Hot Beverages

I have nothing interesting to say. That’s never stopped me before, so I figure we make this a participatory thread. Here’s the deal: I like hot beverages. A lot. In the morning, I prefer coffee, and in the evening I prefer tea.

I’m also absurdly picky about what coffee and tea I like. Note, I’m not picky about what I drink, I’ll generally drink any swill put in front of me. I really do have a picky palette regarding my hot mug of goodness though.

Coffee *must* be Arabica to really make me savor it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll even drink instant if it’s given to me, but to really LIKE it, I need a very strong brewed, medium roast, Arabica bean. Oddly, I don’t mind reaching for a cheap cup of Robusta (often the large commercial “brands” use Robusta) coffee. I wasn’t sure why that was for a long time, but after doing some research, I found that Robusta beans tend to have more caffeine. That would explain why I don’t mind it for early morning drinking.

Tea, on the other hand, I prefer in the evening. Red Rose is my favorite bagged black tea. If you haven’t tried Red Rose, I really suggest you do. It’s amazing. Where Lipton can be harsh, Red Rose is comforting. Plus, you get a cute ceramic figurine in the box. I mean, how can you not like that? 😉

I also like flavored teas, but really consider it more of a separate beverage. When I think of tea, I think of black tea. The other flavored stuff, herbal or otherwise, are somewhat separated in my brain. The one exception to that is Earl Grey. Earl Grey and straight black tea are both my “comfort tea” for the evening. The other stuff, even girly fru-fru teas are fun, but I don’t really drink them very often.

Lastly, additives. Coffee, for me, is black. If I’m ordering a fancy latte or something, sure I’ll let them doctor it up — but then it’s really more like hot cocoa than coffee. 🙂 Tea, on the other hand, I generally put a tiny bit of sugar into. I think it draws out the flavor, and really makes a good cup of tea grand.

How about you? Are you nuts over hot beverages too? Do tell. I’m curious.

11 thoughts on “Hot Beverages”

  1. Mmm… a cup of hot Kona coffee with half and half and just a touch of raw sugar does it for me.

    But lately I’ve been on a chai tea kick. I don’t like the boxed tea, it’s flat and too sweet – I brew it myself from Tazo loose tea, with a tiny pinch of extra cardamom added. Mix with milk and honey and yum… instant warm. Plus, there’s not much caffeine, so I can drink it in the afternoon or evening.

  2. I’ll usually drink one cup of coffee in the morning with cream and sugar. Otherwise, I’m more of a cold drink throughout the day kind of a guy.

    With the change in the season though, I’ve taken to mixing hot chocolate mix in with my coffee (it really helps the mud they have here in the office). Yum!

  3. I like hot tea in the winter, with honey and lemon best. I also a fan of Red Rose and Earl Grey, and not a fan of Lipton. I also like green tea.

    I very, very rarely drink coffee. I love the smell of freshly brewed coffee (which is good, since my roommate the ex loves coffee, black) but to drink it, I need flavored creamer. My daughter is a big coffee drinker, but doesn’t like it black. She’s likes cappuccino even more, and wants a cappuccino maker.

    I love hot chocolate. I make it with Droste cocoa (it’s an import from Holland – I buy it online from Oma’s Pantry), stevia (a plant sweetener also called sweetleaf that doesn’t raise your glucose levels, but that has a slight licorice flavor to some people – I buy it online , and a dash of cinnamon and vanilla. Mmm, mmm, good!

  4. Coffee in the morning with splash of milk and one level tsp of sugar. We use a 50/50 mix of Folgers or Chock-full-o-nuts (really whatever) with Cafe Bustello (a strong hispanic coffee).

    If going to a restaurant, I’ll have coffee after the meal (often with a shot of Jamesons added).

    At home it’s tea (English or Irish Breakfast, maybe Orange Pekoe) or Hot chocolate. I hate the flavored teas and can’t stand the floral ones either.

  5. I too am very picky with my coffee. Some would call me an “elitist,” but I know that it is simply that I have had real coffee, and they most likely have not. I like coffee from various regions, but recently I have really been enjoying coffee from Brazil. I prefer dark roast, and when made at home (with a press), I usually use heavy whipping cream and raw sugar. I do however sometimes drink it without the sugar, as that can be quite enjoyable.

    As far as tea, I do indeed drink it, but not as often. When I do, I like to sample the types and styles of tea from various Asian countries. Tea made in Uzbekistan is far to weak for my taste though.

  6. Coffee: Black or with cream is fine, adding sugar is a crime. At my office we’re given the choice between a French Roast and Sumatra Dark. The FR is crap but the SD is nice.

    Tea: I prefer black teas (especially fond of a black Chinese called Yunan Jig). But I can drink most any tea, except Earl Grey which I find horrifically nasty (can’t stand that black licorice taste). The worse a tea is the more lenient I can be about adding stuff to it; but in general, I’m a purist and can’t stand adding anything to it. Though cheap, nasty teas can be slightly improved by a slice of lemon. Oh and if you’ve got a sore throat then hot tea with a dollop of honey is nice.

  7. Coffee in the morning, ALWAYS. Either Stewart’s, Stewart’s Red Eye, or Eight O’Clock. I like strong medium roasts in the morning with a dash of fat-free half & half.

    My favorite teas are loose leaf, and leading that pack is PG Tips. I’m also fond of loose green teas and my favorite of those is a woody-tasting little delight by The Republic of Tea called “Big Green Hojicha” (or chop wood carry water tea). Bagged teas I’m only slightly comfortable with, but the best I’ve found is the Black Pearl teas by Lipton and Stash’s Earl Grey and English Breakfast. Tea is for the evening, especially when we have a fire going, so winter sees me brewing lots of water and hauling out the French press so we can enjoy fireside games of Trivial Pursuit or Milles Bournes.

  8. Earl grey, hot. I’ve always loved earl grey tea, even before ST:TNG. Lady grey is also very yummy, as is Pickwick green tea. Pickwick makes very yummy teas in general, though they are certainly a bit more mild than teas normally found in the U.S. Twinnngs black currant teas also makes me swoon.

    Outside of tea, I like a nice mild roast coffee – Cafe Feminina from Trader Joes is one of the better ones (usually decaf, as my body does unpredictable things with caffeine), adulterated with a lot of raw sugar and vanilla soy milk (when I’m being a good girl). Chai lattes are also scrumptious in the Book Of Carol, as is a good, very chocolatey hot chocolate.

    But the one drink I love that many people haven’t heard of: yerba mate. It’s usually found in tea bag form, is very earthy tasting and gives a nice smooth energy boost without the usual caffeine jitters. Again, some raw sugar and vanilla soy milk make this one of the best drinks ever. And there are actually a couple of coffee houses in L.A. that make a fantastic mate latte – yum!

  9. BTW, Mark, I despise black licorice, but as I said before, I love Earl Grey. Probably because the bergamot has a sweet floweriness that cuts through and mellows its licorice aspects.

  10. Black coffee in the morning for me. I drink Toddy-brewed Peace Coffee, which is fairly-traded, organic, locally-roasted, and delivered around my metro area by bicycle!

    Am I a coffee snob? Yes, indeed.

    Herbal tea at night. Occasionally, (very occasionally,) a mid-afternoon soy latte.


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