Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fruit and Citrus Tea (caffeine free)

Some mornings I don't feel like drinking caffeinated beverages, and I especially never drink any at night. I came up with this gentle, unobtrusive tea that is full of flavor. The ginko in the tea gives you a boost of brain power, and the cool, fruity flavors of rosehips and lemongrass keep you calm.

I used a peel from a clementine that I dried myself and had stored in a glass jar. I would use some other type of orange peel - orange, blood orange, tangerine, so on. 
To dry your own citrus peel, simply peel it off the fruit (it's easy to do this in one piece with mandarins, but oranges have a thicker peel so it will be in many pieces) and lay someplace where air can get to it on all sides. I rigged mine up to the handle of a cabinet using string and clips. Let it sit for a day or two until it is hard, and store in a glass jar or airless plastic bag.

This recipe makes a tea concentrate - that is, you keep it around a mix it with water to make the perfect cup of tea. I like to make concentrates because they are easier to store in my refrigerator (I can't ever seem to have enough room in there) and I can still have the same cup of tea all week with minimal effort. To make the perfect cup of tea from the concentrate, simply follow these instructions:

  • To make hot tea: Heat one part tea concentrate with one part water in a saucepan. Let simmer for a second and sweeten to taste using raw honey, honey, agave nectar or your favorite sugar (if desired).
  • To make cold tea: Mix one part tea concentrate with one part cold water and some ice. If you'd like sweetened cold tea, follow the instructions to make hot tea, add in the sweetener and then chill before pouring over ice.
  • To make caffeinated tea: After bringing the tea concentrate/water to a boil, simply use that as your steeping water. I haven't tried any yet, but I'm guessing this would be delicious with black, green, oolong or white tea!  

Alternately, you could simply mix together all of the herbs and store it in a glass jar, taking out one teaspoonful at a time to brew one cup of tea at a time the way that you normally do; however, simply steeping the tea blend won't produce as strong of a flavor as simmering it for a longer amount of time. 

Alternately again, to simply make tea that you and some friends would like to drink in thirty minutes or so - double the amount of spices but keep the amount of water the same. Strain and enjoy.

Fruit and Citrus Tea
Yields enough concentrate to make about eight to ten cups of tea.
All ingredients are dried
  • 4 tablespoons ginko
  • 4tablespoons lemongrass
  • 4 tablespoons rosehips
  • 2 tablespoons peppermint
  • 1 small or 1/2 large dried citrus peel
  • 10 green cardamom pods
  • about 4 cups water
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until the tea is dark and fragrant - about half an hour. Alternately, put everything into a slow cooker and simmer over low heat for 8 hours.

Simmering tea, relaxing me...

1 comment:

  1. That's a great idea about the orange peels! I prefer clementines too - much thinner peel and I think juicier!

    Have a great weekend!