The season of cumquats are upon us, and not only are we able to get gorgeous ones from our local Asian Grocery, but friends who are not so kitchen-friendly as me, arrive with baskets of them.
But a conversation with a Fijian friend changed, or rather, expanded, the way we think about this tiny, semi-sour globular fruits. He related how they use cumquats like lemons, squeezing the juice into dishes that need that bit of tang. Now not only are they squeezed, we cut them in halves and nestle them into oven baked dishes, they are floated in stocks, soups and stews to infuse, we char grill them for salads, and they find their way, chopped into 2 or 4 or 6, into warm vegetable mixes.
And they are made into tea.
What a delicious infusion this is. Just cumquats, or with mint and/or other herbs added, it is a perfect mid morning or mid afternoon pick-me-up. Surprising. Wonderful.
In terms of herbs, use your favourites, and don’t be afraid to experiment with a leaf here and there. Tulsi, basil, mint, thyme, parsley. Add honey if you need a sweetener. I don’t. But some Cumquat varieties are more sour than others.
Cumquat Tea is probably Chinese in origin and can be found in S.E. Asian countries too. It can be drunk hot or cold. We drink it hot in Winter, and iced in hot weather if we can get good cumquats that late.
Cumquat Tea | Kumquat Tea
Take 4 to 6 cumquats and cut in half. Place into a teapot, and fill with boiling water. Allow to infuse for a few minutes.
If you desire, sweeten with rock sugar or honey.
recipe notes and alternatives
Add some green tea leaves if you wish. In China, they will add a salty plum for additional flavour.
Mint leaves are gorgeous with this tea. Also try Tulsi, basil, thyme, parsley. All go well with a leaf or two added.