As these last days of winter trickle away (at least we're hoping these are the last days) I have been looking for new things to sip and warm me up. The Glühwein season is over, and coffee just isn't doing it for me. I have a big selection of packaged teas, but they're boring me. So I started to make my own.
I used some great recipes found in a German Women's magazine, all of which use a combination of whole spices, root plants like ginger and other interesting ingredients like lemon grass and various herbs, many of which I had hanging around in my spice cabinet anyways! This has been lots of fun and the possibilities are endless.
A normal kitchen sieve works great.
If you have a thermos, use it! Just drain your tea right into the thermos. It will stay warm all day and you won't be able to get enough of it!
Ingwerguss – Ginger Infusion (citrusy and zesty)
1 small piece of ginger root (about 1.5 inches)
1 organic orange (or a regular one, well scrubbed)
Grate ginger into a glass carafe, or wherever you will be brewing your tea. Immediately add two tablespoons of honey or agave nectar and stir. Peel the orange into a spiral (or just make pieces, but make sure to take only the orange part, and leave the white). Add 1 liter (about 1 quart) of water, let steep for five minutes. Remove orange peel and enjoy!
Heiße Tasse – Hot Cup (spicy and refreshing)
2 tablespoons dried peppermint leaves (or a handful of fresh ones)
A pinch of chili powder (or ½ of a small dried chili)
Two cinnamon sticks
A dash of nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
4 whole cloves
Break the cinnamon sticks in half, add the spices and chili power and peppermint leaves, and pour a quart of boiling water over the spices. Let seep for 5-8 minutes and the drain off the spices and serve. Sweeten with honey, if desired.
K and K Drink (Kardamom und Koriander)
4 cardamom capsules
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 piece lemon grass
Crush the cardamom and the coriander in a mortar and pestle. Cut the lemon grass into medium sized pieces and crush them with a rolling pin. Put everything into your carafe and add 1 quart of boiling water. Let seep for 10 minutes and sweeten with honey, if desired.
Pikant-Tee (Lightly Piquant)
3 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried green peppercorns (found in spice aisle)
2 tablespoons dried peppermint (or a handful fresh)
3 pieces Star Anise
1 quart water
Crush the fennel seeds and the green peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Put the crushed spices in a carafe with the star anise and the peppermint leaves. Let seep for ten minutes, drain off the spices.
Citrus Drink with Bay Leaf
1 organic orange (or regular one, well washed)
3 bay leaves
a dash of cinnamon
¼ cup orange juice
3 tablespoons milk
Peel the orange in a spiral and place peel in carafe along with the bay leaves and cinnamon. Brew with 1 quart water for 10 minutes and then drain off the bay leaves. Serve with a splash of orange juice and milk.
Enjoy the warm and cozy refreshments!