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Posts Tagged ‘Darjeeling tea’

by Caitlin Saniga

Rose iced tea

I was so happily surprised by this tea, and so were the guests at a recent brunch at my mom’s house. Some were a bit skeptical of the strong rose fragrance of the tea, but the flavor is more delicate. Sipping on this tea is like drinking a rose! Rose water is popular in Middle Eastern recipes. Look for it at natural food stores, the ethnic food section of your grocery store or online. I picked up a bottle at Fairway in New York City, but before that, I’d been shopping around on Amazon and found some decent offerings.

  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup honey (or to taste)
  • 5 single black tea bags
  • 1 cup rose water
  • 2 trays of ice cubes
  • Rose stems and mint sprigs for garnish

I froze rose petals in the ice cubes I used. If you decide to do the same, some tips: Fill the ice cube trays about halfway with water, add one or two petals to each slot, freeze, and then fill to the top with cold water. Freeze the cubes the rest of the way. This ensures that the petals don’t float to the top and become disconnected.

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in the honey.

Remove the pot from heat, and add the tea bags. Let the tea steep about 10 minutes.

Remove the tea bags, and store the tea in the fridge for about 1 hour, or until it is mostly chilled. Add the rose water and ice cubes. Serve immediately in chilled glasses, garnished with rose stems and mint sprigs.

Makes about 10 servings.

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Thai lemongrass and ginger iced tea

by Sarah Steimer

Caitlin went Middle Eastern – and I went Far East. My iced tea also has an ingredient you’ll have to make a little effort searching for: fresh lemongrass. Head to the Asian market! Lucky for me, there’s a whole Asian food district off the Argyle stop on the Red Line, only blocks from my apartment. I would also bet you could find this at a good produce market or ethnic grocery store.

  • 3 stalks lemongrass, white parts only
  • 1 small knob ginger – about an inch and a half – sliced
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups brewed black tea using two tea bags or two heaping teaspoons loose black tea (I used Darjeeling)

Using the butt of a knife, pound the lemongrass until lightly bruised. Slice into thin pieces – it doesn’t need to be perfect.

Keep the lemongrass-ginger syrup you don’t use! I have the rest of mine in the refrigerator for iced tea later this week. I’ll just have to make more black tea each time. In all, I probably made enough syrup for eight to 10 glasses of iced tea.

Add the lemongrass and sliced ginger to the six cups of water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and let stand, covered, for 20 more minutes.

Strain the lemongrass and ginger from the water – which at this point is a watery, flavored simple syrup.

Fill half of each glass with the tea, then the rest with the lemongrass-ginger syrup, leaving room for ice. Mix and serve with a stalk of lemongrass (the green parts you didn’t use).

Makes four servings.

Recipe from: Appetite for China

Alfresco Refreshed is our spin on four traditional picnic staples: fruit salad, potato salad, iced tea and hamburgers. You can find all the recipes here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

Darjeeling tea is an Indian black tea with a fruity, floral, slightly musky scent. The Darjeeling tea in this recipe adds more of an aroma than a flavor. I suggest squeezing fresh lime juice over the potatoes for extra zinggggg.

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons loose-leaf Darjeeling tea leaves
  • lime wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the oil and stir to coat. Add the lime zest and salt. Crumble the tea with your fingers, crushing it as you sprinkle it over the potatoes. Stir well to distribute the tea and spices.

Spread the potatoes in prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, the stir. Bake for an additional 10 to 20 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are just slightly firm in the center. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pass lime wedges alongside.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Culinary Tea: More Than 150 Recipes Steeped in Tradition from Around the World

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

Darjeeling (aka ‘the champagne of teas’) facts

-Good for: Relaxation. Darjeeling tea leaves contain the amino acid L-theanine, which reduces physical and mental stress. The tea also contains high levels of antioxidants that fight disease and free radical damage.

-Origins: Darjeeling tea is produced exclusively in Darjeeling, India, and was first grown by an Indian Medical Services surgeon.

-Taste: Darjeeling has a fruity, floral taste with honey undertones, reminiscent of oolong tea rather than black tea.

Sources: Teavana and LiveStrong.com

*Throughout May, “Strange Brew” will feature tea-based recipes — all of which can be found here.

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