Sunday, 1 February 2009

Quest for summer sanity, via iced tea, continues

It's a relatively cool evening, thanks to the delightful breeze that's wafting through the open windows (it doesn't seem to be wafting too many mosquitoes through the tatty flywire at the moment, an added bonus). 

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.

1 comment:

  1. oh, i'm so glad you liked it. hot weather (and iced tea) seem so far away from ny right now, but i'm looking forward to making it in a month or so. once those blackberries start turning up at the farmer's markets, i know i won't be able to resist.


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