Friday, January 23, 2015

My Cuppa: A tasty trio!

I really enjoy cooking. I like to experiment by combining different ingredients together in order to create a completely new taste. As I was sautéing some button mushrooms to be used as a side dish for dinner, a thought crossed my mind about incorporating herbs I would normally use in my cooking, with tea instead. Sure, on many occasions I've used certain spices to make Masala Chai, but, what about herbs like parsley, oregano, or basil? Would they go well with certain teas?

I love mushrooms sautéed with thyme, rosemary, salt, and of course, a dollop of butter! So yummy! I thought thyme and rosemary would be great herbs to try combining with a tea. They both have a lovely scent and taste, and not overpowering either. Like most of nature’s gifts, they too have many health benefits such as relieving some skin conditions, fighting certain cancers, aiding in digestion and so on.  

I thought a green tea would work best with thyme and rosemary as most green teas are very delicate, not strong like a red tea, or a black tea, or even something smoky. A white tea might be too delicate. I went with Longjing which I find a little more neutral than Sencha. These are my own preferences and tastes, so feel free to experiment with what you like.


The triple threat!

Now came the part on what amount to use of each ingredient. Longjing is the main item, so, I felt it should be the greatest amount. I used equal parts of thyme and rosemary as I did not want one to stand out more prominently than the other. Wanting to make a few cups of tea, I came up with the following measurements:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of Longjing
  • ½ teaspoon of thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of rosemary
  • 4 cups of water

Preparation:
  1. Bring water to a full boil in a kettle. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
  2. Combine Longjing, thyme, and rosemary together and place in a teapot with a filter.
  3. Pour water over filter and allow tea mixture to steep for about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove filter and set aside for additional infusions.
  5. Pour tea into a cup and enjoy!

I did not know what to expect, but it was delightful! The herbs did not overpower the Longjing tea which was my concern. The aroma was light but definitely the thyme and rosemary that I so often use in my cookery. That taste was clean and soothing, not bitter, and not at all strong like a peppermint I thought I would have created. I found the taste even more enjoyable as the tea cooled down becoming lukewarm. 

Not a bad mixture at all and it was a great experiment. Never hurts to try the different herbs and spices lurking in your cupboards to make a new tasting tea!



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