Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ginger and turmeric tea with spices

I would never trade my morning or afternoon coffee —which is either a cappuccino or a Greek coffee— with any other hot beverage. It’s not that I’m a coffee addict, no, I just enjoy it immensely and the whole process of preparing and drinking it is almost like a ritual for me that it would be highly unlikely any other kind of hot drink could substitute it. This chai, however, may sneak in every once in a while and steal the glory from my coffee. Once in a while…




Truth is, I only drink tea when I have a cold or when I have a sore throat, yet this is not regular tea, far from it. It’s a milky tea flavored with spices, ginger and turmeric and it is addictive.




I love turmeric and ginger in both their dried and fresh forms and I add them in many of my dishes, but they’re equally nice in drinks too (like in this smoothie). Turmeric has a slightly bitter and metallic flavor, while ginger is peppery and spicy, and they both pair wonderfully with warming spices like cinnamon and cardamom.




It’s a flavorful and deeply aromatic tea. It’s a little hot from the ginger and the black peppercorns, and you can taste each and every spice that has infused it. The milk mellows out the pungent flavor of the turmeric whereas the honey sweetens the tea and rounds off all the flavors.




It will awaken your senses, soothe you, warm you up, energize you and calm you at the same time. If you haven’t tried anything like this before, it’s worth a try. If you have, do try this version too. You won’t regret it.







Ginger and turmeric tea with spices
Adapted slightly from The New York Times

I used loose Earl Grey tea which has a bergamot aroma, and the honey I used was orange-blossom honey so my tea had a citrus undertone which I find particularly pleasant. The flavor of your tea will differ depending on the kind of tea and honey you use.




Yield: 2 teacups or 1 large cup

Ingredients
¼ cup (60 ml) water
1 thick coin-sized piece of fresh ginger root (about 3.5-4 cm), peeled and grated
1 small piece of fresh turmeric root (1-1.5 cm), peeled and grated (or ½ tsp dried turmeric powder)
4 black peppercorns
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1 large cinnamon stick, crushed
2 tsp (less or more according to taste) runny honey of your choice (I used orange-blossom honey)
1 cup (240 ml) whole fresh milk
1 heaped tsp loose black tea (I used Earl Grey)

Special equipment: rasp grater, fine strainer


Preparation
In a small saucepan, add the water, ginger, turmeric, black peppercorns, crushed cardamom pods and cinnamon, the honey and the tea. Place over a low heat and when it starts to simmer, add the milk. When the milk starts to steam, give the mixture a taste and add more honey if needed. Pour through a fine sieve into the 2 teacups (or 1 large cup) and drink immediately while it is still hot.




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