Warming up to Winter

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With autumn reaching its peak, winter around the corner and Christmas time soon upon us, here are three warming drinks to help you battle away the cold: the least bit of comfort during this heinous period.

Staying Awake Inside

Is your warm bed calling to you to rest your head and nap away while you study in your rooms? Me too. So here are a couple of tea based drinks that are creamy, warm and easy to make. That’s right, no Italian coffee contraptions needed.

Lavender London Fog Latte

A personal favourite of mine, I especially love the one from Flat White and Hatfield cafe, though neither add lavender, which is an optional addition to the latte. In my version, I swap out sugar for real maple syrup; it adds a nice caramel tone to the drink. In addition, you will see I use Vanilla Soy milk, however any milk can be used. I just find this easier as I do not need the added step of adding vanilla to the drink.

Ingredients

  • A decent pinch of Earl Grey
  • A decent pinch of Lavender
  • A mug full of milk (or milk alternative, a creamier one such as oat or soya is recommended)
  • 1 tablespoon of real maple syrup (gives it a sweet caramel syrup) OR 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract (only necessary if using a milk that doesn’t have vanilla added)
  • 1 tablespoon of boiling water (only if having to add vanilla extract)

Tools

  • Mug
  • Spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Tea strainer
  • Regular whisk

Method

  1. In a small pot, pour maple syrup or sugar, water, and vanilla. Heat on low to medium until a solid syrup is made. (Only necessary step IF adding vanilla extract)
  2. Add milk to the pot, alongside the rest of the ingredients. Bring to boil (MAKE SURE TO WATCH THE MILK AND TAKE OFF WHEN IT STARTS RISING) and then leave on lowest setting, where it should softly boil. Regularly stir so it doesn’t burn. Do this for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Pour tea combination through a strainer into a mixing bowl. Using a whisk, beat friskly for about 10-15 seconds until a layer of foam forms.
  4. Pour into mug and enjoy!

Peppermint Matcha Latte

A bit more time is involved here, but after a couple of times, the process becomes second nature and the results are a heavenly matcha latte like no other. The one piece of advice I will give is don’t add sugar, just use honey. It mixes much better with matcha’s earthy tones and the peppermint really brings it together. Regarding milk alternatives, I actually recommend them for this drink as it combines a bit nicer that cow milk. My most recommended is using soya or coconut milk, though oat is also very nice.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon Matcha powder
  • A dash of peppermint extract
  • A heaping teaspoon of honey
  • A cup of milk
  • Boiling water
  • Vanilla syrup (if not using a milk already with vanilla, in order to make this, in another bowl on the side add the honey, a dash of vanilla extract and a small amount of boiling water – for every spoon of honey, half a spoon of water – and mix until a syrup is formed. You do not have to add more honey if you do this.)

Tools

  • Ceramic bowl
  • Whisk (preferably a matcha whisk, I have seen them in town at Whittards, which also sells Matcha)
  • Small pot
  • Kettle

Method

  1. Boil water in the kettle and pour boiling water into ceramic bowl to make it hot. Place the whisk in the bowl. This will allow the bristle to expand, as well as sterilising the whisk. Leave for five minutes.
  2. Pour milk into pot and put on low. Make sure to keep a watchful eye on the milk to ensure it doesn’t boil over.
  3. Pour water out of bowl and dry bowl off. Add the teaspoon of matcha and just a very small amount of boiling water (a spoonful at a time). Whisk the matcha in a circular and figure-eight motion to fully incorporate the powder into the water. Add water as necessary until completely incorporated. 
  1. Add honey and peppermint (and vanilla) and whisk to combine.
  2. Once milk has warmed up, pour into the bowl and whisk until a froth forms.
  1. Pour into a cup and enjoy!

Staying Awake All Night

Having trouble sleeping with all the stress? No worries, here’s an old remedy that’ll put you to bed without any harmful additives.

Sleepytime honey milk

This simple recipe only takes two ingredients, five minutes and fifteen more before you’re lulled into a peaceful slumber. While I don’t recommend doing this nightly, it is a good way to get some sleep when your body just will not let you.

Ingredients:

  • A cup of milk (any milk will do)
  • A tablespoon of honey

Method:

  1. Measure out a cup of milk (as in choose any mug or cup and fill it), then pour into a pot to heat on the stove.
  2. Once heated (make sure to keep an eye for no spillage) pour back into the mug and mix in the spoon of honey.
  3. Wait for it to cool down a little, drink and enjoy a good night’s rest.

All images included in the article by Emerson Sham

Featured image: Unsplash

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