It's been a relatively lazy weekend which saw me and my husband and our cat piled on the couch for a post-lunch snooze this afternoon... although I did get up early to do some baking: inspired at the prospect of having blackberry-basil iced tea at breakfast, I decided to make some blackberry muffins to accompany it. They were very good; and the tea was fantastic.
The recipe for the blackberry-basil syrup is courtesy of the delightfully whimsical TeaSpot NYC blog and I knew I just had to try it as soon as I read about it. It's a beautiful balance of sweet and tart and the colour is amazing - I should've taken photos, but was too busy enjoying my breakfast to bother. (There is some blackberry-basil syrup left, though, so I still have the option - maybe tomorrow.)
The tea itself was a Ceylon single estate tea, Nandana Orange Pekoe, which I bought in NZ from T Leaf Tea, cold brewed overnight. Cold-brewing this tea yields a beautifully pale amber liquor, very mild (it's redder and stronger tasting when hot) and combined with the syrup it was truly a taste sensation. The basil added such a striking spicy, aromatic note. I think it would also go well with strawberries if blackberries aren't available (mind you I used frozen ones).
Then this afternoon I made myself a pot of spearmint and hibiscus (a teaspoon of each herb per cup), hot-brewed, steeped strong and then poured over ice. Minty and sour, 100% refreshing.
And now I'm finishing off the day with a few glasses of iced Haru-Poro-Poro (cold-brewed over the course of the day). This is a combination of sencha, green rooibos and raspberry flavouring - it's astringent (in a good way), sweet and the raspberry flavour is not overpowering. It really is delicious iced. It's from Lupicia - a wonderful shop in Melbourne which I visited at Christmas time. They have loads of beautiful oolongs and greens that I would love to try; I'll have to see if I can schedule another trip when I'm next in Melbourne.