We love iced spiced infusions in Summer and hot, warming infusions in Winter. We call them Teas, even Herbal Teas, but there is hardly a herb in site in these, and there are no tea leaves to be found. In India, any label that includes “Tea” indicates the presence of tea leaves, so to call an infusion a tea is very confusing there. Here, we call anything that is infused and sipped a tea.
These infusions can be consumed hot or chilled over ice. As I write it is 42C here in down town outer Adelaide. We have a spice mix infusing in the large tea pot. When it is cool it will be refrigerated and served over ice in the heat of the afternoon. It might be garnished with lemon slices and lemon verbena leaves, or maybe mint leaves.
The thing about spiced infusions is that they do have Ayurvedic properties. I have listed doshas here, but if you haven’t heard of doshas, then ignore them and just enjoy the spice combinations. Please note that I am not am Ayurvedic practitioner, so if you need health advice, please consult a professional.
I collect recipes for different Ayurvedic infusions and chai – these are ones that I’ve come across recently.
In Summer my T2 vacuum flask comes in handy for sipping iced teas as I work in the garden. You can see my lemon verbena is organic – little nibbles in the leaves.
Many of these infusions use dried ginger powder. This is because it is more potent health-wise than fresh ginger. However, you can substitute slices of ginger if you wish.
Tri Dosha Teas
(1) Good for digestion. Infuse 0.5 – 1 tspn of each of spearmint, coriander and fennel, 0.5 small cinnamon stick, 2 crushed cardamom pods. For a variation, or in Winter – simmer the spices in water, then add milk (about 1/3 – 1/2 of the water) and jaggery or cane sugar to taste (make it sweet), simmer again and serve hot. Add a black tea bag with the spices if preferred.
(2) Infuse 2 slices ginger, 1 small cinnamon stick, 1 piece liquorice root and 1 crushed cardamom pod.
(1) Infuse equal parts ground ginger, cumin seed and coriander seed.
(2) Infuse per person: 0.25 tspns of each of fresh ginger (grated), cardamom, cinnamon, ajwain seeds, or simmer them for 5 mins.
(1) Infuse equal parts cumin seed, coriander seed and fennel seed, or simmer equal parts of the 3 seeds for 5 mins. This is the classic CCF Tea, and is a great general detoxing tea, especially in Spring.
(2) Simmer for 5 mins for each person: 0.25 tspn of each of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, dried rose petals (or fresh unsprayed petals), coriander leaves, chopped.
You can find dried rose petals and buds (and dried borage flowers – add them to the tea too) in Afghan shops. Sometimes they are available in Asian groceries but I find the Middle Eastern ones to be of better quality.
(1) Infuse equal parts of ground ginger and cinnamon powder with a clove or two.
(2) Infuse per person: 0.25 tspn each of ginger powder, dill seed and fenugreek seed, with 1 clove.
(3) This tea is great for Winter: infuse slices of ginger, 5cm lemongrass stalk, 1 cardamom pod, 1 clove and pinch turmeric powder.