Sometimes even the most delicious flavored tea can become boring after awhile, especially if you like to drink tea on a daily basis. But whether you are hoping to bring more variety to your daily tea intake, or if you are simply hoping to impress your family and friends with a unique recipe of flavored tea, here are three unusual teas to try brewing in your kitchen:
1. Yellow tea
Yellow tea is both grown and processed on a small lake island in China, and after it is harvested it is then fermented under straw and then rolled into needles before drying. The flavor of yellow tea has a slight hint of cocoa, flowers and vanilla, and is extremely popular because of its subtle flavor.
In order to make yellow tea, you need 1/2 oz. of yellow root stems, 18 oz. of water, two teaspoons of sugar, one lemon cut into quarters, four teaspoons of lemon juice, and cheese cloth in which to wrap the root stems.
First you have to wrap the stems with the cloth but make sure it is tightly secured at both ends with a string. After bringing the water to a boil, add the stems and lemon quarters and keep boiling for one minute before adding sugar. Boil for another minute and then pour the liquid into a large picture before adding the lemon juice.
2. Pu-erh tea
Pu-erh tea has a unique espresso-like flavor that also has hints of mushrooms, nuts, plums and dark chocolate and is known to help treat digestion and high cholesterol.
All you need in order to make pu-erh tea is to purchase pu-erh tea cakes and then steep them in hot water for approximately two minutes.
3. Genmaicha tea (rice tea)
Genmaicha tea is made with roasted brown rice and a lesser grade of bancha leaf, and is also commonly referred to as "popcorn tea" because the rice usually pops during the processing. Genmaicha tea also tends to have a sharp and lemon-type of flavor because it contains both smooth and harsh tasting polyphenols.
In order to make the tea, spread a thin layer of brown rice into a medium sized pan, and then turn the heat to a low or medium setting. Toast the rice until it becomes dark brown, and although toasting time varies, try not to toast it for over five minutes.
Next, cool the rice on a plate and then place it inside of a container for storage. Then take one tablespoon of the toasted brown rice (one tablespoon will usually make one strong cup of tea), and then place the rice inside of a tea sieve with one teaspoon of green tea leaves.
Put the tea sieve into an empty mug and then pour hot, steaming water into the mug and let it sit for three minutes. Lastly, remove the tea sieve and pour the genmaicha into a mug and enjoy.
Bio: Aside from school and working part-time as an Assistant Chef, Bridget Sandorford is the resident Culinary Schools blogger where recently she has been researching Ottawa culinary colleges as well writing a guide on the types of chefs students can become with proper experience and training. She lives outside of Charleston, South Carolina.