Kat Riach, who runs an off-grid bakery from her farm in Fife, says making your own tea is a real treat during these cold winter days.
Like the frozen reservoir we walked around yesterday, everything is more silent and still once again, the life below still evident and, soon to flourish, but temporarily covered with a layer of stillness.
There is a wonderful beauty to be enjoyed in these moments when you stop and look. This enforced pause has caused us to focus more on each moment and to allow ourselves the luxury of taking care and time over mundane, everyday tasks.
We have found simple pleasure in creating a unique hot, spicy pot of tea to enjoy, it is a real treat that we look forward to after a walk outside in the cold air.
Each time we have made our tea of late, we have adjusted the variety or quantities of spices and other flavours, we are accidentally perfecting our favourite recipe.
The inevitable variety this brings adds to the otherwise regular rhythm of the day and the process of evaluating our creation is as fun as deciding what to add into the pot.
For our tea, we start with a couple of redbush tea bags, ideal if you are trying to cut down on caffeine.
However, this idea would work equally well with whatever tea you like best. Along with your tea bags, add into your pot whatever you have to hand – fresh lemon or orange slices or peel, dried apple, dried orange or dried strawberries, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, rosemary, mint leaves, star anise, cloves, fresh ginger – there are endless options.
A lot of the sweetness comes from the dried fruits, but if you prefer a sweeter taste, you can add a tablespoon or two of honey or maple syrup per pot.
To enjoy your tea at its best, either pour into your cups through a small sieve or get some empty tea bags to put your extra flavourings into.