I drink a tea of some sort daily, yet with a toddler running amuck I rarely savor my tea. It's more of a gulp-this-down-on-the-go-out-of-necessity beverage, a drink parents of the young understand all too well.
When it's Jar Tea though, it's different. It's a pause, an invitation to remember a beautiful human being, my friend, Celeste. I recall her grace, humor, creativity, and kindness. I sit and sip, even if just for a moment, and honor her. (Sometimes the smallest moments within a day, when done with reverence, offer so much.) Jar Tea is simple, supremely practical, and will leave you looking at otherwise empty jars with a new curiously open opportunitistic perspective.
How Jar Tea and I were Introduced:
About 5 years ago I lived in a tiny house in Laramie, WY. My neighbor, Celeste, would bring me pound cake and company, and better still, her gift of listening freckled with nuggets of a life lived's advice. I was single, family free, and loved being witness to her ways, how she'd navigate this, or respond to that.
One day she came over and noticed an empty honey jar on the counter. To my unseasoned eye it appeared empty, all that remained were those sneaky, sticky parts, those grooves that even my persistent child like fingers couldn't quite reach. I had always washed these jars and tossed them in the recycling.
"You know what would do with a jar like that?" She said matter of factly, as if she were saying here's the mail, or please pass the salt. "You make your tea in them. It'll clean out the jar, and give you a cup of something special."
I was 31. How had I lived 31 years and never thought of this?! All those jars with sipping potential unused! Now, I confess, instead of being a bit sad when I realize a jar is *almost empty, I get a little excited. Jar Tea is not an every day activity, or even weekly. Yet, it isn't anything planned either. That magical timing of just when you think you are out of something, you remember how to repurpose it one more time, adds to the relishing delight. And you feel a little resourceful to boot.
How to Make Jar Tea: Simple is as Simple does
Take an otherwise empty jar, of honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, caramel etc... and plop your favorite tea bag in (I'm loving Earl Grey, yet Chai, and Green Tea, or Herbal Teas are also fantastic.) Pour hot water into your jar, place the lid on and let it steep for 3-5 min., during this time the heat from the water will release all those stubborn nooks of sweetness to marry into your brew seamlessly. Once it is ready add whatever milk you may like. If you add the milk before your tea has steeped the milky water will prevent the tea leaves from fully releasing their flavor. You can also allow it to cool completely, and pour over ice for iced tea. It will be stronger due to the cooling time so you may want to add a bit more ice or water to your glass.
*** You will want to use glass jars here. If it is plastic, it could melt with the hot water, either causing hot water to burst forth on your counter (personal experience), or plastic to steep into your tea too.
“When I grow up, I will sip my tea, in my tea-sipping spot by the great green trees. This is all I'll need to live oh so free, and oh so blissfully.” - me, age 8, third grade
Other Joyous Jar Combinations
Nutella and Coffee:
Nutella jars are plastic, so here is where, sadly, common sense comes in, and as a result, a bit of patience is required. When your coffee or espresso is room temperature, fill the jar about 2/3 with coffee, shake it about as if that combination was a music making shaker (the cooler temp due to the plastic jar means a bit of effort is needed to release all those hidden chocolatey nutty gems). You can then pour this into a pan, and warm up for a hot cuppa, or place in the fridge for a blissful hazelnut chocolate iced coffee later on.
Salad Dressing Options:
Fruit Jam Jar = Balsamic Fruity Vinegrete
Add two tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1/2 olive oil, a bit of dijon, salt, pepper, optional sprinkle of garlic powder, and or herbs of choice.
Recommended Jams: Raspberry, Apricot, Cherry,