Monday, September 10, 2012

Tea for Me

Many nations ritualistically brew tea with an elevated sense of respect, which may trace back to the scarcity of tea or even the importance that tea brings to getting together the family or close friends, In any case, tea is appropriate anytime one wants to pamper oneself with a peaceful interlude. For the Persians, tea is taken at breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between with at least one or more refills. The Persians’ have been enjoying tea for many centuries. The Japanese even have a tea ceremony.

The Caspian restaurant in Santa Clara blended their own tea, which would have  remained entirely their secret were it not for its popularity among their patrons who wished to extend the experience to their own homes and friends. My version of their blend consisted of a pinch of the spices lemon verbena and cardamon added to a brew of Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey Teas. Recently, I became aware of the availability of dried Kaffir lime leaves and subsequently add a leaf or two to steep in the water, then subsequently use water to brew the tea. I suppose I could also add lemongrass.

This is a one-cup recipe, which can simply scale as necessary.

1 Tea bag, Twinings, Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea

1 Tea bag, Twinings, Classics, Earl Grey Tea

Pinch of Lemon Verbena(1/2 teaspoon per 2 cups water)
Pinch of Lemon Thyme (1/2 teaspoon per 2 cups water)
Pinch of cardamon (1/8th teaspoon per 2 cups water)
1 Kaffir lime leaf
Other optional and alternate spices/flavors include cinnamon, turmeric, aromatic chilies, and rose-water1

Boil 2 cups of water. Add Kaffir lime leaf. Allow to steep for several minutes. Reheat until just boiling, adding balance of ingredients. Allow to steep to desired strength. Pour trough a sieve into pre-heated cup.

  1. Chai Tea or "Spiced Tea" is often a variation of black tea to which is added cardamom, ginger, clove, black pepper, bay leaf, star anise or fennel and often include milk.
  2. More than 50 varieties of tea:

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