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Invigorating and Spicy Green Tea--A "Simple Saturday Sipper" to Warm You Up

Posted Jan 09 2010 2:01am
No trip to Portland is complete without at least a quick trip to Powell's--my all time favorite book store. Because I had already purchased a few books at another used bookstore (see them posted here)and had luggage weight restrictions to consider (not to mention my out of control cookbook collection!)I behaved myself pretty well and just picked up a couple of small books. One was a sale copy of "Green Tea: 50 Hot DrinksCool Quenchers and Sweet and Savory Treats" by Mary Lou Heiss. There are several intriguing recipes for savory foods in the book as well as some delicious sounding hot and iced tea and cocktail recipes. In need of a little pick-me-up while studying for a testI tried the recipe for the Invigorating and Spicy Green Tea. I liked the idea of adding three of my favorite spices; cardamompepper and cinnamon to green tea.

Mary Lou Heiss says"The bold flavors of these warm spices are tamed a bit so as to add a subtle flavor that imparts a nice bit of underlying heat without overpowering the delicacy of the tea."

Invigorating and Spicy Green Tea
"Green Tea" by Mary Lou Heiss
(Serves 2-4)

2 Tbsp (8 grams) medium-size loose-leaf green tea or 4 green tea bags
9 freshly cracked green or white cardamom pods
9 whole white peppercorns (recommend bruising/crushing to release more flavor)
1 3-inch piece cinnamon stick
4 cups boiling water

Put the tea leaves or tea bags into a pre-warmed large teapot and set aside. Place the spices in a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup and add the boiling water. Stir to mixthen let the spices infuse for 2 minutes. Quickly pour the infusion into the teapotstraining carefully to prevent the spices from going into the tea pot. Steep the tea in the spice infusion for an additional 2 minutes. Strain the brewed tea into teacups and serve immediately.

Notes/Results: Delicious. The warming spices are a nice change to the normal cup of green tea. One note--I tried this tea twicethe first time I just added the white peppercorns as the recipe stated but didn't get much peppery spice--tasting much more of the cardamom and cinnamon instead. It was goodbut I really wanted the kick of the pepper so the second time I crushed the peppercorns a bit before adding them in and that made all the difference. If you want a milder-tasting spiced teayou can just leave them whole. This tea was the perfect afternoon snack with a couple of the raw "donut holes" from yesterday's post. I will make it again.

Enjoy your weekend!
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