week twenty-two – hot beverage à la gioia

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i have always been a lover of a nice hot drink; be it a indulgent hot chocolate, a classic cup of tea (living in the uk i now drink plenty thereof) or a more delicate elderflower cordial. my love for piping beverages goes so far that a middle school friend of mine and myself not only conducted a whole study on milk foam and it’s different forms and consistencies but even made up a word for it in our secret language (the word was “regi” for some reason and i cannot remember how on earth we came up with it).

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however, the metrological start of summer in the northern hemisphere might not be the best time to indulge in a steaming cup of whatever. i was excited about this week’s challenge nonetheless. i waited until a more or less rainy day (unlike switzerland where temperatures have risen well over 30 degrees celsius in the past week, london weather has been rather bearable recently) to embark on my endeavour. as ever, ideas were there aplenty: a salted caramel hot chocolate? some sort of punch? maybe even butterbeer? (somewhat off-topic but by no means non sequitur: rahel and i had an ever so tiny fangirling moment during our last skype-sesh when i filled her in on eddie redmayne securing the lead in the new cinematic trilogy set in the harry potter universe, the first of which only coming out days before rahel’s 25th birthday!!! (i.e. the 21st of november 2016 which seems further away than it truly is) cannot. contain. my. excitement.) ultimately, i settled for a hot bev fav of mine, heck, i love what i made so much that i once sang in a band named after it: chai. i love chai tea. especially in a “chai tea latte” version (my go to drink those four times a year i find myself in a starbucks and pretend to be called “gwendolyn”) the spices. the warmth. the frothiness of the milk foam. the spices. and oh, the spices, too! to come a bit closer cinnamon-y heaven in form of a drink, i boiled some spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, a pinch of cayenne, ground ginger, two cloves, and cardamom) with some water and a couple of afternoon tea teabags. after some seeping and simmering and sieving, the base was done. i added some maple syrup (always a winner) and topped it all off with some freshly foamed and frothed milk and added a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon. despite being by myself, i made two cups, the second of which i used in milk’s stead in a recipe for turbo cinnabons that very evening. chai teas are definitely a winner all year ’round and are just as delicious served cold and with a shot of coffee (aka “make it dirty, please.”)

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