18 May 2010

iced tea in a yogic way

This year, the temperatures in Cairo have been steady: warm, hot, and horrible hot. We never really had much of a winter. It's only May and we've already had several days that hovered over 38 degrees C.

As tea is the beverage of choice here, I'm not to excited to be serving, much less drinking, hot tea during the day. Yet, I like to have a flavour variety that contributes to drinking at least a litre of water every day. A cold glass of herbal tea does the trick.


Many years ago when I lived in the hot desert southwest of the United States, a neighbour showed me how to make sun tea. It was lovely and rewarding to use solar energy to brew the tea. However, most of the time, I'd forget to bring the container inside (for days) and I'd end up with a black bitter tea.

Try as I might to take the solar eco-step, setting a jar on the balcony for the pollution to settle into isn't appealing. These days, I boil my water in the electric kettle and brew the tea as I would for hot tea.  I allow the tea to cool in the tea pot, transfer it to a glass jar, and then place it in the refrigerator to chill even more.

teHebbee teshrabee ay? biashrabee Isis maa'taalg, shokran

My ice tea is made only with herbal teas and I don't add any sugar. Egypt has a fantastic selection of boxed herbal teas available in any market. Now that Starbucks on the "in" scene here in Cairo, you can purchase boxes of Tazo teas that are rather nice. I find them too expensive for my budget so I pass them up for the Isis or Dilmah selections of tea. Isis is Egyptian and organic. They are much more tasty and less expensive. (spares me the displeasure of entering Starbucks.)

When I want a little sweet treat, I'll add Isis organic honey. Great to curb sweet tooth.

The most economical and best tea comes from using fresh spices and herbs. That is the beauty of living in Egypt. Fresh mint (nana) is available everywhere and fantastic spices are piled high in spice markets.

aAmil spice shay

yogi chai recipe

Here is an yogi chai tea recipe that is really wonderful and easy to make:

  • 2 litres water  (maya  ماء)

  • 15 whole cloves (kibsh krinful  قرنفل)

  • 20 black peppercorns = whole (filfil  الفلفل)

  • 3 sticks of cinnamon (kirfi  الفلفل)

  • 20 whole cardmon pods (split the pods first) (7ab el hel  حبات الهال)

  • 8 fresh ginger slices (1/4" thick, clean, no need to peel) (zanzabeel زنجبيل)

Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Add cloves and boil one minute. Add cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and ginger. Cover and boil for 30 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for couple hours. Remove from heat and let cool. I usually leave the pot for several hours. Then, strain the spices and store in the refrigerator. Reheat when you want a cup.

Optional is to add milk and honey to taste.

Caffeine optional 1/2 gram regular or decaf black tea leaves (approximately 1 tea bag)  الشاي الأسود.

## iced tea yogi break ##

No comments: