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Coffee, Tea, and American Muffins

Two New Muffin Recipes and American Tea

Today is the very likely the one of the most controversial Election Days in the history of the United States. Rather than poll you on politics or policies, I have a poll for you, tea or coffee?

The United States does drink a lot of tea. However, unlike most of the tea drank in the rest of the planet, most of the tea drank in the U.S. is not hot but iced with 75% of tea drinkers choosing iced tea. When we do drink hot tea, it is often black tea with honey, lemon, and half and half. About 159 million Americans drink tea daily, with 84% of them drinking black tea and 15% drinking green. While we do drink tea, we drink more coffee than anything else, 400 million cups per day! Over 50% of Americans over 18 years of age drink it daily, about 150 million American coffee aficionados. So it looks like we've got a coffee landslide... However, if you are like me and are still undecided, why not try Yuanyang (coffee with milk tea) that is popular in Hong Kong? Combing to highly caffeinated beverages, what could be more appealing to always-on-the-go Americans?

Yuanyang Tea

(Lovebirds Tea)

Makes 4 servings

8 ounces hot pour-over black coffee

6 ounces hot black tea

2 ounces sweetened condensed milk

Brew coffee and tea separately and stir together in a tea pot. Pour into tea cup over about one-half ounce of sweetened condensed milk and serve.

Now that we've come to a compromise in the coffee and tea debate, let's go to the next issue, American vs. English muffins. The difference between American muffin and the English is the difference between a cake and a bread. A cake is a quick-bread made from a batter that is leavened without yeast, while a bread is made from a dough that is leavened with yeast. American muffins rise from baking powder or baking soda while they are baked, saving time—how American of them.

I have two new muffin recipes to bake and enjoy this Election Day and still have to make it to the polls—if you didn't vote early. Remember, here in Illinois and 18 other states and Washington D.C., you can register to vote at the polls if you are not already registered.

Better Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 standard muffins

This muffin recipe uses dried berries rather than frozen or fresh, which makes a big difference in how they turn out. Rather than the moisture from the berries soaking in the muffins and often turning them bluish, the dried muffins take moisture from the batter and this rejuvenates the dried berries, plumping them back up.

1 cup bread flour

½ cup coconut flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ cup no-sugar-added applesauce

⅓ cup vegetable oil

⅓ cup Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 cup dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 400°F for at least 10 minutes.

Line a standard 12-muffin tray with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl mix together flours, salt, and baking soda and set aside. In a stand mixer (or in a a bowl) cream together applesauce, oil, yogurt, cream, and lemon extract. Add in dry ingredients a little at a time and combine well. Fold in dried blueberries. Spoon into lined muffin tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Gluten-Free Walnut Banana Muffins

Makes 18 standard muffins

2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg

¼ cup no-sugar-added applesauce

2 tablespoons oil

3/4 cup honey

¼ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

¾ Greek yogurt

1 banana, mushed

½ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup walnuts, in pieces

Preheat oven to 425°F for at least 10 minutes.

Line one and one-half standard 12-muffin trays with cupcake liners (for 18 muffins).

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. In a stand mixer (or in a a bowl) cream together egg, mushed banana, applesauce, oil, honey, yogurt, cream, ricotta and vanilla extract. Add in dry ingredients a little at a time and combine well. Fold in walnuts. Spoon into muffin tray and bake at 425°F for five minutes. Then turn the oven down and continue baking for another 20 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Which muffin would you vote for? A third party candidate? Feel free to share.


Like what you read in this blog? This blog and the Perennial Blog, while labors of love, take considerable time and research to keep going. Consider supporting the content via Patreon. I appreciate you taking the time to explore the world of music and arts with me. Contact me via email with your questions, suggested recipes, favorite teas or coffees, or to schedule online music lessons.


Further Reading

Coffee Statistics. E-Imports. (Accessed 3 November 2020).

McNamara, Audrey. Here Are The States Where You Can Still Register on Election Day. CBS News. (Accessed 3 November 2020).

Tea Association Statistics. Tea USA. (Accessed 3 November 2020).


Janae J. Almen is a professional music instructor, composer, sound artist, and writer. She has a BA in Music/Education from Judson University and a MM in Computer Music/Composition from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. She is the founder of Perennial Music and Arts and is passionate about sharing her love of music and arts.


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