of teas from green to black, though I must admit that I’m not a fan of white tea. I just haven’t found the right kind yet. I have tea from Japan, Nepal, Ukraine, Russia, and the good ol’ store-bought American stuff. I even have Yerba Mate, which is different kind of hot drink packed with caffeine from South American cultures. It considered an infused type of drink like tea. I have seen it served in tea bags, however I prefer it served in its traditional way in a gourd, with a metal strainer type straw. Earlier I said that picking tea has to do with my moods. I drink green tea most frequently, especially in the evening or if I feel bloated. When it's not steeped too long, green tea is light and refreshing--it just feels clean. My favorite varieties of green tea are peppermint and jasmine. I find black tea to be indulgent, and often unless it has floral or fruit flavors I will add sugar and milk. It is my go-to cozy drink the during early afternoon. Today I made my favorite black tea with milk and sugar. I had English breakfast tea, (I prefer Irish breakfast, but I was out), with about a teaspoon of sugar and a dash of milk. The last steps are to steep and enjoy! I know there is supposed to be a perfect amount of time to steep your tea, anywhere between two to six minutes, but I honestly think it is preference based on how strong or bitter you like your tea. When I make black tea with milk I go by color, I like the tea to be a nice caramel brown. Mmmm…. Perfection!