Surely, a cup of tea can restore anyone’s normality! I experienced this all over again when i visited the home of an Arabic local a couple of days back. Shahaz, as he is known as, is an animal lover and committed to the cause of homing abandoned animals. He happened to be helping me out in finding a permanent home for two little kittens, Binka and Puma, that i was fostering.
The drive to Shahaz’s house was eventful. Sachi was in tears and unwilling to say goodbye to her feline friends. The kittens had gotten themselves out of their box and were all over me in the front seat. While i sat in the garden watching the kittens get comfortable with the other pets, Shahaz walked over with a tray of delicate morrocan glasses and a tall metal kettle. ‘I am not too fond of Arabic tea’ i promptly said, a tad absentminded, and now that i think of it, slightly snappy. ” Oh its not Arabic” he said in his thick accent, “Its my own mix. I have been experimenting with my own blend of tea’s for the last year and have almost perfected this one”
I love a man with a sense of a gourmand. This was interesting! I must have downed atleast 6 cups of his heavenly brew once i had tasted the first.
Fresh Ginger Lemon tea:
What you need:
2 cups Boiling water
1 tbsp of regular tea (whatever you have at home will do)
One big lemon
One big chunk of ginger cut into slices,
Honey OR Raw Sugar according to taste
fresh mint sprigs
Toss the ginger slices into the boiling water and let it simmer for atleast 10 minutes. Add the tea. This tea is strong on the ginger and lemon taste and subtle with the tannin so turn off the gas so the water does not end up boiling again.
Next add the honey according to your taste. You could use raw sugar if you find honey too mild in sweetness.
Stir well. Strain into tea cups, preferably glass or delicate china. Squeeze the juice of a freshly cut lemon into the indivisual cups. Stir again. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve right away.
Really Calming Orange Blossom Tea:
What you need:
4 cups of boiling water
1 bag of earl grey. I used Twinings.
1 bag of regular breakfast tea. I used my usual Lipton for this one.
Raw Sugar, according to taste
Fresh or dried orange blossoms OR orange blossom water
Lemon slice (optional)
Toss in the tea bags into hot water and bring to a boil. Turn the gas off and add the Orange blossom flowers or the Orange blossom water. Optionally, you can even replace this with Kaffir lime leaves for a wonderful citrusy flavour.
Let the concoction steep for 15 minutes. Warm up again. Strain and pour into cups. Serve with sugar on the side.
I really love this one. Its fragrance is calming and relaxing, thanks to the Bergamot in the Earl Grey and the sweet citrusy smell of the orange blossoms. One single cup is enough to rejuvenate me. My next plan is to experiment with Jasmine and Mogra flowers very soon. Will keep you guys posted.