Thursday, September 24, 2009

White Tea with Chamomile, Ginger & Lemon Mint

So far this week I've posted two tea recipes using the black teas Assam and Ceylon as the base, and then yesterday's tea recipe called for herbs only, in particular, tulsi or holy basil.

At the base of today's recipe is green or white tea.

White tea is increasingly popular, but beyond tasting a subtle difference between white and green, I had to use google to find out that white tea is labeled such because the leaves are picked when they're basically still buds covered in fine, white hairs.

Whereas green tea leaves are harvested later, when the leaf is no longer covered in white hair, has matured, and thus is fully open.

Also, green tea leaves are partly fermented whereas white tea leaves are not fermented. (Black tea is fully fermented.)

Apparently the less fermented the leaves the greater the antioxidant levels in the leaves with white tea having the highest concentration of healthful antioxidants.

I discovered that tea leaves with obvious little white hairs still on them are considered by tea connoisseurs the "Rolls Royce" of white tea; an example would be Silver Needle Tea.

The tea used as the base for today's recipe isn't the Rolls Royce of white, actually it can be any white or green tea of your choosing.

White Tea with Chamomile, Ginger, & Lemon Mint
Into a tea pot toss the following:
1) A heaping teaspoon of white or green tea
2) A heaping teaspoon of chamomile (you could use a plain chamomile tea bag or buy dried chamomile in bulk).
3) A half teaspoon of freshly chopped or grated ginger root
4) Several lemon mint leaves and if you don't grow lemon mint, you could use regular mint with a little grated lemon peel for zing.
5) Fill tea pot with 2 cups boiling water and let tea steep for 3-5 mins, depending on your preference for a subtle or stronger flavored tea.

And that concludes my posts on brewing your own teas. All the recipes I've shared have come via Cindy Lawrence, a Boulder-based Yoga Therapist. As per Cindy's suggestion, you can either source the herbs used in the teas from your garden or you can buy them fresh or dried.

The spices used in the various teas can be purchased in bulk and then they're best stored in glass, canning jars with screw-top lids.

Or you can buy the spices already in small bottles. I buy my spices in bulk; I like to pick and pay for only what I need and then decant them into glass jars once home.

A wide assortment of black, green, and white tea is available loose from various online tea stores or your local organic grocer, like Whole Foods.

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