This herbal tea is sometimes referred to in our office as the blend with an identity crisis. Why? Well, what else do you call it when you have a mix that combines the mellow character of Rooibos, with the sensual spiciness of Masala chai? Is it relaxing? Is it a pick me up? Or is it both?
Confused? Let us explain. Rooibos is well known to be one of the most relaxing hot beverages one can brew. The needle shaped leaves of the Rooibos bush, (Latin: Aspalathus linearis) produce a caffeine free drink that is noted by nutritionists and health consultants the world over for its soothing character. Masala chai, with its base mixture of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, clove, and black pepper, is generally considered to be one of the more overtly spicy examples of all blends. Interestingly the mixture of these two distinct characters gives this chai a lovely sense of balance. Think ying and yang, night and day, or Simon and Garfunkel, (although they did split up I guess!) Brew yourself a cup, sit back and it will all start to make sense. As with all chais, the complex character of the blend can be wonderfully opened up when prepared with warm soy, or whole milk. Enjoy the complications of this herbal blend!
Hot tea brewing method: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 portion pack for each 7-9oz/200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 5-10 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).
Iced tea brewing method (Pitcher): (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea, 6 tea bags or 6 Q3 portion packs into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 1¼ cups/315ml over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the tea or removing the bags. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about.)
Iced tea brewing method (Individual Serving): Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 portion control pack into a teapot for each serving required. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 6-7oz/170-200ml per serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining
the tea or removing the bags. Not all of the tea will fit, allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving. Sweeten and/or add lemon to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
ANTIOXIDANT BENEFIT: More antioxidants are extracted from tea (L. Camellia Sinesis), or rooibos (Asphalatus Linearis), the longer it is brewed….and the more tea or rooibos that is used, the greater the antioxidant benefit.
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 100ºC/212ºF. Minimum Brewing Temperature: 90ºC/194ºF.
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