To Do: Go to London, stay near Buckingham Palace, try every afternoon tea available….
A Perfect Mug of Chai
4 c. cold water
4–6 cardamom pods* (depending how intense you like your chai)
4–6 cloves (per above)
4–6 black peppercorns (optional)
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped (optional)
4 tsp. black tea (I use Darjeeling. You can also use three tea bags.)
4–6 tsp. raw honey (to your preference)
1/4 c. milk
*You’ll need to bruise your cardamom pods before adding them to the water, in order to expose the seeds inside. I do this by hitting them with the back of a spoon. Once cracked open, place the whole thing into the pot — pod, seeds and all!
1. Add water and spices to a medium-sized stainless-steel pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Reduce heat to low, place tea in a tea strainer and add to a pot along with honey and milk. Simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, cover and steep for 5 minutes longer.
4. Remove and compost tea, and pour chai in two large mugs. I like to leave the spices in, but you can discard them if you prefer.
5. Sip and smile!
(from small measures.)
Ito En Oi Ocha (Unsweetened Green Tea)
The drink section of any foreign market can be overwhelming when everything looks wonderful and daunting at the same time. So when a friend reccomended this unsweetened green tea I eagerly wrote it down told him I’d keep my eyes peeled for it. I’m always up for trying a good ready-made tea. And let’s face it, green tea is the shit. It is so freaking good for you. It gives you energy, cleanses your body, studies have shown it prevents cancer and it makes poop happen in all the right ways. It’s a perfect beverage. Thats why I’m happy that I can get it already prepared and completely untampered with. Acclomating to the unsweeented Asian teas available has helped weened me off the sweet tea I grew up on in the South which I was CONVINCED I could never live without. Well I can! And I have, because of products like this.
I’m not sure how else I can describe it. I mean, it is just green tea and we all know what that’s like. It tastes like roasted sencha, but it doesn’t say that so I could be reaching. It might just be super strong. It’s something I COULD make and home cheaply, but buying it out and about while shopping in place of a giant sugary can of Arizona (not that Im turning my back on Arizona. It still has a place in my life) feels right.
Buy again? Certainly. And maybe in larger quantities if I can find it.
Mitsuwa Marketplace - San Gabriel, CA
I’ve had this stuff before in Japan and in Korea. It takes amazing, very much like a “bright” green tea if that makes sense. Great for hot days when you feel like a healthy boost.