As much as I love coffee, black tea is my morning drink of choice. I think tea is a bit healthier than coffee and I appreciate that it has much less caffeine in it. Plus it never gives me an upset stomach like coffee sometimes does (I think because it's so acidic? Does this happen to anyone else?).
But any old cup of tea just won't do! I've mentioned before that I'm a bit of a tea snob and I rarely drink anything but loose tea. You just cannot beat the freshness and depth of flavor that a pot of freshly brewed loose tea will give you. (In case you're in the market for tea, I suggest ordering from Harney & Sons or Culinary Teas. Their tea blends are interesting, fresh, and delicious.)
But the real secret in making the most delectable cup 'o tea, in my opinion anyway, is the addition of cream. A few years ago I would have said cream and sugar, which is the Irish way, the way my parents taught me to drink it (my Dad picked this up in college when he was studying in Ireland). I still love it like this but when I got married, I started making tea for two and my husband doesn't like adding sugar to his. I tried skipping the sugar myself and at first found it to be pretty bitter, but I kept trying it and gradually my tastes changed. Now I really prefer tea with just the simple addition of cream. My husband says that when the tea is really good you don't need sugar, and I think he's right (although it took some getting used to!).
It's amazing how much comfort and goodness I find in these two simple things that, together, make for the best of mornings. It really is the only way to start the day! A favorite pairing indeed.
And just in case you missed some of my other Favorite Pairings....