Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Iced Jasmine with an Add-in

As a non-coffee drinker, I love tea. But sometimes, I realize, you’re not all that into the hot, steaming, stick in your teeth kind of traditional Asian tea, especially on a hot summer day! So I developed this recipe that infuses some of my favorite flavors—jasmine and mint, with plenty of room for improvisation. I think jasmine would also taste amazing with some springs of fresh lemongrass, or ginger, which is also incidentally great for certain types of colds. I have two of these vintage type Chinese thermoses—they’re glass on the inside, so conveniently don’t leach those nasty hormone-altering chemicals we’ve been hearing about from plastic, and they’re so darn pretty. And they keep things hot/cold FOREVER. Literally, I stored tea in one of these for a cold October picnic in the park on Autumn Moon Festival, and the tea was still hot the next day. Only thing is, since the cork is usually covered in a t-shirt like material, be sure to dry it out on your windowsill after you use it, to prevent molding. I got mine at Van China, my favorite Chinese dime store on East Hastings in Vancouver, next to the Ovaltine. Everything they sell there is at least 20 years old, and covered in a thin layer of dust, but where else can you snap up vintage Asian flower arranging accessories and little glass horses for pennies? And Canadian pennies at that. I hope they never go out of business.

Jasmine-Mint Iced Tea

2 teaballs full of loose leaf fragrant jasmine tea OR 2-3 bags of jasmine tea

Sugar syrup or honey, to taste

2 sprigs of mint leaves

Mix sugar syrup by boiling one cup of water and stirring in 1 cup of sugar, let cool.

In a large pot, boil 4-6 cups of water, then plop in your tea and turn off the heat. When the water turns a rich brown, take out the tea bags and put in your mint leaves or lemongrass stalks. Let cool.

Strain out the tea and herbs, stir in your sugar syrup or honey, to taste. Add in a bunch of ice cubes and stir.

Transfer to your pretty thermos and take to your next summer party!

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