Christmas In August: A Tea Recipe

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So. I get sick* a lot. Nothing drastic ever, minus that horrid case of laryngitis first year of university thanks to that guy who decided to sit too close on our first day of Drawing 100. We were inseparable for the next nine months but I've never forgiven him for that. Can you tell the fever’s gone to my head yet?

Despite growing up fairly healthy, not a broken bone or stitch in sight, I have suddenly in the last few years become that girl that gets a cold every two months. Like clockwork. I take zinc, I drink loads of vitamin-c, I wear scarves and bundle up in the rain, and yet... I have this theory that my body is where the cold virus (bacteria? I don't know, I'm too exhausted to go confirm that I am in fact, slowly dying on WebMD) goes to run its Research and Development, coming up with crazy new strains that react to nothing over the counter and throw elaborate ragers in my throat with the homeopathic drugs I consume in massive quantities to make the whole thing bearable. I must attend some wicked concerts in my sleep to wake up with such a fucked up voice.

Regardless, the common cold is just one of those dastardly things we must deal with in life, like migraines or menstrual cramps. Oh right, not all of us. But we moan and we pout and we begrudgingly deal with it, and those lucky enough to have that magical thing I hear is called a “sick day” will even crawl into bed and wrap themselves up with every wonderful blanket imaginable. I hate you people.**

Eventually, we all have to drag ourselves out of our self pity and make ourselves ready to face the world. Like her majesty Liz Taylor said, “pull yourself together!” But DayQuil and echinacea can only get you so far. I drink coffee. A lot of it. And frankly, even a minimum amount is required for me to feel alive on a regular day. Tragically however, when taken my usual way (strong, with lots of add-ins), coffee tends to be very damaging on a cold. The heat can make my throat worse, and the dehydrating factor can be counterintuitive to the whole “starve a fever drink a cold” thing. But a girl needs to pull herself together.***

I've developed this concoction over time, it fulfills my need for caffeine, but carries it in the gentler form of black tea. These ingredients could be more complicated if you so choose to do something crazy, like, say, brew your own tea, but after three days of eating soup out of cans and seeing nothing beyond a bleak future of more canned soup, I like a pour-and-go solution. This is also entirely almond milk-based, but you can choose whatever milk and creamer suits your life choices. I won't judge. Unless it's coconut. Bonus points, after heating it smells just like Christmas, and if nothing else pulls me out of my dramatic misery, it's the memory that sometimes sweaters are a necessity because of the weather, and not because you can't currently breathe out of your own nose.

Christmas Tea for a Summer Cold

5 oz / 150 ml Oregon Chai Tea Latte Concentrate, or brewed, sweetened chai tea (make it strong!) 3 oz / 90 ml Almond/Cashew Milk blend, or other nut or regular milk of your choice 6 oz / 180 ml freshly brewed coffee or espresso of your choice 2 oz / 60 ml Caramel-flavored Almond Milk creamer (or whatever creamer you like, so long as it's caramel flavor!)

In a very large mug (or a small saucepan), combine your chai tea concentrate with your milk, and warm up however you like. Impatient, I'll usually give it about a minute in a microwave set to high. Add your warm coffee (I'll literally just put said mug directly under the Keurig spout, or whatever that's called) and creamer. Give it a stir and drink, suddenly regaining your hope in the existence of a world where your nasal passages are fully functional.

Or not, I mean, you don't have to be sick to enjoy it. Cheers! __________ *As in, sneezes and sniffles sick, not “becoming extremely intimate with the paper bag in your airplane seat pocket” sick. *I swear I'm not actually that bitter. I think. **I'm not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be, so I will say to take caution, and consider your own reaction to coffee when ill.