Once upon a time clan Teaist were visiting a shop that specialises in foodstuffs from the Middle East and North Africa.
The plan was to score for some amazing fruit and veg, dates, nuts, spices, that sort of thing, but while we were there Mrs. Teaist spotted a packet of cardamom tea the size of a house-brick, and wanted to try it out.
The price wasn’t too bad, so in the basket it went.
Once back at home, we opened the packet, got the kettle on, and brewed up.
It proved to be a middle-of-the-road kind of a tea – not one that would make you want to instantly clamber up on the roof with a megaphone to shout about, but a decent enough, drinkable everyday beverage all the same.
With “flavoured” teas, however, there’s always some concern as to the nature and origin of the tastes and aromas coming out of your cup.
Anyway, just the other day Mrs. Teaist remarked that it had been quite some time since she’d had a cup of cardamom tea. A quick inspection of the old tea gave me the distinct impression that it was past its best.
Not wanting to disappoint her, I promised to look into alternatives, and after a bit of experimentation I do believe I’ve arrived at a winning formula.
The foundation this recipe is built upon is the Ceylon tea I bought earlier in the year.
All I did was to add 2 teaspoons of lightly crushed cardamom seeds (removed from the pods, mais naturellement) into the paper filter bag along with the 3 heaped teaspoons of tea leaf I usually use for this 500 ml pot.
NOTE:- if using a mortar and pestle to crush the seeds, ensure that they are spotlessly clean, otherwise you will end up transferring the flavours of whatever was ground by them previously into your tea. Trust me on this.
I then steeped the tea as per usual, for 2 minutes.
The results are very nice indeed. The sweetness of the cardamom balances the astringency of the tea, complementing but not overpowering it. The cardamom introduced a kind of spicy, pepperiness, too.
You were left with the impression that you were drinking something “real” – the only way I can describe it is as similar to the difference between a pasta sauce or a curry sauce that comes out of a jar, and one that you rustle up at home yourself, using only fresh ingredients.
This tea makes for a very pleasant mid-afternoon break when taken with a small bowl of mixed nuts and a few dates.