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Leaf and Ardor Ginger Exilir and Chai Masala Lattes

Amanda Flontek

The last time I shared a drink recipe with you all I mentioned that the autumn chill was starting to stick. Ha! Stick it has not! Rather, it has taunted. Many of you may be experiencing the same sort of chill coming and going. My roommates and I are too leery to turn our heat on during colder days and our toes are sometimes numb in the mornings. Then other days it's warm enough to open windows and walk around barefoot. Today is one such day. Tomorrow it may be the other. 

I spend ample time in my kitchen. It is my favorite, most used, most beloved spot in my house. My lab. My studio. My altar. I usually make breakfast, lunch and dinner from scratch. I like to play with flavors. I like food to be an experience. I once took a workshop on how to make medicinal meads. The teacher of such workshop began their class with saying this: Food, drink--it's supposed to be an essay. It should have introductory notes, a body, residual flavors. A story all its own. I don't always have time or energy for such intention, though I do still try to make everything from the, maybe not so metaphoric, ground up. For such times is Leaf and Ardor. When I don't feel like blending or foraging my own teas there are these ladies and their sweet, sweet work.

Leaf and Ardor was born out of vulnerability, out of conversation and the ordinary ceremony of healing through discussion. Leaf and Ardor emerged when Connie Pappas was a therapist. During her sessions she made tea for her clients who loved her blends so much they wanted to buy them from her. She began selling them to her clients and it was born and here we have it--on the shelves at Fadales, being passed around to friends catching colds, in the cupboards, on the stove, being shared. Yes. 

I've had their Earl Gray, their Chai Massala, their English Breakfast, their Ruby Rose Hips, and the most recent, the Ginger Elixir. All are good and all staple in and out of my cupboards. I make a really simple latte with them. Any of them. The blend depends on the mood. Hot or iced depends on the weather which as I've said, is indecisive this year. You're probably familiar with how to do it, though there's no hurt in sharing anyway. Super simple: just concentrated tea, just natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup, and milk. 

So here you have it, the Leaf and Ardor latte:

Ingredients:

-Your choice of Leaf and Ardor Tea. We used the Ginger Elixir and Chai Masala. 

-Any natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup. Check your sources! Try to buy locally and mindfully. 

-Milk of your choice. Also check sources. 

Make it: 

Iced-

Bring about 3/4 cup of water to a boil and steep about 3-4 tablespoons of tea. 

Add honey (if desired) while the water is hot so it can melt. Stir. 

In desired vessel, combine tea and milk to taste.

Continue to steep for a while. The longer it steeps, the more poignant the flavor. 

Add ice.

Hot-

In a stove-top pot, heat approximately 2 1/2 cups of milk on Medium-low/medium. The lower and slower, the better.

Steep 3-4 tablespoons of desired tea.

Add honey to the bottom of your mug, if you desire.

Pour warmed and steeped tea over honey.

Enjoy!

-Taylor