Since I was young, I always enjoyed a good cup of tea. My favorite was Bigelow Earl Grey tea bags. Over the years, my preference changed to brewing tea using loose tea leaves in an infuser. Last year I discovered a wonderful Indian Chai that I just fell in love with. This opened up a whole new world of brewing teas with spices and getting the most purest flavor from the tea leaves by throwing it loose into the pot. I read where the tea leaves need to expand and often a bag or infuser can crowd the tea leaves. Initially, I was hesitant since I would need to strain the tea but I have tried different approaches and once you find what works, it is simple to do.
This led me to experiment with different types of teas in particular using ginger root since I am a big fan of ginger! My research shows that ginger and local honey can have a lot of health benefits including remedies for digestion, headaches, and allergies. Not sure if these claims can be proven through scientific studies – but I am willing to try natural approaches. Ginger can be purchased as a root, crystallized, paste, ground powder, or as a juice.
If you enjoy trying different teas, another Indian inspired tea is my Indian Masala Chai or Indian Spice Tea.
I have made tea with the root and ground powder – my preference is the root due to its hot and tangy taste. But if in a pinch, make a cup of tea and add some ginger powder. Crystalized ginger is a candied ginger where the fresh ginger is boiled with sugar. It can be eaten like candy but it has a lot of sugar. I tend to stay away from it. There is also a ginger paste which is fresh ginger grounded into a paste. I have a jar for use in stir fry recipes and my Indian Chicken Curry soup. Lastly, there is ginger juice, which I have on order through Amazon as an option for tea when I am short on time. I will post a review once I receive it and have a chance to test it out!
My recipe for Ginger Tea
3 cups Water
36 grams Ginger Root, peeled and sliced
2 grams Bay Leaves
8 Green Cardamom, crushed
3 tsp Decaf Assam or any strong black tea
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
Wild Flower Pure Raw Honey, local
The best way to crush the green cardamom is using a mortar and pestle. I use both the seeds and shells.
Carefully peel and slice your ginger root. You can use a potato peeler or a spoon to peel it. So far I prefer the potato peeler as the skin is tender and quick to remove. Be careful with a knife since it may cut away too much of the ginger. Some people do not peel their ginger if the skin is tender. After reading various discussion boards, I am still not sure which way is better. Any opinions?
I like to store my ginger root in a paper towel, wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel in the refrigerator. You can also wrap it in a paper towel and then place it in a plastic bag. It can be stored in the freezer for months and does not need to be thawed before using. Another option that I have not tried is to peel and slice the ginger, add it to a jar with about 1 inch of white wine. This is a great option, as you will always have ginger ready for your tea! However, there is the concern the ginger will pick up the flavor of the wine. The key is to keep the ginger root from drying out! Let me know how you store your ginger root since I am not convinced my option is the best since it will get moldy if it gets too wet.
I found a wonderful local honey at Wegmans, which is a supermarket near our house.
In a small saucepan place 3 cups of water, sliced ginger, bay leaves, and green cardamom and bring to a boil for 10-minutes. I leave the lid on the pot because I want a stronger flavor from the ginger root.
Add 3 tsp decaf Assam or any strong black tea. Boil for about 5-minutes. I have done this step with and without a lid. Leaving the lid on will make a stronger ginger tea, which is delicious. Experiment with different brewing times and amount of ginger to determine the strength that you enjoy.
Strain before serving. There are a different ways to strain the tea. You can use a small strainer to remove the ginger root and green cardamom.
To strain the rest of the ingredients, use a cheese cloth or a small strainer that can be place on the tea pot or mug. I have used both options and prefer the latter as it is more stable than the cheesecloth. Before straining into a tea pot or mug, rinse it with hot water. Especially if you are using a glass container be sure to rinse it a few times with hot water so it does not crack when the hot tea is poured.
Add lemon juice and honey to taste.
If you like this recipe, check out:
I am Learning How to Make Indian Masala Chai Or Indian Spice Tea!