To save on central heating, smug people in relationships go for cuddles, and others head out for another jersey. I turn to hot drinks. Namely tea. I love tea, I really do. Tea is infallible, there are no surprises with tea and tea always delivers. However, after a week of camping out in the library and living on nothing but that, I’ve had enough. There must be something else out there, so I have been searching for the perfect warming winter drink that isn’t just a standard brew.
Top of my list is a classic: cinnamon milk. It is very reminiscent of the days when the biggest worry I had was which words I could make with my alphabetti spaghetti. Cinnamon milk is incredibly easy, just gently heat a mug’s worth of milk on the hob, and chuck in a spoonful of ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick. Add sugar to taste. Remove from hob when hot and strain the cinnamon dregs out before settling down with a cup full of happiness. Try adding a spoonful of honey if you are feeling adventurous.
Coming in a close second, arguably a reflection of how well my exams went, is a cheeky shot of Amaretto or Baileys in hot chocolate. Nothing compares to hot chocolate that appears more in the form of molten chocolate – made with milk not water. The addition of a nutty liquor makes for an ultra rich drink that warms you up from the inside out and gives you a tiny beer jacket, just enough to chase the cold out.
But if you need to escape, I urge you to whisk yourself off to Mannion & Co. for one of their special tea blends. Situated at the top end of the city, Mannion epitomises the cosy cafés and delicatessen that form the foundations of Parisian tearooms. Except this one is on our doorstep. Their special Winter Blend tea will defrost you on even the most Antarctic of days. Created especially for the frostier months, the fireside aroma of white chocolate and orange melts away the stresses and strains of January. You might as well have a nibble on some of their delicious freshly baked bread, or homemade meringue and fruit desserts, they are too good to resist. Mannion & Co. can be found at 1 Blake Street, YO1 8QT. There is life outside of the bubble of library and revision.
I have one of the more lasting relationships in my life in the form of tea, and in some ways I feel like I’m cheating on it. But then I remind myself it is only a warm drink on a cold day.